August 1, 2011

jammed with jam

The East India Company has struck again! Last time, they bestowed upon me some of the most flavorful pepper jelly I'd ever encountered, and now they're back with some extraordinary strawberry and pepper jam.


Are you noticing a theme here?

This jam was, first of all, gorgeous to behold, with the deepest burgundy hue imaginable. Secondly, it tasted fantastic--very complex, sweet with a bit of a kick in the background. No, let's call it more of a nudge than a kick. Whatever its degree of potency, it was a joy to eat on my morning biscuit.


I also tried the jam mixed with fresh strawberries as the filling to some hand pies. The kick nudge from the black pepper was diluted into a caress, but it was still there. Plus, I'm always up for some flaky, buttery crust, pretty much regardless of what's contained within it. Yes, it was an interesting and pleasing dessert, if I do say so myself.

Houston, we have a cinnamon dispersal problem.

The East India Company is officially two for two.

Spicy Strawberry Hand Pies
Filling:
2 cups strawberries, stemmed and mashed
1/2 cup strawberry & pepper jam (or whatever sticky product you have on hand)
1 cup whole strawberries, stemmed and chopped

Sweet Butter Pie Dough:
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, cubed
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3-4 tablespoons cold buttermilk (or milk with a bit of lemon juice)

In a small bowl, combine vanilla and buttermilk, stir to combine and set aside. In a large bowl, add flour, sugar, and salt and whisk to combine. Use a pastry cutter or two knives to cut the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs. Add the buttermilk mixture a bit at a time and stir in until dough comes together.
Transfer the dough to a floured work surface and shape into a flat disk. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least one hour.
Meanwhile, make the filling by stirring together the mashed berries and jam and then folding in the remaining berries.
After the dough has chilled, turn it out onto a floured work surface and divide in two; rewrap one half and place it back in fridge to stay cold. Roll the pie dough out until it reaches a thickness of about 1/8". Using round pastry cutter (or a bowl, if that happens to be all that you have...), cut out about 4-5" rounds. Place rounds onto the baking sheet and back into the fridge if necessary. If not, place about 2-3 tablespoons of the strawberry mixture into center of each round.
Using a pastry brush dipped in a small amount of egg, brush the edge of half of each round. Fold dry edge onto egg-brushed half, forming semicircle shape, and press edges together with a fork to seal in an aesthetically-pleasing manner. Brush the top of each pie with the egg mixture and sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon. Use a small knife to make a 1 inch slit in the top of the pie for steam to escape. Repeat with remaining pastry dough.
Place the pies in the oven and bake at 350F until tops are beginning to turn golden brown, about 20 minutes. Let cool on sheets for 7-10 minutes and then transfer to wire rack to cool completely. Serve warm or at room temperature, preferably smothered in vanilla ice cream.

40 comments:

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Heavenly hand pies!

Cheers,

Rosa

bellini said...

I have browsed their website in the past and dream of jams and jellies. Very creative dishes!

The Blonde Duck said...

I love any and all pies!

Jacqueline said...

Mmmmm, those look good, but I bet you would have to be careful not to burn your mouth on the jam. Of course, patient people would probably be able to wait until they cooled down as you suggested :D

Alicia@ eco friendly homemaking said...

Oh these look absolutely awesome! I am a big pie fan and these really look so delicious!!

TKW said...

Strawberry and pepper jam? Who knew? Your hand pies look divine!

vanillasugarblog said...

see i knew i liked you. spicy jam. this is just too much and i love that.
kicked up to notches unknown!! emeril would be proud

Marjie said...

Pepper jams? Astonishing. Nice hand pie you've made with it.

Lisa-Marie said...

I SOOOOOOO need that jam!

Also, in the UK, a handpie is called a pasty (pronounced pah-sty).

Angie's Recipes said...

Excellent handpie! Spicy jam...I will have to get that too!

Cheryl said...

Ohh yummy you have certainly given me some ideas here!

Pam said...

I love a kick of spice in my jams!

bonnie at sweet life said...

strawberry and pepper..how different yet I am curious, lovely handpies!

shaz said...

beautiful pies! I've got to try the strawberry and pepper combination, sounds awesome.

Amanda said...

Seriously an awesome flavor combination... that crust looks absolutely divine!!!

kat said...

I make strawberry pepper jam at home & now I have to try it in these pies.

Peach Recipes said...

That pie filling sound unique, but good, although if it is at all spicy, I probably would not like it:)

Why re-invent the wheel...if you can buy pie filling that you like, it sure saves a ton of time, and...if time is money....lol

Great site btw!

Pam said...

Oh Grace... these would be very dangerous for me. I don't know if I would be able to share with anyone. YUM!

Barbara said...

I'm confessing in front of everyone: I love CRUST! And this one looks fabulous. We can fill it with whatever you like.
:)

Juliana said...

Strawberry and pepper jam? It sure sounds delicious.
I love your little pies...I don't think that one will do for me :-)
Hope you are having a fantastic week Grace!

Lori said...

Dang, that looks some good.

WizzyTheStick said...

Spicy jams are a beautiful thing. Heat and sweet=love

Faith said...

That jam sounds fantastic! And oh wow do those hand pies look incredible...they're the perfect use for that jam!

lisa is cooking said...

First, I love the concept of a hand pie. You can take it with you, and I'd like to take a few of these with me now. Second, strawberry pepper jam sounds delicious in them!

Leah the Nosher said...

Alright. What I need to figure out is the amount of pepper to add to a strawberry rhubarb pie filling to make it AWESOME. Hmmm.... What about adding a layer of hardened cayanne chocolate to the bottom of the pie shell? Or is that just asking for trouble?

Drooling over the photos as usual. Keep up the gorgeous work :)

Rosita Vargas said...

JAM ONE HE NEVER TRIED ORIGINAL, COLOR IS BEAUTIFUL, CONGRATULATIONS, HUGS

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Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

Oooh what luscious looking hand pies! :D And your description of the jam is making my mouth water... :P

Nutmeg Nanny said...

I love hand pies! I would totally eat one of these...or two...or three...

Julie M. said...

Aside from hostess (which totally doesn't count) I've never had a hand pie. Every time I seem them my stomach does a little hungry jump; I really need to make a batch! That jam sounds delicious!

syrupandbiscuits said...

Hand pies are some of my favorites. The strawberry pepper jam combination sounds interesting. I'm searching for an excellent butter crust recipe and haven't had one yet that I think is outstanding. I love the addition of the buttermilk instead of water. I bet the buttermilk cuts some of the richness of the butter. I am going to give that a try.

Gloria said...

absolutely amazing, love the colour Grace! gloria

Deborah said...

I need to get my hands on some of that jam!!

5 Star Foodie said...

I adore different jams and this one with strawberry and pepper sounds amazing, sounds like a must try!

Alisa said...

Yum, I would love a piece of that.Lovely cakes!

Foodycat said...

I'd call that a jam turnover - but whatever you call it, the oozy caramelly jam bits are the best!

Maria said...

I love your deliciously mouth-watering close up photos! These pies sound irresistible!

Carolyn Jung said...

What a nifty way to use pepper jelly/jam. You don't immediately think of using it in sweet baked goods. A great idea!

Joanne said...

Oh i so love the fun flavors of these jams! ANd the fabulous ways in which you use them.

Chef Fresco said...

Yum yum! These suckers look delicious! And the cinnamon dispersal looks perfect to me. =)