How is your spring? I am busy since the flora and fauna has piqued my inspiration. I’ve stayed so busy creating that I now must post these recipes before they become outdated.
Before our April heat wave, where we hit near 90-degrees three days in a row, this house behind my apartment blossomed with the deepest red flowers my eyes have ever seen.
These bushes, primly propped and cropped, bloomed with majestic and minute flowers that inspired this recipe. I walked past these bushes almost everyday and it seemed as if they were bleeding with beauty. Kinda gross, it’s as if these flowers resemble the lifeblood that keeps our bodies flowing. Several bushes down the road were similar shrubs that bloomed with a deep yet bright pink, so bright the contrast was nearly blinding.
Isn’t nature amazing? It’s as if my heart became inspired from nature. And well, I agree. As thoughts carry from the head, through the heart and released through our hands – its why cooking is so amazing.
I knew I needed to do something with raspberries or strawberries. Well, as a big fan of strawberries, I’ve always wanted to create hand pies, but never pursued the idea. I wanted to go for something naturally sweet, like these bushes that did not require a laundry list of ingredients. Hand pies seemed like that similar thought where sweet and deep red goodness would ooze or “bleed” out of the pie.
Sometimes the messiest-looking, or imperfect, things are the greatest foods to enjoy.
Hand pies look complex, but are simple and easy to make. As part of my spring-clean eating, I chose to make these pies sweet enough, but not over the top sweet.
Thus, if you want to make this sweeter you certainly can or can use sugar to replace the maple syrup.
My wonderful rolling pin from Poland was boxed away deep into a closet, so I must admit I used a bottle of vinegar as a rolling pin. I made three perfect-sized hand pies. You may be able to make four if you really roll the dough thin; however, if it’s too thin the dough can break.
Speaking of breaking, don’t worry when folding if the dough breaks. You can use small chunks of the dough to patch any holes.
Vegan Strawberry Hand Pies (No Added Refined Sugar)
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Bake Time: 12-16 minutes
Total Time: Approximately 30 minutes
1 cup strawberries, finely chopped
1 tbsp maple syrup
pinch of flour
1 ¼ cup flour (used whole wheat)
¼ tsp salt
¼ cup vegan butter, cold
4 tbsp cold water
1 tbsp maple syrup
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cut the strawberries and mix with the filling ingredients. Place to the side to let the strawberries “juice.”
For the dough, place the dry ingredients into a bowl and mix. Add butter and cut with a fork or a pastry cutter until the butter is covered in flour and it looks like small crumbles.
Add the maple syrup and one tablespoon of water. Mix the dough and gradually add one tablespoon of water until the dough forms. Use your hand to make a ball and pick up any of the last loose pieces of flour.
With your hands roll the dough into a ball, flatten it with your palms and then “smack” it a couple times to flatten the top and bottom. Split the dough into three chunks.
Place parchment paper on a pan and spread flour on top of the paper.
With each piece of dough do the same step as above (roll it, flatten it smack it with your palms) This will help roll out the dough into circular pieces. Don’t worry if its not exact.
Eyeball the center of the circle and place the strawberries onto one side. (You may not use all the strawberries. Also, if you want it to burst w/ juice, drizzle the maple syrup juice onto the strawberries. If you don’t than skip the juice).
Fold the other side on top and slightly use your fingers to close the dough. Use the tip of a fork to seal the dough. Use a knife and cut three slits on the top of the dough.
Place in your oven and back until slightly golden. The cooking time will vary on each oven.
As mentioned above, if you want it sweeter you can add more maple syrup in the crust (may not need all 4 tbsp of water) or sprinkle sugar on top of the dough before baking. Enjoy!
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Elizabeth Rae Kovar M.A. is Author of her memoir, Finding Om and is a Fitness Trainer, Yogi, Reiki Master, Presenter and Lover of Life. To view her portfolio please visit www.elizabethkovar.com