August 16, 2022

Strawberry Rhubarb Hand Pies

Strawberry Rhubarb Hand Pies

These tasty, crisp and flaky strawberry rhubarb hand pies represent the best parts of spring, featuring a filling of strawberry and rhubarb nestled between layers of a slightly sweetened buttermilk pie crust.

One bite and you will be thankful they are pies designed to be eaten on the move! They make for a great dessert or even breakfast and are so much easier than making a full sized pie.

What are Hand Pies?

This may serve as a real shocker to some, but a hand pie is just that! A pie that fits in your hand and is intended to be easy to eat while on the move. These little treats are fantastic because you can basically fill them with anything (yes, you can also make savory hand pies) and can eat them anywhere. Hand pies are similar to turnovers but are typically made using pie dough, whereas turnovers typically use puff pastry dough.

For these hand pies, I fill them with a strawberry-rhubarb filling that I spike with a little ginger and lemon. During the late spring, I love making large batches of strawberry-rhubarb jam so this serves as a perfect outlet for some of the cans I keep through the year.

Why we Love the Strawberry Rhubarb Jam Filling

For the recipe, we pair the strawberries with rhubarb because rhubarb has a sour flavor that serves as a natural balance to the strawberries. The addition of the ginger and fresh lemon sets the pairing of the strawberry and rhubarb off! I promise, you could sit on your couch with an entire jar of this stuff and a spoon, and you will never get bored of it. The flavor is just that dynamic. I make no promises in regards to avoiding a sugar comma, though. 

Ingredients for Strawberry Rhubarb Hand Pies

  • The Buttermilk Pie Dough: The addition of buttermilk to the pie dough gives the crust a subtle tenderness and also adds a slight tang that complements the sweetness of the filling. If you prefer to use a standard pie dough, you certainly can without sacrificing quality. 
  • The Filling: If you are making these during the colder months of the year and don’t have access to strawberries and rhubarb, feel free to use whichever fruits you prefer. You could even use a previously made or store-bought jam as the filling, just omit the cornstarch.
  • The Garnish/Topping: I love to garnish the hand pies with a dusting of powdered sugar and serve them with whatever filling/jam I have leftover from rolling as an optional dip/dunking sauce, because I can never seem to get enough of the fruit filling. You could also make a glaze to coat the pies with but you really don’t need any topping or garnish for them to be great.

Recipe Shortcuts

While this recipe may seem like it is quite a bit of work, there are some great variations that make this recipe much easier to make in a timely manner. 

  • Use store-bought pie dough to roll the pies: If you do, I would recommend following the same baking instructions but keep and eye on the color of the dough when it is in the oven. 
  • Use a store/market-bought jam or filling: If you do this, the jam will most likely not need to be thickened at all so you should be able to swap it in for the filling in this recipe and proceed as listed in the instructions. You can also use a different flavored filling as well. Whether it is peach, apple, lemon, or any other fruit filling, this recipe and process should still work as long as the jam/filling is not thickened using a congealer such as gelatin that liquifies when heated. 

Tips for Making the Perfect Strawberry Rhubarb Hand Pies

  1. When making the pie dough, freeze the butter for about 10 minutes before making and make sure you keep the buttermilk very cold in order to incorporate the butter into the dough without melting or smearing it. This will give your dough a nice rise in the oven and also help give the crust buttery layers with a light and flaky texture.
  2. Be careful not to cook the filling at too high of a temperature and remember to stir often: Because of the high sugar content, the filling will have a higher tendency toward burning, so make sure you keep an eye on it because it can stick to the bottom of the pot and burn quickly when not checked frequently.
  3. When working with the pie dough, you want to keep the dough slightly chilled: If the dough is allowed to get too warm, the butter will start to melt out of the dough and you will be left with a dense and gummy dough instead of a nice and flaky dough.

You'll LOVE these Strawberry Rhubarb Hand Pies. They're so tasty, with a great balance of sweet and citrus. Cheers and eat well!

Strawberry Rhubarb Hand Pies

These tasty, crisp and flaky strawberry rhubarb hand pies represent the best parts of spring, featuring a filling of strawberry and rhubarb nestled between layers of a slightly sweetened buttermilk pie crust.














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For the Homemade Dough (or use store-bought):

  • 4 ounces of butter (diced and chilled)
  • 1 ¼ cup of all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons of sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • ⅓ cup of buttermilk (chilled)

For the Strawberry Rhubarb Jam (or use store-bought jam):

  • 1 cup of strawberries (tops off and quartered)(washed)
  • 1 cup of rhubarb (washed and cutting into a small dice)
  • ¾  cup of sugar
  • The juice and zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon of fresh ginger (peeled and chopped)
  • ¼ cup of cornstarch
  • 1 pinch of salt

To Finish:

  • 1 egg (for egg wash)
  • Powdered sugar (as needed)


For the Homemade Dough:

  1. Before starting, dice your butter into small chunks and place in the freezer for 10 minutes while you measure out the other ingredients.
  2. Measure out the flour, salt, sugar and ground cinnamon and put them directly into your food processor with the standard blade attachment.
  3. Once the butter has been diced and chilled, add it into the food processor, with the flour mixture, and pulse the mixture until all of the butter has been chopped into the flour and it is all about the size of little peas.
  4. While the machine is still being pulsed, slowly stream in the buttermilk and blend the pie dough until all of the dough comes together and is no longer crumbly, making sure to not overwork the dough. Pulse only long enough for everything to come together.
  5. Lay out a sheet of plastic wrap and transfer the pie dough from the machine to the sheet of plastic and press it flat so that it becomes a nice sheet.
  6. Wrap the pie dough and transfer it to the fridge to let it rest for at least one hour before rolling.

For the Homemade Strawberry Rhubarb Jam Filling:

  1. Start by briefly washing the strawberries and rhubarb. After washing, cut the tops off the strawberries and cut them into quarters. Place them into a heavy-bottomed pot.
  2. Cut the rhubarb stalks into a rough medium dice so that the chunks are no larger than your thumbnail. Add them to the strawberries.
  3. Peel and chop your ginger into small pieces as though you were chopping garlic. Add to the strawberries and rhubarb.
  4. Add the sugar, the lemon juice and zest, and the salt and stir to combine.
  5. Allow the mixture to sit for about 5 minutes so that some of the liquids come out of the fruit and then add the cornstarch and mix so that there are no small clumps of cornstarch left.
  6. Put the pot on the stove and heat over medium heat, occasionally stirring for 2-3 minutes, or until the mixture comes to a gentle simmer.
  7. Continue to cook at a simmer for about 10 minutes, or until the rhubarb has become soft. Continue stirring often to avoid burning.
  8. Once the rhubarb has become soft, remove the filling from the stove and cool the mixture down below 45 F (or 2 hours) before rolling the hand pies.

Rolling the Hand Pies:

  1. Once you have made and chilled the filling, and have made and allowed the pie dough to rest, you are ready to roll the hand pies.
  2. Start by placing your pie dough down on a floured work space, such as your kitchen counter, and line one of your baking sheets with parchment paper.
  3. Roll your pie dough out into a sheet that is even and roughly ⅛ inch thick.
  4. Take a ring mold that has a diameter of about 4 inches and punch out as many circles as you can from the sheet of dough (similar to as if you were cutting out cookies). Place the dough punch outs aside and reroll your dough and repeat the process until you have no dough remaining.
  5. Preheat your oven to 375 F
  6. To assemble the pies, place the circular cut-out of pie dough down on the counter and place about 1 ½ tablespoons of the chilled strawberry-rhubarb filling and shape it into a very rough oval shape and place it slightly off-center of the circle so that you can fold one side over it and trap the filling inside without it bursting out the sides.
  7. Apply light pressure with your fingers on the outer edge of the pie and work back towards the filling to create a nice rim/crust of about ¼ inch. Crimp the pies by lightly pressing the prongs of a fork on the outer rim so that they have a nice design.
  8. ‍ Transfer the rolled hand pie to the parchment-lined baking sheet and repeat the process until all pies are rolled.

Baking the Hand Pies:

  1. Once all the hand pies are rolled and transferred to the baking sheet, make your egg wash by cracking and whisking one egg. Using a pastry brush, brush the surface area of each hand pie with the egg wash as though you were putting a touch-up coat of paint on it. 
  2. Once each pie has been washed, transfer the baking sheet to the oven and bake the pies at 375 F for about 20 minutes or until they are golden brown.
  3. Once the pies are golden brown, remove them from the oven, sprinkle with powdered sugar and then allow them to cool slightly.
  4. Serve them with the remaining strawberry-rhubarb filling as an optional dipping sauce.


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August 16, 2021
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