I firmly believe that no one ever really needs an excuse to eat pie. But if you’ve been waiting for just the right occasion to bust our your rolling pin and practice your crimping skills, now is the time to do it.
Because tomorrow is Pi Day. And as a former scientist, you know I couldn’t let this day pass without some serious recognition.
Technically, every March 14th is Pi Day, as 3.14 represents the first three significant digits of the mathematical constant. But this year it’s even MORE of a big deal. Because 3.1415. Yup. Ultimate Pi Day is upon us. So let’s nerd out and celebrate this sweet union of food and math with some Lemon-Raspberry Hand Pies. Giddy up.
Since it’s Ultimate Pi Day, I wanted to go out all with these little hand pies. That means making the best buttermilk all-butter pie crust, mixing up some homemade lemon curd and using the most gorgeous, fresh berries I could find. Ultimate Pi Day isn’t the time or place to take short cuts. But don’t be scared off. These Lemon-Raspberry Hand Pies aren’t really all that difficult to make. You can prep the lemon curd and other ingredients while you are waiting for the dough to chill. And they only take a fraction of the time to bake up compared to that of a full sized pie.
And you get a dozen pies at the end of all your efforts. So there’s that.
The recipe for the lemon curd is straight from my girl Becky. It makes much more than you’ll need for these pies. But just go ahead and make the full recipe. You won’t run out of ways to use it! Trust me.
Have a great weekend everyone. If you need me, I’ll just be over here shoving pies in my face. Indefinitely.
Recipe for the pie crust from Joy the Baker
Recipe for the lemon curd from The Vintage Mixer
Lemon-Raspberry Hand Pies
- For the Buttermilk Pie Crust
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 3/4 tsp. salt
- 1 cup (16 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut into cubes and chilled
- About 3/4 cups buttermilk
- For the Lemon Curd
- 1/2 cup (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter
- 3/4 cups sugar
- Zest from 3 lemons
- 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
- 2 eggs, separated
- For the Raspberry Filling
- 1 cup fresh raspberries
- 1 tsp. sugar
- For the Egg Wash
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon water
- Make the pie crust. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, sugar and salt. Add the cubed butter and toss to coat the butter in the flour mixture. Then using your hands, work the butter into the flour mixture by squeezing it between your fingers. Try to work quickly so the butter doesn’t get too warm. Once the butter pieces are about pea-sized, make a well in the center of the mixture. Pour in about 1/2 cup of the buttermilk and use a fork to incorporate the flour mixture into the buttermilk. Add more buttermilk as necessary to make sure all the flour is moistened. The dough will be very shaggy at this point. Dump the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Using your hands, gently knead and shape the dough into a two disks. Wrap the disks in plastic wrap and chill in your refrigerator for 1 hour.
- While the dough is chilling, make the lemon curd. Melt the butter in a medium, heavy bottom saucepan. Once the butter is melted, turn off the heat. In a small bowl, stir together the sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice and egg whites. Set aside. Whisk the egg yolks into the warm, melted butter. Once combined, whisk in the sugar/lemon/egg white mixture. Turn the heat back on to low and cook the lemon curd, whisking constantly, until the mixture has thickened and coats the back of a spoon, about 3-5 minutes. Remove from the heat. Strain the lemon curd through a fine mesh strainer into a clean container. Cover and refrigerate until chilled. The lemon curd can be stored in your refrigerator for 1-2 weeks.
- After 1 hour, remove the dough from your refrigerator and unwrap it. Working with one disk at a time, place the disk on a well-floured work surface. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough into a circle of about 1/8-inch thickness. As you are rolling the dough, occasionally rotate it a 1/4 of a turn to ensure that it’s not sticking to your work surface. Using a 3 1/2-inch (anything between 3 and 4-inches will work great) round biscuit or cookie cutter, cut out circles of dough, stacking them on a plate in small piles. Re-shape and re-roll the dough scraps, continuing to cut out circles. Once all the circles have been cut out of both the dough disks, cover them loosely with plastic wrap and transfer to your refrigerator to chill for 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, pre-heat your oven to 425 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a small bowl, lightly mash the raspberries and the sugar with a fork. In a separate small bowl, whisk together the egg and water for the egg wash.
- Assemble the pies. Spread half of the dough circles out evenly over your two baking sheets. Place about 1 tsp. of the lemon curd in the middle of each circle. Then top with about 1 tsp. of the raspberry filling. Be careful not to overfill. Brush the edges of the circles with egg wash. Working with one pie at a time, place a second circle of dough over top and use a fork to crimp and seal the edges together. Once all the pies are assembled, brush the tops lightly with the egg wash. Using a small pairing knife, cut a couple slits in the top of each pie.
- Transfer the pies to your pre-heated oven and bake for 16-18 minutes, or until lightly golden brown. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool. Pies can be enjoyed slightly warm or at room temperature.
- Once cooled, the pies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a day.