I’m blessed and honored to be out west with our daughter to help her pack and prepare for her next duty station. My presence is mainly dictated by the need to help her drive her car back to our home state, where she’ll turn her car over to her little sister, at least while she’s at her next station.

Well, and also, to be honest, because I want to hang out with her before her next assignment.

In sorting out the kitchen, we realized that between her and her roommates (who’ve already moved to their next assignments), there were five partially-eaten jars of jams and jellies.

Being the thrifty sort, and anticipating a multiple-day drive across about two-thirds of the U.S., we decided we’d try to make hand pies filled with the jellies and jams–sort of a latter-day Hostess fruit pie.

Well, and also, to be honest, to divert some of our nervous energy into baking.

I’ve attempted hand pies once with fruit filling and a traditional pastry crust, but the crust fell apart. On the other hand, I’ve used a hot water crust to make meat pot pies–a hot water crust isn’t flaky, but it is sturdy.

So, I thought, why not make a hot water crust, but leave out the salt, and substitute a small portion of the flour with sugar. Then bake, cool, and glaze with a mix of a bit of water and powdered sugar.

As with a traditional pastry crust, I follow a ratio for hot water crust. In this case, I made the quantity of  hot water crust dough based on how much butter and shortening my daughter had left over in her fridge. And of course she has a food scale for measuring quantities for baking.

Hot water crust (sweetened for jelly or fruit hand pies. You could also use leftover pudding for a filling, too!)

  • 310 grams of flour plus 20 grams of sugar, mixed.
  • 220 grams butter and shortening, melted.
  • 110 grams water, brought to a boil.
  • The exact grams aren’t important; just use the ratio of 3 parts flour (or flour with a bit of sugar substituted), to 2 parts fat (butter, shortening, lard), to 1 part water.
  • Whisk together the flour and sugar. Make a little ‘well’ in the middle and set aside. Melt the butter/shortening in a pan on the stovetop. Pour the hot water into the butter/shortening and make sure all  of it is melted and blended with the water. Slowly pour this mixture into the well, stirring constantly until the dough forms into a ball.

For the jelly/jam hand pies:

  • Preheat oven to 375-degrees.
  • Roll out about a softball size ball of dough into a circle.
  • Sprinkle a little flour onto the crust.
  • Put about a tablespoon or so of jelly/jam into the middle of the dough.
  • Folded over, and press the edges together with a fork.
  • Move the hand pies onto a parchment lined baking sheet.
  • Bake 20 minutes.
  • While the pies are cooling, mix a bit of water and a bit of vanilla extract (my daughter didn’t have any left over, so we just skipped it) with powdered sugar. Once the pies are totally cool, spread the glaze on top, and let set up on the counter.

Here’s to road trips, daughters, thrifty pies, and new adventures.