September signals the slow end of a glorious summer but with it comes the bounty of the harvest. Stone fruits in Nova Scotia are in full swing now and I CANNOT get enough of peaches and plums! I recently purchased a bag of plums from Noggins Corner Farm Market and wanted to make hand pies out of them. Plum hand pies are a cinch to make. I was nostalgically reminiscing about a time when my kids were still in school and how I would try to make their lunches interesting. When you consider how many that is over the course of a school lifetime, it’s easy to see why parents dread the thought. I am also reminded of a time when I would barter some of my lunch food with other friends/students or how my youngest sibling would hide her lunch behind the furnace before heading off to school. I’m sure you have your fair share of stories to tell, too.
These hand pies are small enough to fit in the palm of a youngster’s hand or for an adult wanting a snack to settle a sweet craving.
makes 12 to 14
1 pkg. frozen puff pastry (thawed in refrigerator)
plums (washed and cut in half, pit removed)
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons white sugar
splash of rum (can also use water)
cinnamon or cardamom
1 egg (for egg wash)
Preheat oven to 400f (200c). If plums are large, cut into quarters. In a frying pan over medium heat melt butter. Add plums, sugar, a splash of rum or water and a sprinkling of cinnamon or cardamom. Simmer 5 to 7 minutes or until fruit becomes soft. Don’t worry if there are chunks of fruit. Adjust according to taste by adding more sugar or cinnamon. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature.
While plums are cooling down, lay out puff pastry. Using a 4-inch circle cookie cutter, cut out 12 to 14 circles. Place these circles on a parchment-lined baking tray. When all cut out, place tray in refrigerator for 10 minutes. Remove from fridge and add a teaspoon of the plum filling in the center. Fold over pastry and crimp edges using a fork or your fingers. When all pastry circles have been filled and crimped, place back in the fridge for another 10 minutes.
Remove from fridge and brush egg wash on tops of puff pastry. Sprinkle tops with white sugar and place in oven. Bake 20 minutes or until golden brown and puffy. Serve with homemade caramel sauce for a touch of sweetness (optional). These hand pies are best eaten the day they are cooked but will be fine the next day if stored in an air-tight container.
The Culinary Chase’s Note: Puff pastry needs to remain cool in order to attain optimum puffiness when baking. This recipe is very forgiving so use whatever fruit your family likes. Enjoy!