Because I come from a family of diabetics, I've been increasingly interested in low sugar and sugar-free desserts and treats. After moving back to my hometown and seeing all of the fabulous local businesses pop up and see success, I started dreaming about opening my own bakery and selling diabetic-friendly desserts. I think there's a place in the market for a bakery like this because my Mummu just celebrated a birthday and when I called all of the bakeries in town to see if anyone baked a diabetic option, I was laughed at - seriously laughed at. Actually, some folks were surprisingly rude and unprofessional on the phone, but others simply had no clue what kind of (healthier) alternative sweeteners are out there.
I had been hoping to buy something because I had run out of time to bake myself, but on the drive into town I ended up coming up with a great diabetic-friendly cheesecake recipe on the fly, swinging by a grocery store, and just baking the cheesecake at her place. She loved it!
Recently I found out that a small local Finnish bakery - building and all - is for sale. Half Finnish myself, I grew up on the pulla sold there. I started to daydream about renovating the building and re-opening, selling some of the old classics and some new diabetic-friendly treats (for anyone looking to cut back on sugar a bit - not just diabetics). The downtown location, with a small (read: manageable) building, seemed perfect. My family did some reconnaissance for me, finding out the asking price and if anyone else was interested, but I just couldn't commit. What the heck do I know about running a bakery? What the heck do I know about baking, beyond the treats I make for us? What if I can't make a go of it and we lose our shirts?
For now, I'm happy to bake at home! But stopping by that Finnish bakery so often to scope it out ignited some cravings, so I whipped up some hand pies - just in time for a Wayfair pie contest! I'm skipping the almond flour and stevia for today, because it was comforting to bake with familiar ingredients and treat myself a little to a flaky crust. SO good.
Here's a peek at the adorable chocolate raspberry hand pies I made:
I'm drooling. These are incredibly tasty - and such a nice snacking size. It's a great way to sneak pie into a brown bag lunch.
I make this chocolate raspberry pie as both a regular pie (double crust) and hand pie. The measurements for the filling are different, so I've included both - basically, the hand pies require less fruit because the dough to filling ratio skews very much in favor of the crust. This dough recipe will yield about 10 hand pies - but of course the number will vary depending on how large/small you make them. You could also pre-cook the pie filling, but I just use the berries whole.
- 3 cups white flour
- 2 sticks + 3 tbsp chilled butter
- 1-2 tablespoons sugar (2 tbsp is tastier, 1 tbsp if you're cutting back)
- 1 tsp salt
- 6-8 tbsp ice water (sometimes I add just a smidge more)
- 5 cups raspberries, fresh or frozen (pie) | 1-2 cups raspberries (hand pie)
- 3 tablespoons high quality cocoa powder (pie) | 1 tablespoon (hand pie)
- 3 tablespoons sugar (pie) | 1 tablespoon (hand pie)
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- Food processor
- Pie plate (this Sagaform one is too cute) or baking sheet (for hand pies)
- Pastry brush
- Large cookie cutters (for hand pies)
How to Make a Pie Crust in the Food Processor:
Do you make your pie crust in the food processor? Learning that trick was life changing for me. If you've never tried it, it's simple: just toss the flour, salt and sugar into a food processor. Chop up the chilled butter and pulse with the flour, using an "S" blade. When the flour and butter is blended roughly and the butter has been broken down into pea-sized chunks, add the ice water. Pulse until the dough starts to stick together and then pull out onto a floured board and knead quickly and gently, forming the dough into two discs. I wrap mine in plastic wrap and refrigerate for two hours (or overnight). So much easier than working the dough by hand, plus it's handled less so the dough stays nice and flaky.
How to Make an Easy Chocolate Raspberry Filling:
To make my filling, I simply toss my cocoa powder (I try to buy good quality) with my raspberries and sugar so the raspberries are coated lightly. That's it! I started doing this one day when I was out of my usual pie filling thickener so I was rooting around for some other kind of powdery ingredient in my cupboard. The chocolate raspberry pie turned out so tasty, I added this to my pie rotation. The juice released from the fruit creates a tasty chocolate sauce with the cocoa powder, and it's laced with raspberry flavor and sweetened lightly.
How to Make a Hand Pie:
Hand pies started as something I made with leftover pie dough, but now I'm loving them enough to bake a whole batch because the crust to filling ratio definitely skews on the side of caaaarrrbs. Once I roll out my dough per usual, I cut out shapes using a giant cookie cutter or just cut out a basic rectangle with a knife.
I lay down the bottom piece of the pie on my floured surface, brush the edges with my egg wash, and add a small dollop of filling in the middle. Then I cover it with the top layer of my pie cut out and press the edges closed with my fork, crimping them closed. Finally, I brush the surface with an egg wash and sprinkle with some sugar. I bake these at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes, until golden brown. I check at the fifteen minute mark and rotate my baking sheet because my oven doesn't heat super evenly.
These chocolate raspberry hand pies are so, so good! Not too sweet and not too rich, with a really satisfying chocolatey fruity filling. Plus there's more flakey crust in ever bite than a normal pie, so it's really satisfying. Plus they are easy...as pie to make (couldn't resist).
So how is this a pie contest, exactly?
Well, it's pretty relaxed - and no taste test, sadly: the blogger with the most comments and social engagement on their pie post wins!
So I'd love it if you would leave me a note and tell me what your favorite pie filling is - or try to guess what I was planning to name my bakery. It's SUCH a good name, it's a real shame not to use it.
This post is sponsored by Wayfair, but all thoughts and opinions are my own.