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+ servings
Strawberry Basil Hand Pies
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Chilling time
30 mins

These lofty strawberry hand pies feature a jammy strawberry filling with notes of fresh basil and black pepper surrounded by buttery, impossibly flaky pastry. They're the perfect treat for spring gatherings and picnics.

Filling recipe adapted slightly from the mixed-berry hand pie recipe in Erin McDowell’s excellent The Book on Pie (if you like pie – get this book!)

Use any pastry dough you like to make these. I used Erin McDowell’s rough puff pastry, but you could also use classic pastry dough or store bought.

Recipe Type: Dessert
Keyword: strawberry basil hand pies
Makes: 12 hand pies
Author: Elizabeth Stark, adapted from Erin McDowell
  • 1 recipe (enough for two 9-inch pies) rough puff pastry dough (or classic pastry dough or store bought puff pastry)
  • 12 ounces hulled, chopped strawberries
  • 1/2 cup sugar, divided
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest plus 1 tablespoon juice
  • ½ teaspoons freshly ground black pepper, optional
  • 10 large basil leaves
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  1. Make the dough, divide into two portions, wrap with plastic, and chill for at least 30 minutes. If using store bought, follow package directions to thaw dough.

  2. While dough chills, prepare the filling. Bring a small pot of water to a boil. Dip the basil leaves in the water for about 5 seconds, then immerse in ice water. Pat leaves dry with paper towels, and then slice into thin ribbons.

  3. To make the filling, add strawberries to a medium-sized saucepan and set over medium-low heat. Stirring gently, cook berries just until they begin to release their water. In a small bowl, combine ¼ cup sugar and the cornstarch with a fork. Raise heat to medium and stir the sugar mixture, zest, and juice into the strawberries. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring gently, for 2 minutes. Remove saucepan from heat, stir in basil, and set aside to cool. (Filling can be made ahead and keep in the fridge for 1 day.)
  4. When ready to bake the hand pies, preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line two baking sheet with parchment paper.
  5. On a lightly floured surface, roll one of the portions of dough out into a ⅛-inch thick rectangle. Use a 3-inch square (or round) biscuit cutter to cut about 12 rectangles. Set cut dough on the prepared baking sheet. Gather any dough scraps, press gently into a disc, and set back in the fridge.
  6. Brush half the dough squares with the egg and place a 1 tablespoon dollop of filling in the center. Carefully top with remaining squares. Use the tines of a fork to crimp the edges all the way around. Brush with egg, sprinkle each pie with about ½ teaspoon sugar. With a sharp knife, cut 1- 3 small vents in the center of the pies.
  7. Bake 20 - 25 minutes, or until the tops are a rich golden hue and the filling is bubbling and hot. Set aside to cool.
  8. Repeat process for the second portion of dough. Roll out any scraps to try and eke out another pie or two. (Or twist dough scraps with cinnamon sugar for a little treat.) Fill and bake remaining pies.
  9. Cool 20 minutes before serving.
  10. Pies are best the day they’re made, but they’ll keep sealed at room temp for a day or two.