What's better than two flaky jammy hand pies turned into an ice cream sandwich filled with vanilla bean ice cream? NOTHING!
The recipe for these hand pies and the brilliant idea to turn them into pie-ce cream sandwiches comes from Erin McDowell's new cookbook: The Book on Pie, which is out today! Quite frankly, it's a book that every baker, regardless of skill level, should have! It's practically a pie encyclopedia...
What I love the most is the versatility of the recipes that Erin included in the book. There are 40+ crust recipes, 50+ toppings/finishes, and 140+ pie filling recipes; this means you can follow the recommendations as written or mix and match to your heart's content. Take these concord grape hand pie ice cream sandwiches for instance... I made them with Erin's "all buttah pie dough" but she also makes recommends making them with her whole wheat pie dough, rough puff pastry, or her brown sugar roll-out cookie crust (um, YUM).
Concord Grape Hand Pies
I've got to be honest; before these hand pies, I don't think I've ever used concord grapes (or concord grape jam) to make anything but a PB&J sandwich. And wow... have I been missing out.
Homemade Concord Grape Jam
You'll notice the recipe below is written for making your own concord grape jam; homemade concord grape jam tastes nothing like the sickly-sweet supermarket grape jelly. It has a deep, concentrated grape flavor, and is equally tart and sweet. Concord grapes can be tough to find during the off-season though, so feel free to make this recipe using a high-quality grape jam or jelly instead; you'll need around 1 cup.
Concord Grape Hand Pie Ice Cream Sandwiches FAQ & Troubleshooting
CAN I MAKE THESE AHEAD OF TIME?
Yup! There are a couple ways to make these ahead of time! The pie crust dough can be prepared ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator before using. Filling can also be prepared ahead of time. Cover tightly and store in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
HELP! MY PIE DOUGH SEEMS DRY AND CRUMBLY. WHAT DID I DO WRONG?
At the risk of stating the obvious, you’re probably not adding enough water. When you’re just starting out as a pie maker, it’s difficult to know whether you’ve added enough water or not. It’s one of those things you need to develop a feel for. The standard test for knowing whether you’ve added enough water is to compress a few tablespoons of the dough mixture in your palm. If it holds together without crumbling apart easily, you’re probably good.
HELP! MY PIE DOUGH SEEMS WET AND STICKY. WHAT DID I DO WRONG?
Unlike the last pie maker, you’re probably using a little more liquid than you should. If that’s the case (a) your dough may seem tacky when you go to roll it, and (b) your crust is likely to be more chewy than flaky, because extra water tends to activate gluten. So ease up a little on the liquid the next time you make a crust. Keep in mind that when your dough rests in the fridge, dry pockets in the dough will take on moisture from the surrounding areas, like a sponge, and help hydrate your dough evenly.
HELP! MY HAND PIES ARE LEAKING. WHAT DID I DO WRONG?
There are three main reasons why your hand pies might be leaking. Follow these steps to make sure your hand-pies don’t burst.
- Don’t Overfill – You might think you want to fill that hand pie to the max but filling expands while baking so if your hand pie is too full, the filling will expand and then leak out of your crust.
- Seal The Edges – Make sure you really seal those edges. Dampen the crust with a little egg wash and then press together with a fork. Make sure there isn’t any filling on the edge of the dough or it will break the seal and cause the hand pie to leak.
- Vent – Don’t forget to give your pies some vents for steam to escape during baking, otherwise, the pressure can build up and cause your hand pie to leak everywhere.
You need this recipe for homemade concord grape hand pie ice cream sandwiches in your life. Hand pies are an easy grab and go dessert; no serving utensils or plates required; and they can be served warm, room temperature, or cold and honestly taste great each way. Add ice cream to the mix, and you're literally in dessert heaven!
Be sure to pick up a copy of Erin's book, The Book on Pie, for more delicious pie recipes.
Concord Grape Hand Pie Ice Cream Sandwiches
*For the Concord Grape Jam Filling:
- 906 g concord grapes
- 30 g lemon juice
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 vanilla bean halved lengthwise, seeds scraped out and reserved
- 200 g granulated sugar
- 37 g cornstarch
- ½ tsp fine sea salt
For the Pie Crust:
- 310 g all-purpose flour
- ¼ tsp fine sea salt
- 230 g unsalted butter cold & cubed
- 120 g ice water as needed
- egg wash: 1 large egg beaten with 1 tbsp milk
- turbinado sugar for sprinkling
- 2 pints of ice cream for sandwiching
To Make the Concord Grape Jam:
- Squeeze the pulp from the grapes into a medium pot, reserving the skins. Transfer the skins to a food processor.
- Set the pot over medium hear and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture comes to a simmer. Continue to cook until the grapes have broken down and released their juices, about 10 minutes.
- While the pulp cooks, pulse the skins and the lemon juice in the food processor to coarsely chop them. Set aside.
- Once the pulp mixture is fully broken down, strain it into a medium bowl, firmly pressing on the sieve to extract all of the juice. Discard the seeds that remain.
- Transfer the mixture back to the pot and add the chopped skins and the cinnamon stick. Bring to a gentle simmer over medium-low heat and then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, rub the vanilla bean seeds and sugar together to combine. Whisk in the cornstarch and salt, then sprinkle the mixture over the grape mixture and stir well to combine. Allow the mixture to simmer for 1 minutes, stirring constantly.
- Transfer the filling to a large bowl to cool completely. (The grape mixture will cool faster if spread out on a rimmed baking sheet.) Cover with plastic wrap pressed against the surface to prevent a skin from forming.
To Make the Pie Crust:
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour and salt to combine. Add the butter, tossing the cubes in the flour to coat. Working quickly, using a pastry cutter or your fingers, cut the butter into the flour until the butter is about the size of walnut halves.
- Make a well in the center and add the water a few tablespoons at a time, and mix just until the dough comes together. Continue adding water a tablespoon at a time until you have a dough that holds together well but isn’t wet or sticky. (About 8 tablespoons total)
- Divide dough in half and shape each one into a round disc about 1-inch thick. Wrap both halves in plastic and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
To Assemble the Hand Pies:
- Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll out one portion of the pie dough until it's about ¼-inch thick. Using a 3-inch round pastry cutter, cut out circles of the pie dough and place onto the parchment-lined baking sheet; you should have a total of 15 circles. Place in the fridge until needed and repeat the process with the second portion of the pie dough.
- Spoon about ½ tablespoon of the filling into the center of each circle of dough. Brush the edges of each circle with egg wash and place one of the remaining pieces of dough on top of it. Use a fork to crimp the edges to seal.
- Repeat the process with the remaining dough and jam. Chill the tray of assembled hand pies in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 400°F (205°C).
- Brush the pies with egg wash (avoid brushing too much on the edges, which will brown more on their own) and sprinkle generously with turbinado sugar. Cut a small slash or X in the top of each pie with the tip of a paring knife.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes, until deeply golden brown. Allow to cool completely before serving or filling with ice cream.
- Flip half of the hand pies upside down so their base is facing upward. Using a serrated knife, cut each pint of ice cream into even pieces. Place each slice on top of one of the upside-down hand pies, and top with another cooled hand pie (sugared side up). Freeze the assembled sandwiches immediately. Keep frozen until ready to serve.