Sometimes, the biggest flavors come in the tiniest packages, and these Jalapeño Popper Hand Pies prove just that. A creamy cheese filling is blended with pickled jalapeños and herbs and then baked inside of the flakiest pastry; this is sure to be a crowd pleaser. Make some for now, and freeze the rest for later as an easy lunch or dinner option.
Jalapeño Popper Hand Pies
Get any party started with these Jalepeño Popper Hand Pies! This recipe takes all of the deliciousness of jalapeño poppers and bakes them into the most tender, flaky pie crust. These hand pies are creamy, cheesy, and with just the right amount of heat. Serve them for dinner or for an appetizer. The best part? Hand pies freeze really well! So, go ahead and make a double batch to have some for now and some for later.
- 1 (double) batch of pie dough
- cream cheese
- sour cream
- egg + eggwash
- white cheddar cheese (or can sub mozzarella or pepperjack)
- pickled jalapenos (these are perfect for their heat and acid in this recipe!)
- green onions
- cilantro (optional)
- salt + pepper + garlic powder
Recommended Tools for this Recipe
- food processor
- rolling pin
- pastry brush
- circle cutter
- baking basics: bowl, spatula, sheet tray, measuring cups
Overview of Steps to Make Hand Pies
While you can certainly eat a hand pie super fast, it takes a bit longer to actually make them. Luckily, the steps can be broken down and spaced apart, so in the end it will seem very easy.
First, you have to make the pie dough. Go ahead and do that, following this recipe for butter pie dough or this recipe for cream cheese pie dough (my favorite). You can make this gluten-free, by using this gluten-free pie dough. Whatever dough you choose, it needs to chill, preferably overnight.
Next, the filling needs to be prepared. This can be done a day ahead, if you want. Fortunately, the last step is assembling the filling, and that is fairly simple.
Like any pie, you'll need to roll out your dough of choice. This recipe is based off a 4″ round hand pie. To simplify things, I recommend buying a 4″ circle cutter, especially if you plan to make hand pies of any variation in the future; I think you'll find it to be a "go-to" tool in your kitchen. If you don’t want to buy one, you can cut out a 4-inch circle of parchment paper and use it to trace and cut out the circles. Keep in mind, if the dough gets too warm, it might need to be chilled between cutting out the circles and assembling the hand pies, as this step will take significantly longer without a circle cutter. Just be sure to keep an eye on your dough as you progress forward.
Once you have your dough rolled, it’s time to assemble: brush water around the edges of one circle of pie dough. Place about a ¼ cup of the filling in the middle. Place a circle of pie dough over the top and press down on the edges to seal the two pieces together. Crimp the edges of the bottom to the top, which will seal the pie and add a decorative touch. Place the pies on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Repeat with the remaining dough circles. When finished, place the sheet pan inside a freezer to chill, while your oven preheats.
- If at any point your pie dough is getting too warm, simply place it in the refrigerator or freezer to chill until it is easy to work with
- Filling the hand pies are a delicate balance of not overfilling them, and not under-filling them. If you find that you are having trouble closing the hand pies, then use less filling.
- It's best to chill the hand pies briefly before baking, or you can chill them overnight and bake the next day!
Baking Hand Pies
To bake, pre-heat the oven to 400ºF and set a rack to the second-lowest position in the oven. This small step will ensure a crisp crust. Bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes, or until the pie dough is lightly golden all over. If you are baking from frozen, you may need to bake for an extra 10 minutes or so.
Freezing Hand Pies
These can be frozen, unbaked, for up to 3 months. Freeze them flat on a sheet tray for 24 hours. Then, transfer to a bag with as much air removed as possible. The pies can be baked from frozen. Follow the instructions, but the total baking time will increase. Doesn’t get much easier than that!
Similarly, they can also be frozen fully baked! When ready to eat, it's best to let them defrost overnight, and then toasted up until crisp. However in a bind, they can be toasted until fully heated, just be careful they don't burn on the outside before they are cooked on the inside. They should reach an internal temperature of at least 180ºF.
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