True Love Within Reach: Hand Pies

I recently started a Pinterest board called “Crusts” because, frankly….if you serve anything wrapped in, baked on, or topped with a pastry crust, I will immediately be smitten.

And then there’s the hand pie.  Wait a minute, I think: “This is pie that I can eat on the go!?  Sold!”

Hand pies have had a little evolution of their own.  When I was young, I was eating  Pop Tarts or Hostess Hand Pies. They were processed and full of funky sugars…sure.  But they were inarguably delicious never the less.  Decades later, I was reintroduced to my old friend at Atlanta’s famous drive-in The Varsity. There, they were freshly fried and filled with apple or peach…the result of a closely-guarded family recipe.

Today, with a little of Chef Shawn’s magic, I am revisiting my love for these hand-held gems once again at Entertaining Company.  In true EC tradition, Hand Pies have gone gourmet…and global.

This summer we’ve been loving the classics: warm peach and blueberry hand pies.  But  now that we’re approaching Fall, we’re getting creative with it.  Think flavors like fig and brie or Westphalian ham and melted Gruyere.  My new tailgating favorite is our “GastroPub” Hand Pie that is filled with beef and potatoes – a warm and toasty riff on Shephard’s Pie.

Other important items include: the shape of a hand pie.  I say: as long as the crust is flaky, I am amenable to all shapes and sizes.  Some like a triangle (I’m thinking spinach and feta,) sometimes a four corner square (potato and pea – samosa-style, with dab of raita,) or what about a long cylinder – like a cigar – filled with Mexican queso and chorizo?  (Get creative with some paprika “ash”!)

At Entertaining Company, we’ve got our presentation all wrapped up…as in, we wrap our hand pies in bride and groom logo-ed wax paper for late night wedding snacks.  Another option would be to serve a collection of mini hand pies and simply corral them in an easy-to-hold paper cone.

If this little love letter to hand pies didn’t convince you of our position — we do urge you to get creative when entertaining with hand pies as the weather cools.  We are even thinking of handing out hand pies, wrapped and warmed, at the valet as events at Cafe Brauer or Ivy Room come to an end.

Have hand pie. Will travel.