Sunday, January 23, 2011

Vegan glazed lemon hand pies

Every time I mention wanting to make hand pies, people ask, "What are hand pies?" To which I answer, "Have you ever had a Hostess fruit-filled pie?" Those are hand pies...aka handheld pies. I remember hostess lemon pies being absolutely divine and I was determined to find a recipe for vegan lemon hand pies.

I have my first meyer lemons this year and they are huge (tree was just planted in the spring)! I rounded up a bowl of lemons and got to work on this recipe from Vegan Crunk.

Vegan Lemon Curd (recipe by Melisser Elliot)
1 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice (from about 10 small lemons)
½ cup water
1 ½ cups sugar
¼ cup cornstarch
⅛ tsp.sea salt
Zest of 2 lemons, grated with a microplane grater
⅓ cup plain soy creamer
2 Tbsp. soy margarine (I used Earth Balance)

Combine the lemon juice, water, sugar, cornstarch, and sea salt in a blender. Blend until smooth.
Pour the mixture into a medium saucepan and stir in the lemon zest. Heat on medium, whisking constantly until the mixture comes to a full boil (about 10 to 15 minutes). Allow to boil for one minute undisturbed. The mixture will be thick and start to turn a little clear. Remove from heat.
Stir in the soy creamer and soy margarine. Whisk until margarine is melted and everything is fully combined. Allow the lemon curd to cool to room temperature in the saucepan. Transfer to a jar and refrigerate.

Fried Pies
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 tsp.sea salt
1 tsp.baking powder
⅓ cup non-hydrogenated vegetable shortening
1 cup water
1 Tbsp. bourbon (I didn't have bourbon, so I used rum)
2 cups canola oil, for frying
2 Tbsp. sugar, for sprinkling over the cooked pies

Pie Glaze
4 cups powdered sugar
1 tbsp powdered soy milk
Enough soy creamer to make a liquid consistency glaze

Combine ingredients in a bowl right before you start frying the pies.
Set aside.

Instructions for the fried pies
Sift together the flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder in a large mixing bowl.
Cut in the shortening. Pour the water and bourbon into the dry mixture. Stir to combine. Lightly knead the dough to form a thick dough ball. Let the dough rest for 10 minutes.
Separate the dough into 12 equal-sized balls. Lightly flour a clean surface and roll out one dough ball into a 5-inch circle.
Place one rounded tablespoon of lemon curd in the center of the circle. Lightly spread it around, leaving plenty of room around the edges (I didn't spread the curd around...I wanted a lot of flavor in the middle).
Fold half of the circle over and press edges to seal. Crimp the edges with a fork and transfer the pie to a plate. Repeat with the other 11 dough balls.
Cover the plate with plastic wrap and place the uncooked pies in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes to chill.

To cook, heat 2 cups of canola oil in a large sauté pan (I used a deeped pot because the bubbling oil scared me). Heat for about 10 minutes, or until the oil reaches 375 degrees—you can test the temperature with a metal candy thermometer.
When the oil is hot, place as many pies into the pan as will fit without touching each other. Fry for about 1-3 minutes on each side, or until golden brown (could happen in less than a minute, so watch them!).
Remove the pies from the hot oil using a metal slotted spoon. Allow to drain on a paper-towel-lined plate. Sprinkle pies with sugar while they’re hot (or dip entire pie in the glaze) and set on parchment paper or plate to cool. Repeat with the rest of the pies.

My meyer lemons from the backyard
So pretty
Grated lemon peel
The ingredients for the lemon curd and pie crust
Mixing the curd
Lemon curd on the stove
The lemon curd starts to thicken
One of my cathrinholm it.
Pie crust dough
Dough ball
Rolling out the dough
Filling the pies
Pies ready to be chilled in the refrigerator
Frying up the pies
Pies are done when golden brown
This is the reason to glaze they look purdy.
Ready for the giving....I ate I must give the others away!

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