Thursday, April 10, 2014

Cubicle kitchen: PB&J Hand Pies

Yesterday I would normally have run a few miles on the treadmill and then gone to dinner at Tarka with my dad.  But he's out of town this week at a work conference, so despite still dreaming of the food in 'The Lunchbox', no Tarka for me, just a couple of miles on the treadmill and a yoga class.  Hopefully that will just make the aloo gobi taste that much better next week.

I still envy those hot, delicious lunches being delivered to the office workers in the film.  My lunches are most certainly not anything a coworker would trade me an apple and a banana for a share of.  But maybe Saajan would offer me a spoonful in exchange for a baked good?

While the complex dabbawala system is norm in India, on this side of the world, I feel like peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are one of the staples of the American lunch, at least for kids.  I'm not sure I actually ever had one for lunch, I'm more of a savory lunch person.  But I have had my fair share as afternoon snacks or dessert.  So when I was putting these tiny little hand pies together, I decided to go with this traditional flavor combination.  They look so cute, and are just the right size for dunking in a mug, whether it's a mug of coffee at the klatch or a mug of cold milk.

PB&J Hand Pies
Makes about a dozen


  • Jiffy Pie Crust Mix, plus water*
  • About 1/8 cup jam (I mixed grape and blackberry)
  • About 1/8 cup creamy peanut butter
  • Egg wash or water (for sealing edges)
  • Optional: sugar for sprinkling on top

You can, of course, use your favorite recipe for crust from scratch, or buy a refrigerated crust that's already rolled out.  This recipe uses the same amount of crust meant to make a double-crusted pie (top and bottom).


  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Prepare pie crust dough as directed.  Divide in half and roll out on a floured surface to about 1/8-1/4" inch thickness, a little thinner than a normal pie crust.  Using a 2 1/2" cookie cutter, cut out as many circles (or another shape) as possible.  Repeat on the other ball of dough.  Gently re-roll the scraps and repeat.  Remember: you need to have an even number of circles.
  3. On half of the circles, place 1/2 a teaspoon of peanut butter and 1/2 a teaspoon of jam in the center.  Resist the urge to add too much, or it will make a mess when baking.
  4. For each hand pie, brush an egg wash around the edges and place an un-filled circle on top, pressing to seal.  Use a fork to crimp the edges further.  Make a small slit on top for hot air to escape while baking.
  5. Place the hand pies on a parchment-lined cookie sheet.  If desired, brush the tops with egg wash and sprinkle with sugar.
  6. Bake for about 20 minutes, when the crust starts to turn golden at the edges.
  7. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

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