Apple-Peach-Raspberry Hand Pies (on the Grill!)

This post has taken me all week, and it’s hardly earth-shattering. It’s just been one of those weeks, a week of double-booking myself thinking that the week of the 20th is next week – isn’t it? It couldn’t possibly be half past June already.

There was a pie party this week, and I totally blew right past it. It fell to the bottom of the priorities list on a day that started with a totally impromptu stint on live TV – two spots talking about how to mix a proper Caesar, when the mixologist (who had flown in from Toronto) didn’t show up at the studio and I was the only one there (to set and style the food), wearing my gym shirt.
To recap: live TV. Gym shirt.

In the middle of a week of craziness was the highlight of it… I got to hang out and grill with Jann Arden. I totally did. And she’s every bit as hilarious and awesome in person. Can you tell? Obviously I’d never be mean enough to force-feed Jann Arden pie in real life. Not that it would ever be necessary – she seemed to have the same appreciation for food I do. Twinsies!

I admit I was panicked. I was cooking for Jann. I was meeting her for the first time. The kitchen looked like someone picked it up and shook it. I had a bunch of other stuff to toss on the grill, but I wanted to make pie. Pie on the grill. Totally possible, right? And so I made a batch of pastry, rolled it out, rummaged through overflowing drawers and cut it with the only thing I could find. The first batch I made with some leftover apple and peach slices I had sautéed in a little butter with brown sugar and cinnamon – this is worth doing intentionally to get rid of excess moisture out before stuffing the pastry. It will solve any runny pie problems, and intensify the fruit flavour. I chopped them up and added a big handful of raspberries.

For the second batch I sliced a white peach (totally not in season yet, but required for a photo last week) and tossed it with a few raspberries, blueberries and chopped strawberries. I tossed over a handful of sugar and a shake of flour and tossed everything together with my hands.

Pardon the photos – as I mentioned, I was in haste. Which means I totally winged it. You can, of course, make little hand pies using any kind of fruit filling – rather than roll the pastry and fit it into a pie plate, then pile in the fruit filling, you cut rounds and pile some filling into the middle of each, then fold it over and pinch it to seal, like a big peroghy. Cut slits in the top to let steam escape.

To bake them in the oven, place on a baking sheet and bake at 375F for about 20 minutes, or until the pastry is golden and the juices are starting to ooze out. To bake them on the grill, place them on a double thickness of foil and preheat your grill, with half the elements on, half turned off.

When the grill is nice and hot, put your pies on the side that’s turned off, and close the lid. This will trap the heat, creating an oven environment, and the pies won’t burn to a crisp on their bottoms. You can monitor the inside temperature with the thermometer on the outside, if there is one, and pretend you’re baking them. Check in on them often, but they should be just fine and turn golden and bubbly as if they were in the oven. If you want to give them a little smokiness, toss the remains of a plank on the hot side, and it will smoulder and infuse your pie with a little barbecue. This would lend itself well to peach pie, methinks.

Awesome pie. Awesome Jann. A perfect pairing.


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13 comments on “Apple-Peach-Raspberry Hand Pies (on the Grill!)

  1. Kalyn
    June 24, 2012 at 8:23 am

    The pies look delicious! I am in utmost awe of anyone who can make pastry crust.

  2. Cathy N
    June 24, 2012 at 9:07 am

    I love making hand pies. Everything about it is sensual. I’ve decided that I’m going to make this recipe today – it’s just that kind of day… rainy, cool… barbeque on, pies baking… mmmmm.

    Looks like you and Jann had a great time!

    Thanks for yet another great idea 🙂

  3. Lauren O.
    June 24, 2012 at 4:44 pm

    I’m so jealous that you got to meet Jann! I love her! An pies on the grill? That makes me very, very happy!

  4. Laurie from Burnaby
    June 24, 2012 at 6:56 pm

    How awesome that you got together with Jann!

  5. Melanie
    June 24, 2012 at 8:02 pm

    I just had a perfectly lovely salad – all full of vegetable goodness (and cheese) but now I want pie. PIE. Now. What are the chances I can wait this out???

  6. Nurse Jenn
    June 25, 2012 at 5:45 am

    BBQ pies … yummy! Thanks for the cool idea. Now only if I knew how to accommodate a family request for a nanaimo bar cheesecake … but not combined. Yeesh!

  7. Sue (London, ON)
    June 25, 2012 at 10:15 am

    Once again I live vicariously through you. Meeting Jann is so awesome. I am green with envy. So happy for you! And pies on the grill – awesome! Thanks Julie. If you see her again, tell Jann hi for me! I’ve seen her in concert more times here in London, Ont than I can count. Everyone cool lives in Calgary right?!!

  8. Jen
    June 26, 2012 at 8:34 am

    She is hilarious, at any time, eating pie, or not.

    Those look wonderful, and if I could make a pie crust, [I even fail at just add water ones] I would be in there like a dirty shirt at our BBQ.

    Jen @ Muddy Boot Dreams

  9. Jen @ Savory Simple
    June 26, 2012 at 10:01 am

    I love the photos! Hand pies are such a fun twist on classic pies.

  10. Alex
    June 28, 2012 at 5:20 pm

    You have the best job!!!

    • JulieVR
      June 29, 2012 at 8:27 am

      I know, don’t I? My house is a disaster though…

  11. A Canadian Foodie
    June 29, 2012 at 12:52 pm

    I am certain that Jann was equally as enamored with you!You would make a hilarious pair! I even love the title for the new show: Julie and Jan Laugh Through Lunch
    Or another idea – a new book of your combined favourite recipes … pick foods you both love or hate or one of each – and then tell the two stories …
    Just a joy to see the fun here – and your gym shirt. You look great!

  12. Lisa
    June 29, 2012 at 1:47 pm

    Those look so amazing! How’s a girl supposed to be running around in a bathing suit after kids all summer after scarfing down a batch of those?? (I would have to eat the whole batch.) How exciting about your week – looks like tons of fun!

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