“Bakewell Pockets”: Raspberry-Almond Hand Pies
I must be crazy. Crazy for pie. That’s the only excuse I could have for turning on my oven and baking in my west-facing, un-air-conditioned apartment last Thursday night after a very warm, sunny day. Clearly, I’m insane. But I was leaving town for the weekend and I couldn’t let the beautiful red raspberries I bought at the farmers market go moldy in the fridge, all sad and neglected. So yes, I basically turned on the heat on an already hot July day to make sure those little berries didn’t go to waste.
When I gave two of these Bakewell Pockets to my sister and her husband (whom I was visiting in Portland over the weekend), I heard them fighting over them in the other room. Like children. “You had a bite of mine, so I get a bite of yours!” I, of course, considered this the highest of compliments. Desserts should bring joy, and these cute little pocket pies will definitely bring out your inner child.
Whimsical, yes, but also a little fancy, don’t you think? They would be a fabulous finish to a summer dinner party or picnic. These are some seriously buttery little pastries, but the tart raspberries are there to cut through the richness, the almond cream adds sweetness, and every bite is an absolute pleasure.
So what’s with the name? These pocket pies are based off a traditional British/Irish dessert known as a Bakewell Tart: a tart shell spread with a layer of raspberry jam and topped with almond cream. I took the concept and made it American: two squares of flaky pie dough enveloping a homemade raspberry compote and almond cream. Positively scrummy!
© Copyright 2011 Carly Sullivan, Tart to Heart
Yield: about 10 pocket pies
- 2 unbaked 9-inch pie crusts
- 1 lb raspberries
- 2 Tbsp granulated sugar
- 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 tsp almond extract
- 1 cup almond meal/flour
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 Tbsp milk
- 1 egg mixed with a splash of water (for egg wash)
- In a medium saucepan, combine the raspberries, 2 Tbsp sugar and lemon juice and cook over medium-high heat until the berries fall apart and the juices thicken. Set aside to cool.
- Meanwhile, roll out your pie dough to 1/4-1/8-inch thick. Cut out rectangles about 5×3-inches in size (I used the Wilton Mini Filled Pie Press that I bought at Sur la Table, but you can use a rectangular cookie cutter or trace around something of a similar size). Gently gather and re-roll dough until most of the dough is used and you have an even number of rectangles (so each one has a match). Place the dough on a baking sheet and chill in the refrigerator.
- To make the almond cream, combine the butter and 1/2 cup sugar in the bowl of your mixer and beat until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time and the almond extract and beat until well combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the almond meal, salt and milk and mix to combine.
- Remove the prepared pie dough from the refrigerator. If using the handy pocket pie press, place one piece of dough on one side of the press, if not, lay the dough flat on a baking sheet. Spread about 1 Tbsp of the raspberry jam onto the dough, leaving at least 1/2-inch border around the edges. Top with about 2 Tbsp of the almond cream. Brush the edges of the dough with the egg wash and lay a second piece of dough over the top (it helps to stretch the dough gently with your fingertips so it is a little wider than the bottom half, that way it can cover the filling). Seal together with your handy pie press or use the tines of a fork to crimp the edges all the way around. Repeat with the remaining dough, jam and almond cream.
- Once all the pockets are made, set the baking sheets in the refrigerator to chill again while the oven preheats to 350°F. When the oven is ready, remove the pies from the fridge and brush the tops with egg wash. Cut a couple vents in the top of each pie with a sharp knife. Sprinkle with raw sugar and sliced almonds, if desired.
- Bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes. Don’t be alarmed if the almond cream leaks out a bit (it happened to me!). Let cool at least 10 minutes and serve while still warm. Enjoy!