Total time 45 minutes
Makes 12 dessert-sized hand pies
Fillings should be chilled when they are stuffed into the pastry, so Piper Davis usually makes them the night before she bakes and serves the pies. Serve these warm from the oven with small bowls of sweetened whipped cream on the side, for dipping.
6 oz bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
½ cup heavy cream
3 lb rough puff pastry (or 1 sheet Grand Central U-bake puff pastry), chilled
1 egg, separated
1 tbsp water
The night before, make the ganache. Place chocolate in a small bowl, and pour scalded cream over it. Let sit for 1 or 2 minutes, then stir until the mixture is smooth. Refrigerate overnight, or until chilled through.
About 2 hours before baking, bring the ganache to room temperature, so that it can be scooped when you form the hand pies.
Make the pies. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line two sheet pans with parchment paper, and set aside.
Roll the dough into a 12-by-20-inch rectangle on a lightly floured board. Using a large, sharp knife or a pizza cutter, trim the edges of the dough so they’re square. Cut the dough rectangle in half lengthwise, then cut each strip into six equal pieces, so you have a total of twelve dough rectangles that are about the same size. (Final size will depend on how much dough you started with.)
Whisk egg white, water, and salt together in a small bowl, reserving the yolk, and use a pastry brush to lightly paint the egg white mixture around the edges of each rectangle. Place 2 tbsps ganache in the center of the bottom half of each rectangle.
Fold the top half of each rectangle over the ganache, so that the edges meet. Seal each rectangle using the sides of your hands, then use the floured tines of a fork to crimp and reinforce the seal. Trim the edges with a sharp knife, then slice a steam vent in the top of each hand pie. Whisk the egg yolk into the egg white mixture, brush the pies with egg, then bake for 20 minutes. Reduce the heat to 350 degrees and bake another 5 to 10 minutes, until the pies are deep golden brown.
Note: Pies should be cold when they go into the oven. You may want to refrigerate softening dough during folding, before sealing, and/or before brushing with egg.