Articles & Recipes

Gluten-Free Strawberry Basil Hand Pies

July 20, 2018

The combination of strawberries and fresh basil in a pie might strike you as odd, but basil is a member of the mint family, which often pairs beautifully with fresh fruit in desserts. In these pies basil plays two roles: the chopped herb is tossed with juicy strawberries for the filling, while fresh whole leaves are steeped in sweet melted chocolate for a mildly seasoned sweet glaze. Gluten-free comfort food, perfect for summer!

Ingredients Makes 16 mini-pies

3⁄4 cup heavy or whipping (35%) cream 175 mL
10 fresh basil leaves 10
1 cup chopped white chocolate 250 mL
21⁄2 cups diced strawberries 625 mL
2 tbsp chopped fresh basil 30 mL
1⁄4 cup granulated sugar 60 mL
2 tbsp cornstarch 30 mL
2 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice 10 mL
1 recipe Hand Pie Dough (see below) 1
1 large egg, lightly beaten with 1 tbsp 1
HAND PIE DOUGH (makes enough for 12 to 16 hand pies)
3 cups all-purpose flour 750 mL
1 tbsp granulated sugar 15 mL
1 tsp baking powder 5 mL
1⁄2 tsp salt 2 mL
7 oz cold unsalted butter, cubed 210 g
2⁄3 cup cold buttermilk, divided (see Tip) 150 mL


  • 5-inch (12.5 cm) round cutter
  • 2 baking sheets lined with parchment paper
  • Fine-mesh sieve
  • Food processor
  1. White Chocolate Basil Glaze: In small saucepan, bring cream to a simmer over medium heat. Add whole basil leaves, pressing with a spoon to release their flavor. Remove from heat, cover and set aside to steep for 15 minutes.
  2. Strawberry Basil Filling: In a medium bowl, toss strawberries with chopped basil, sugar, cornstarch and lemon juice.
  3. On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to slightly thicker than 1⁄16 inch (2 mm). Using cutter, cut into rounds and place on prepared baking sheets, spacing apart. Reroll scraps as necessary.
  4. Brush edges of rounds with egg wash. Place about 2 to 21⁄2 tbsp (30 to 37 mL) filling in center of each circle. Fold circles in half, enclosing filling. Pinch together edges to seal and crimp with the tines of a fork. Brush tops with egg wash.
  5. Place pies on baking sheets in freezer for 30 minutes. Position oven racks in upper and lower thirds of oven and preheat oven to 375°F (190°C).
  6. HAND PIE DOUGH: In food processor fitted with the metal blade, pulse flour, sugar, baking powder and salt to combine.
  7. Scatter butter overtop and pulse several times, until pieces are the size of peas.
  8. Drizzle half the buttermilk over flour mixture and pulse 4 to 5 times to combine. Add more buttermilk 1 tbsp (15 mL) at a time, pulsing after each addition, just until dough begins to hold together in moist clumps (you might not need all the buttermilk).
  9. Transfer to a large piece of plastic wrap and shape into a ball. Flatten into a disk and wrap tightly in plastic. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour
For maximum freshness, fresh basil is best used within a few days of purchase.
If you don’t have buttermilk, substitute 2⁄3 cup (150 mL) cold milk mixed with 1 tsp (5 mL) white or cider vinegar. Set aside at room temperature for 5 minutes before using in recipe.


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