A basic crust recipe is all you need to make sweet or savory hand pies. I have made apple cinnamon and a savory sweet potato & herb, both come out amazing for dinner parties as a side dish or dessert.
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 & 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
2 & 1/2 sticks unsalted butter (very cold and then cubed) - I use salted butter - choice is yours
1/3 cup all-vegetable shortening (very cold/or frozen and then cubed)
6-7 tbsp ice water
1 egg white
dash of salt/or sugar
filling of choice
In a food processor fitted with a plastic blade (you can use metal - it's just safer to use plastic!) pulse together flour, sugar and salt until well-combined.
Add the butter and shortening, pulse a few times until the butter and shortening pieces are evenly dispersed, with the largest pieces about the size of peas. Be careful not to over-mix.
Add the ice water, 5 tablespoons to start and pulse to combine until the dough is evenly moistened. Pinch a bit of dough together between two fingers, the dough should stick to itself not you. If the dough seems dry, add more ice water and pulse again. It should start to pull away from the sides of the food processor and form itself into a ball.
Transfer the dough ball onto a clean, well-floured surface and divide the dough in half. Gather each half and shape into a ball, then flatten slightly and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for about an hour.
When the dough is ready to roll, preheat oven (for small hand pies) to 350 degrees, 375 for larger ones.
Roll out dough, cut circles with small bowl, use about a tablespoon of filling in each, lightly pressing the edges together
After the cookie sheet is full of hand pies, using a fork press down on the open edges
Use a sharp knife to cut 3-4 slits in the top of each pastry in whatever design you choose - I like to cut 2 small slits along the top edge and 1 small slit in the opposite direction towards the front edge
Brush pastries with egg white using a rubber basting brush - the bristle kind might stick the pastry with holes, better to use rubber
Sprinkle salt (or sugar depending on your filling) in the very center overtop the slits
Bake 15-20 minutes (for small hand pies) 20-30 for larger ones - or until crust is flaky and golden brown