Rhubarb and strawberry hand pies with rose, vanilla and creme de cassis



One must always be careful of books and what is inside them, for words have the power to change us

~ Cassandra Clare ~

I have been slowly drowning in memories of study years lately. Not in the nostalgic time gone by kind of way, but recalling times when few hours of rest wouldn’t get in a way of life.

I am only saying this as for my latest venture (a.k.a. cookbook, which you may have seen going live last week) I may have sacrificed perhaps too many hours of precious sleep in recent weeks. Ever since, no matter how much time I spend with eyes closed, I can’t shake off the hanging shroud of lethargy, and even though my faith in coffee has been strengthened, this state of neither awake nor asleep isn’t going away.

Whilst I am useless at doing just about anything these days, it gives a chance to give into thirst for written word, to spend days going through books I’ve been yearning to open while other endeavours kept me occupied. After all, it is true that:  

the secret to a well balanced life in a cup of tea in one hand and a book in the other.

Or so I would like to believe.

My latest obsession is “S” by J.J. Abrams & Doug Dorst. Those are not my notes there gracing pages, but the way the whole book is written, with letters, cards, maps hidden within to discover as you read. I won’t give any more details, but it’s one of those books that is an adventure in itself to read.

To acquire a habit of reading is to construct yourself a refuge from almost all the miseries of life

A good book deserves something sweet on the side. Something to bite in while diving into a new world, like little hand pies with gifts of spring. This early in season, when strawberries are everywhere but haven’t yet reached their full flavor and need a little bit of love to shine, I like tossing them with rhubarb in all sorts of treats.

Within these pies, they are bound by crème de cassis, my favorite berry liquor, fresh vanilla and a touch of rosewater. Marinated till release their juices, then sealed and roasted till syrupy filling begins to burst out of the case.

Needless to say, they are my treats of choice while I journey through this book and perhaps till more summery berries will reach markets nearby, or a new book will ask for a different kind of treat to go along.

Happy week to you all and if you have moments to spare and books are your kind of cup tea, what are you now reading?

5.0 from 6 reviews
Rhubarb and strawberry hand pies with rose, vanilla and creme de cassis
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Rose, vanilla and creme de cassis bound rhubarb and strawberries sealed in buttery pastry cases.
Recipe type: baked sweets
Serves: 4-6
  • 2 cups/ 250 g all purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar plus extra for sprinkling
  • 1 orange zest
  • pinch of salt
  • 8,2 oz/ 235 g butter
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 3 medium rhubarb stalks, diced
  • 5 oz/150 g strawberries, diced
  • 3 tablespoons crème de cassis
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon rose water
  • ½ teaspoon corn-starch
  • 1 vanilla pod, seeds scraped out
Egg wash
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon mik
  1. Toss all ingredients for filling together, except for corn starch and let marinate in the fridge for a few hours.
  2. Then drain all the liquid and pour it into a small sauce pan, then cook it till a few tablespoons of syrup remain.
  3. Stir in the corn-starch and mix again with rhubarb and strawberries.
  4. To make the crust in the food processor combine flour, orange zest, salt and sugar. Add cubed butter and blend for about 15 seconds till you have breadcrumb like texture. Add the egg and continue to blend till the dough sticks together, for another 15 seconds or so (if it doesn’t add a teaspoon or two of cold water).
  5. Remove from the food processor, press together, wrap in cling film and place in the fridge to rest for at least 30 minutes.
  6. Pre heat the oven to 200C/400F.
  7. Beat egg with milk and set aside.
  8. Roll out the pastry and cut out even circles (or squares) about 2 inches/5 cm wide.
  9. Place some of the filling in the centre, brush sides with egg wash and place the other circle on top, sealing the side with the tip of a fork.
  10. Transfer to a baking paper lined tray and chill in the fridge for 20 minutes.
  11. Then prick a few holes with a tooth pick, brush with egg wash, sprinkle with sugar and bake for about 20 minutes till the pastry is golden brown.
  12. Let it cool on the rack for 10-15 minutes before serving.

50 thoughts on “Rhubarb and strawberry hand pies with rose, vanilla and creme de cassis

  1. I am glad to hear that your book is finished but sorry to hear that you have put your body through torment and lack of sleep to get there. I think one of your delightful rhubarb and strawberry hand pies with a very large refillable cup of Jo, just might do the trick to help your recovery.

  2. Oh, my sweet friend, I’m so sorry to hear about your exhausted body. Your passion and dedication to your work are admirable, but you simply MUST give your body and mind some time to rest.
    Your hand pies are beautiful ♥

    • Thanks Becca, that’s the trouble with us workaholics, don’t realize it’s time to stop till really pass the time :)

  3. When you burn the candle at both ends for too long, exhaustion settles in. Take care of yourself so you can make more of these wonderful hand pies. My father loved strawberry rhubarb anything and he would have loved one of these for dessert – or breakfast.

    • I keep reminding myself to always give proper rest, but keep getting carried away, though these for breakfast are a great idea :)

  4. Girl, you’ve done a great job!!!! With those beautiful hand pies as well! Love the rhubarb-strawberry combo. Take care…:) ela

  5. Your pretty hand pies look very tempting and must taste wonderful. A divine treat!

    Lovely pics!



  6. Ooh, lovely! I’m super excited to see the strawberries emerge from winter hibernations, aren’t you? And these little pies are the perfect way to eat them–besides by the handful. :)

  7. These hand pies are just too adorable. Rhubarb and strawberry pie is in my top 3 favorite pies. The extra delicate flavors are wonderful too. Curious about this book you are reading.

    • That book is quite incredible, but can’t really describe without ruining the surprise :)

  8. Congratulations on your new cooking book!
    I can imagine that you feel exhausted after all this effort but for sure happy as well for ” mission accomplished ” :)
    The rhubarb pie looks wonderful, love the addition of Cassis.

  9. My senses are going crazy right now with all of the smells and flavors in these pies!!! These are beyond good!

  10. I totally fell in love with these little pies as you described them! What a lovely idea to match strawberries with rhubarb … and I love the way the juice oozes through the pastry. Just beautiful!

  11. I totally agree that something sweet goes so nicely with a good book. These hand pies look wonderful and that picture of the ruby red strawberries is beautiful!

  12. I’m sorry that you have been having trouble sleeping…I have the same problem and it makes even thinking hard sometimes. Your little hand pies look delicious and I’m sure they are.

  13. What a beautifully thoughtful and lovingly photographed article. I am so sorry to hear you are fatigued, but it is, as they say, all for a good cause! Your work is really inspiring. Best to you!

  14. I’m so sorry to hear you’re feeling tired dear! I hate being in that state as well. Anyway, it’s going to be worth it in the end because I’m pretty positive that the new cookbook will be fantastic. Hang in there!
    Also, a big mug of coffee,a good book and one of these hand pies sound like heaven to me right now. They look delicious and the shots are gorgeous!
    Happy Sunday! x

  15. Recovering from overwork is no fun! Enjoy some downtime for a good long while — it takes time to recharge batteries. Of course these great hand pies will speed things along! Good stuff — thanks.

  16. Aaw, sorry to hear about that you’re feeling tire..hopefully you get some downtime and are able to catch up on some rest soon. These hand pies look gorgeous though and I love the rhubarb combination with strawberries!

  17. Beautiful pictures !
    Thank you for your visit on our blog :)
    I discovered your artistic and gastronomic world with joy !
    A moment of pure happiness :)
    Soon, Sandy

  18. These little pies look amazing! The very 1st sentence under instructions is slightly unclear, roast in oven before placing in fridge? How long & what temp? Thanks!!!

    • Hi Polly, thank you so much for noticing my mistake. I’ve just corrected the recipe :)

  19. I don’t know what “8,2 oz/ 235 g butter” means…16 oz butter? 8.2 oz? there’s a big difference between one cup and two. thanx

    • Hi Peg, the measurements are correct: it’s 235 grams of butter which in ounces equals to 8,2. I hope it helps, cheers!

  20. aha! I’ve figured out the problem…in the U.S. we use a decimal to denote “8.2” oz, but in Europe they/you use the comma (8,2)…that’s where I was getting confused as to whether it was 8 2-oz pieces of butter (16 oz) or 8.2 oz.
    thanks for your clarification

  21. Your rhubarb strawberry pie photos captured my interest and curiosity. Beautiful images and backgrounds. This recipe looks doable and I’m so excited to give it a try with my bestie who loves to bake. Hope you’ve recovered from your sleep deprivation and are on the right track now. Oh, and one last thing, the quotes you’ve used in this article are so touching and meaningful to a book lover, much appreciated.

  22. I wish to amend that last post because I see that you indeed describe the fruit preparation (my apologies) and the pastry size. Please ignore my post.
    My oversight entirely.

    • Hi Tom, thank you for your remarks, there’s always room for improvement, I will keep them in mind. Cheers :)

  23. Can’t wait to make these yummy little pies. My husband is recovering from
    Minor surgery and is looking for some extra TLC. So pie it is!

  24. hi. I’m interested in making your strawberry Rhubarb tarts. Can you please clarify, are you saying the tarts are only 2 inches in diameter? That is very tiny. Like the size of a cookie. I just want to be sure of size before making the recipe. Thanks in advance for your help.

    • Hello Paulette, these tarts are indeed very tiny, about 2 inches, but they can be easily made a bit larger if needed.

  25. OMGosh, one weekend in September I am going to make these rhubarb strawberry pies, they look incredibly delicious, will share with friends on a picnic. thank you thank you!
    What is the name of your book and where can it be purchased?
    Have worn myself out several times too, hope you find the dedicated time to rest, possibly a stay away from home for a few days?

    • Hi Nanci, thank you so much for the sweet words. My book is called “L’art de la Table: taste of the Mediterranean” and I know it is currently on the way to US (it takes a long time to apparently), but it’s already available to pre-order from Amazon.

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