Strawberry Pretzel Salad: Two Ways

Strawberry Pretzel Handpies and Galettes

Today I bring you two recipes, the last ones of the summer. They’re reiterations of a dish I ate in church basements and birthday parties. At a beach in New Jersey once and at a middle school graduation. The strawberry pretzel salad.  My mother made it the night my sister said she was pregnant; it’s always been her favorite. It’s a dish that’s as economical as it is regional, as chimeric as it is delicious. A hodgepodge of flavors, strawberry Jell-O and crushed pretzels, a layer of sweetened cream cheese and set in a casserole dish. Salad in the loosest sense of the word. And here it is as a galette and as a handpie. For a different take on the dessert I ate by the bowlful, the taste of chlorine still on my lips from the three lazy months I could sit by the pool with no responsibility to keep me up at night.

Strawberry Pretzel Salad: as Handpies and Galettes

Strawberry Pretzel Handpies and Galettes

If you are unfamiliar with this dish, here is a pretty good version of it. The below two recipes are two sides of the same coin and can be made for any time of year. Frozen strawberries, while a good substitute, seem to yield a slightly thinner filling. 

For the Crust: Use this recipe for either of the below recipes

Ingredients:

  • 4 TB unsalted butter, very cold
  • 3 TB shortening, very cold
  • 1 ½ cup AP flour
  • ¼ cup white sugar
  • ½ TB pure vanilla extract
  • 2 to 4 TB ice water

Directions:

  1. In a food processor, pulse together butter, shortening, flour, almond meal, and white sugar until fats are pea-sized
  2. Add vanilla extract and pulse once or twice
  3. With motor running, pour water into feeding tube in a gradual stream until a dough forms. You may need additional couple teaspoon or two of ice water until dough clumps and begins to pull away from edges of the bowl
  4. Turn out onto a floured work surface and divide into two discs
  5. Wrap both discs in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes to rest

Ingredients for the Handpie/Galette filling: Use this recipe for either of the below recipes

  • 3 cups strawberries, roughly chopped and hulled
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • 1/8 cup dark beer (I used Yuengling)
  • 2 TB water
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 TB orange juice
  • A slurry of cornstarch (1 TB cornstarch whisked in 1 TB water) – do not make until cherries are reduced by half

Directions for the Handpie/Galette filling:

  1. In a medium sauce pan, combine strawberries, sugar, beer, salt, water, and juice, stir with a spoon to ensure liquid is covering everything
  2. On medium heat, allow for strawberries to release their juices and for sugar to dissolve
  3. Continue heating until juices simmer and reduce by half (during this time, whisk together your slurry)
  4. Reduce heat to low and vigorously whisk in the slurry
  5. Mixture will begin to thicken and continue thickening as it coo
Strawberry Pretzel Handpies and Galettes

Assembly of Handpies:

  1. Preheat your oven to 400*F
  2. Prepare baking sheets with parchment paper
  3. Take one disc of dough out of the fridge and roll out onto a heavily-floured work surface into a rough rectangle that is about 8” by 10” (this will vary slightly, so don’t stress it too much)
  4. Using a sharp knife, cut your dough into rectangles. For a guide, I used a 3”x4” index card, but you can measure with a ruler if you so choose
  5. With each rectangle, carefully place onto your prepared baking sheets. You should have 9 rectangles total (if using the very scientific Index Card Method)
  6. Now, re-flour your board and roll out your second disc of dough
  7. Measure and cut your rectangles out again, but do not immediately place on your sheets
  8. At this point, you will have to do three things in succession: make an egg wash to brush edges of the dough, spoon in some of your strawberry filling onto each rectangle (I’d say about 2 TB per pie, but this is based on preference mostly), and place second top dough layer on top
  9. Do this for each pie
  10. Crimp the edges of each pie with a fork, pressing slightly to seal
  11. Brush tops of pies with remaining egg wash and sprinkle with a little sugar
  12. Using a paring knife, cut a couple small nicks in the top crust to vent dough
  13. Bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown on the edges and tops
  14. Allow to cool completely before adding your topping
  15. Make a glaze of 4 oz softened cream cheese, 1 ½ cup confectioner’s sugar, and 3 TB milk – whisk until pourable but viscous. Pour over your handpies. Top each pie with crushed pretzel chunks
  16. Enjoy within 2 days for best taste and qualit
Strawberry Pretzel Handpies and Galettes

Assembly of Galette:

  1. Preheat your oven to 400*F
  2. Prepare 2 baking sheets with parchment paper
  3. Take disc of dough out of fridge and roll onto a heavily-floured work surface into a large circle about ¼ inch in thickness
  4. Spoon half of your strawberry into center and spread around the surface of your dough, leaving about a two-inch margin
  5. Make an egg wash and brush along your margin, crimp edges inward
  6. Repeat with second disc of dough
  7. Bake for 30-35 minutes until edges are golden brown
  8. Allow to cool completely before topping with your glaze (4 oz softened cream cheese, 1 ½ cup confectioner’s sugar, and 3 TB milk) and crushed pretzels
  9. Cut and serve immediately. Leftovers can be saved for up to two days. 

Strawberry Pretzel Handpies and Galettes
Strawberry Pretzel Handpies and Galettes
Strawberry Pretzel Handpies and Galettes
Strawberry Pretzel Handpies and Galettes
Strawberry Pretzel Galette and Hand Pies.jpg
Strawberry Pretzel Handpies and Galettes
Strawberry Pretzel Handpies and Galettes