Dish: Sweet and savory hand pies to eat now

Beth Stallings, Columbus Crave
Handpies from Lineage Brewing

Regardless of what you call 'em-empanadas, hand pies, pasties-doughy pockets stuffed with sweet or savory fillings have become a bar and bakeshop staple.

On the Savory Side

Offering fried dough pockets filled with braised meats, vegetables and cheeses was a no-brainer for the owners of Lineage Brewing, says general manager David Day. The dish fit their always-create-something-new attitude. Since opening last spring, the Clintonville brewery has crafted 29 different styles of beer, and will continue to rotate its offerings, Day says. The global-inspired hand pies are no different, with scratch-made selections ranging from Indian-inspired, fragrant samosa-like fillings to Vietnamese-esque banh mi with savory pork (pictured here). All are stuffed inside fresh dough made by Dan the Baker. This winter, expect crisp and hearty pies filled with braised meats and cheese, including chicken pot pie. "It's switching as we become inspired," Day says. "I keep a little map in the kitchen, and we mark off different countries we've represented."

On the Sweet Side

The birth of Bake Me Happy's hand pie was twofold. First, owner Wendy Miller Pugh wanted to create an adult version of the classic Pop Tart. But she also needed to satisfy customers popping into her Merion Village bakery looking for something more portable than a slice of pie. "Plus, it's more marketable," she says. "It's a novelty. People love the nostalgia of it." Naturally, she started experimenting with strawberry filling and topped the crust with sprinkles. Soon flavors became more elevated to include blueberry lemon curd, cherry almond and pumpkin cream cheese. It's now a top seller on Fridays and Saturdays, the days she typically bakes hand pies. There is a science to a great hand pie, she adds. "Hand pies are a little more difficult because there has to be a balance of filling," Miller Pugh says. "The filling can get lost, so I try to pump up the flavor."