Russian Egg and Onion Hand Pies are a great snack or an appetizer. Add a salad and some veggies and it’s a full meal also. They are great to eat on the go and perfect to take to a picnic. Unique way to use up all the eggs from Easter.
Hand pies, also known as Piroshki, are a quintessential part of Russian cuisine. That old, tsarian, Russian cuisine. My mom rarely made piroshki as she didn’t like working with various kinds of yeast or even non-yeast doughs; and so all the different kinds of pies were some of my favourite foods since they were so rare. I remember reading Gogol’s “Dead Souls” when I was in my early teens and salivating at all the descriptions of food in the novel:
“I humbly invite you to have a bite to eat,” said the mistress.
Chichikov turned around and saw the table already laden with mushrooms, pirozhki, savory dumplings, cheesecakes, pancakes thick and thin, open pies with all kinds of fillings: onion filling, poppy seed filling, cottage cheese filling, smelt filling, and who knows what else.
“Short-crust pie with eggs!” said the mistress.
Chichikov moved closer to the short-crust pie with eggs and, having straightaway eaten slightly more than half of it, praised it. And in fact the pie was tasty in itself, but after all the fussing and tricks with the old woman it seemed tastier still.
“And some pancakes?” said the mistress.
Are you hungry yet???
Whenever I go to a Russian grocery store, I am met with piles and rows of pie temptations. There are hand pies with meat, cabbage, eggs, cherries, farmers cheese, apples. Those little hand pies are baked or fried or made with puff pastry or yeasty bread dough.
There are way too many varieties and they are way too addictive, so I usually close my eyes, my mouth and try to shuffle past them as quickly as possible. Sometimes the avoidnce works, sometimes I fail miserably.
Making piroshki or hand pies isn’t a quick affair. It requires patience and time and imagination. What kind of filling are you going to make? What kind of pastry is going to wrap all the meats or veggies or fruit or jam?
Once all those are decided then you get to work your magic, fashioning a perfect wrapper from some flour and eggs and butter. You can use ready made puff pastry or make your own. You can make a quicker short-crust pastry with flour and butter. Or you can go all the traditional way of making a yeast dough – my favourite kind of hand pies.
How to make Russian Egg and Onion Hand Pies
These Russian Egg and Onion Hand Pies are very traditional. They are made with my Universal No Knead Refrigerator Dough and a filling of boiled eggs, fried onion, and dill.
- Make the egg and onion filling by combining chopped boiled eggs, fried onion, and chopped dill.
- Divide the dough into 10 pieces, roll each one into an oval.
- Add the filling to the dough and shape the hand pies into oval parcels.
- Brush with egg wash and bake until golden brown.
The recipe makes 10 hand pies and you can eat them for breakfast, lunch, or dinner if paired with some veggies or salad. They are perfect to take to a picnic in the summer too. And they work amazingly well with utilizing all the Easter eggs.
Don’t forget to use my tips on How to bake perfect boiled eggs in oven!
What to do with leftovers
If you have a little bit of the filling leftover, then you can add a bit of mayo to the mixture. This will make a pretty good egg salad.
The rest of the universal no knead refrigerator dough can be use to make: pizza, cheese and ham pinwheels, or just plain dinner rolls.
Different filling variations for the hand pies
You can stuff almost anything into these hand pies. Here are some of the common options:
- Beef and Dill filling from my Beef and Dill Stuffed Crepes
- Mushroom and Dill filling from my Vegan Potato Cakes Stuffed with Mushrooms
- Mashed potatoes
- Mashed potatoes with cheese
- Mashed potatoes with friend mushrooms
- Chopped cooked chicken liver
- Cabbage and eggs from my Cabbage Pie
- Apple pie filling
- Cherries with a bit of sugar
- Strawberry Chia Jam
- Chocolate Dulce de Leche
Russian Egg and Onion Hand Pies
- 1/2 portion Universal No Knead Refrigerator Dough (or your favourite dough)
- extra flour for rolling the dough
For the filling
- 6 eggs (hard boiled)
- 1/2 cup chopped dill
- 2 medium onions
- oil to fry onion
- salt, pepper to taste
- egg wash to brush the pies (1 egg + 1 tablespoon of water whisked)
- Prepare the Universal No Knead Refrigerator Dough. You'll need to use half to make 10 hand pies. You can use the rest for pizza.
- Finely chop the onion and fry on medium heat in a little bit of oil until the onion is dark brown colour. No need to caramelize. Keep the heat medium and stir frequently. Will take about 10-15 minutes.
- Chop the boiled eggs.
- Mix the eggs, dill and onion. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Preheat the oven to 375F.
- Divide the dough into 10 portions.
- Roll each portion into about 6"x5" ovals. Sometimes it's easier to stretch the dough with hands after it was initially rolled a bit.
- Place heaping spoons of the filling in the middle and close the edges around it, crimping them together and making an oval pastry.
- Place on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper seam down.
- Brush with egg wash.
- Bake for about 20 minutes at 375F. Then increase temperature to 400F and bake for another 10 minutes. I like to lightly brush with oil at that point just to get a nice golden colour and sheen but it's not necessary.