Strawberry Hibiscus Cardamom Handpie

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I love a good hand pie that can be eaten on the go. 


Come May, I start using all the spring and summer fruits to make hand pies. Today I am sharing a Strawberry Hibiscus Cardamom Hand Pie — with the flakiest homemade pie crust and a sweet-tart filling made with fresh strawberries, dried hibiscus and ground cardamom.

Strawberry, Hibiscus, Cardamom Handpie

Strawberries are popping up everywhere right now. They last until October, which is absolutely bliss for me, as they are one of my favorite fruits. Growing up in Mumbai, strawberry season was short lived — barely two months in a year.


Strawberries invoke all kinds of memories for me. My fondest is of my mom giving us in-season strawberries and whipped cream as dessert. She would make strawberry ice cream, strawberry milk shakes and simple vanilla cakes with fresh strawberries on top.

Strawberry, Hibiscus, Cardamom Handpie

When my kids were in their peanut butter-and-jelly sandwich years, their favorite jam was none other than strawberry — not store-bought, but homemade. I loved playing around with flavors: I would make strawberry chocolate jam, strawberry rose (my favorite combination!), strawberry cardamom, and strawberry hibiscus.


Strawberry Hibiscus Jam is one of my most popular flavors. When made with in-season strawberries that are sweet like candy, combined with dried hibiscus, which imparts a tart flavor, it is simply sublime. (You can find the recipe in my cookbook, “Mumbai Modern.”)

Strawberry, Hibiscus, Cardamom Handpie

Hibiscus is an annual herbaceous plant that grows hibiscus flowers, which are shaped like a trumpet. They come in various colors, but the signature color that I grew up with was a stark, bright red that can paint drinks and almost neon pink. You can find dried hibiscus online or at a Mexican grocery store. Dried hibiscus makes a fantastic tea, especially iced tea in the summers. Or use it to make desserts as well.


These hand pies start off with a simple compote, made with strawberries, dried hibiscus, sugar, lemon juice and a bit of cornstarch. I also add ground cardamom to lend a floral note. The compote is completely cooled in the fridge before we form the hand pies.

Strawberry, Hibiscus, Cardamom Handpie


Strawberry, Hibiscus, Cardamom Handpie

Components of the Strawberry and Hibiscus Compote:

  • Fresh strawberries: I use in-season strawberries for the juiciest, sweetest taste to the hand pies.
  • Dried hibiscus: is added to the compote, and lends a tartness to the compote
  • Cardamom: Along with the hibiscus, cardamom adds floral notes, along with a tad sweetness as well.
  • Granulated sugar: Adds the right amount of sweetness. This compote is not overtly sweet.
  • Cornstarch: Helps to thicken the compote
  • Lemon juice: adds acidity as well as helps to thicken the compote with the pectin in lemon juice.


For the pie dough, I add apple cider vinegar and ice cold water to flour and bits of butter. Those bits of butter, when melted, create air pockets, resulting in a flaky dough. I learned this trick many years ago when I took an extensive pie class from the now-closed Tante Marie’s Cooking School in San Francisco. 

Strawberry, Hibiscus, Cardamom Handpie

The dough and unbaked hand pies frequently go into the refrigerator or freezer so that they can be handled more easily. Egg wash is used inside to seal and on top for a beautiful golden brown crust.



Once baked and cooled, the hand pies are given a drizzle of strawberry icing, thus enhancing the strawberry flavor. It’s made with freeze-dried strawberry powder; you can buy it online or make your own by pulverizing freeze-dried strawberries in a blender. I usually get my freeze dried strawberries from Trader Joe’s and I grind it finely in a high speed processor, and strain it.


If you want to simplify the recipe, you can use a basic powdered sugar icing instead, or even skip the icing entirely in favor of a sprinkling of turbinado sugar. Similarly, the decoration is optional, but how can anyone resist a pretty pink pastry with sprinkles on top?

Strawberry, Hibiscus, Cardamom Handpie

Some other fun recipes on my blog with Strawberries and hibiscus are below:

Strawberry and Pistachio Ice Cream Macarons

Strawberry Curd Brownie Bites with Italian Meringue

Strawberry Jasmine Green Tea

Strawberry and Hibiscus Snickerdoodles

Strawberry and Hibiscus Shrub Spritzer


If you do make any of these recipes, please do nor forget to tag #thejamlab on Instagram and/or share it.


Hope you all are enjoying these longer beautiful sunny days!




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