Begin heating shortening or vegetable oil for frying. Use a heavy saucepan (Dutch oven is preferred) and fill at least 4” deep with oil. Heat the oil until the temperature reaches and maintains 375°F.
Place chopped strawberries, rhubarb, sugar and cornstarch in a saucepan and cook over medium heat until the mixture breaks down and begins to simmer. Reduce heat to low and continue cooking for approximately 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally until mixture is a jam-like consistency with small pieces of fruit. Remove from heat and set aside.
Prepare pie crusts. If using pre-made crust, remove from packaging. Unroll crust just before you are ready to cut so that it doesn’t dry out. The crust should be thick enough that it doesn’t fall apart during cooking. For pre-made crusts, do not roll any thinner than they came in the package. If you are using homemade pie crust - roll crust to about ⅛” thickness. Use a bowl or biscuit cutter (3.5-inch diameter used here) to cut circles from the dough. Gently gather together any scraps and re-roll to cut out additional circles.
Lay out crust circles on a lightly floured surface.
Spoon about ⅛ cup of strawberry rhubarb filling into the center of the circle.
Brush a bit of water around the edge of the circle to help the sides seal. Fold the pie crust in half to form a crescent shape. Press down (work from the outer edge in) the edges and crimp with your fingers (or a fork).
Gently drop one or two pies at a time into the hot oil. Do not move the pie around very much while it is frying. After 2-3 minutes, gently turn the pie over in the oil. The hand pies are heavier than most things we deep fry and they will spend most of the cook time floating toward the bottom of the pot. When the crust is golden brown on both sides, remove from the oil with a slotted spoon.
Place cooked hand pies on several paper towels or brown paper bags to soak up the excess oil.
Continue cooking the remaining hand pies.
While hand pies are still warm, whisk together powdered sugar, milk, and corn syrup until completely combined.
Brush glaze over both sides of the pies and place on a cooling rack to dry.
Serve warm (a little messy!) or once the glaze has dried.
Best if eaten right away. Leftover hand pies can be stored in an airtight container on the countertop or in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. Reheat in the oven or in a toaster oven for best results.When you piece together the scraps of crust to roll out a couple more pie crust, really try to compress the layers together well. In the hot oil, those layers tend to flake apart - they taste delicious but too many layer could make for a really wonky hand pie.