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Tuesday
Sep102013

Blueberry Hand Pies

 

A few years ago I made Slab Pie, which could feed a crowd because it was baked in a rimmed baking pan.  I made a blueberry Slab Pie for Labor Day weekend and it's still a great way to make a lot pie.  But what if you didn't want to have to slice and serve the pie from a pan?  Hand pies are all over the place now on food blogs and in cooking magazines and they make serving up pie a breeze, especially at cookouts and picnics. 

 

ceramic platter from Fifty One and a Half

 

This recipe is the perfect marriage between pie and my Blueberry Walkaway, which has a cream cheese filling. When I saw Deb's version of hand pies I thought the cream cheese added such a nice touch - I immediately thought of my Walkaway recipe and used that filling.  The blueberry filling and the cream cheese filling both have lemon, which add a nice little zing to the pies. 

I've used a 4-inch biscuit cutter, which I think is a nice size.  Any smaller and you can't really get a good amount of filling in there.  If you don't have a cutter, just take a sharp knife and cut out 4-inch squares.  

 

Blueberry Hand Pies 

 

for a printable recipe, click here

You will need a 4" square or round biscuit cutter

Ingredients:

for the dough:

  • 2 cups AP flour  
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1-1/2 sticks butter (12 tablespoons), cut into slices
  • 1/4 cup ice water plus 1 Tablespoon (approximately)

for the cream cheese filling:

  • 4 ounces of cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/2 large lemon, juiced
  • 1 tablespoon confectioner's sugar

for the blueberry filling:

  • 1 cup of fresh blueberries
  • zest of 1 large lemon
  • 1/2 large lemon, juiced
  • 1 tablespoon confectioner's sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch 

for the egg wash:

  • 1 egg
  • 2 teaspoons water

topping:

  • 2 tablespoons vanilla sugar or course raw sugar

 

Instructions:

Place flour and sugar in a food processor.  Pulse.  Add about half of the butter.  Pulse.  Add the rest of the butter. Pulse until the mixture turns into coarse crumbs. Through the feed tube, slowly add the ice water and pulse until the dough gathers up into a ball.  Do not add all the water at once - add it a little at a time.  As soon as the dough gathers up into a ball, stop adding water. If it doesn't after a few seconds, add a few more drops of ice water until it does.  Take the dough and gently flatten it into a disc and place it on a sheet of floured plastic wrap. Refrigerate for about 30 minutes.

While the dough is resting, make the fillings.  In a small bowl, combine the softened cream cheese with the lemon juice and sugar.  Blend thoroughly.

For the blueberry filling, in a medium bowl, toss the blueberries with the lemon zest, juice, sugar and corn starch and let sit for about 20 minutes. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. 

After the dough has rested, remove from the refrigerator and place on the counter, unwrapping the dough but keeping it on the sheet of plastic wrap.  Flour the top of the dough lightly and place another sheet of plastic wrap on top.  With a rolling pin, roll out the dough to about a 16"x11" square (about 1/8" thickness).  If the dough is too cold to roll out, just let it sit for a few minutes and try rolling it out again. Using a 4" biscuit or cookie cutter, cut out 6 pieces of dough. Set these on a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  

 

Place a scant tablespoon of cream cheese filling on each piece of dough, keeping a good inch all around the dough with no filling.  Place a heaping tablespoon of blueberries on top of the cream cheese (about 10 blueberries). Place the baking sheet in the fridge while you roll out othe dough tops.

Gather the scraps and roll out again, to about a thickness of 1/8 inch. Cut out three dough tops, or as many as you can.  Reroll the scraps and cut out more dough tops. Keep doing this until you have 6 dough tops.  You should have just enough scraps to do this.  With a sharp paring knife, cut a little vent in the dough tops - you can cut a little "x" shape or "v" shape. 

Remove the pies from the fridge. Beat the egg and the water in a little bowl and with a pastry brush, brush the egg wash all around the outside border of the pies. Take a pie top and, holding the edges, stretch it just a little bit so that it's a little bit bigger than the pie bottoms (this will accommodate the filling).  Place the pie tops on top of the filling and press down just a little bit, so the filling isn't so high.  Press the borders together and seal. Repeat with the other tops. 

Brush the pies with the egg wash and sprinkle the vanilla sugar on top. Bake for about 20 - 25 minutes, until golden brown. 

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Reader Comments (15)

Your photos are beautiful. The recipe sounds great. I like that you put a touch of lemon in the cheese filling. Very nice.

September 10, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTracy

Love this idea! I've done something similar with cherry pies using a star cutter before. I should make this soon before blueberry season ends.

September 10, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJoy @My Traveling Joys

Elaine,
Everything you do is not only beautifully done, but beautifully photographed. Oh, I almost forgot the best part, and delicious to eat. The Blueberry Hand Pies are another one for my "must try list." Blueberries, lemon and cream cheese, what could be better!

The Tuscan Pork in a Baguette recipe was so intriguing I just had to try it. It was delicious both times. Each time I added some homemade Basil Pesto. Wonderful flavor. ~Margaret, who lives in your hometown.

September 10, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMargaretAnnB

Wow, what a lovely idea, i love it, you are so talented. I have 15 lbs of frozen blueberries and what a great way to impress my friends. Looks great and I am sure will taste great too. Love you for sharing.
We had over a whole month of sunshine in Vancouver this summer, still sunny today Sept 10, and I went to pick the blueberries myself, the 2 plants that I chose were swarming with wasps, and I dare say, the insects knows best, the berries were super sweet, and luckily, i did not get stung, stealing their share. I always make crepes with blueberry sauce, lemon zest/juice and a little sugar with whipped cream, and a little sprinkle of vanilla sugar. My husband love it and one time, I saw him lick his plate. It was just too funny, because he is such a proper behave person, unlike me. It warms my heart that someone appreciates what I made. Recently i invited my neighbour over for pizza and then finished with the same blueberry crepe. Her grand-daughter said she doesn't like crepes, so I said that's fine, you don't have to eat it. We all had just one crepe with the same sauce, and the little girl reluctantly ate hers too, then her eyes lit up, when I finished mine, i start licking my plate, just for a joke, and she did too, and got a whack on the back of her head from her grandma, she retorted and pointed her finger at me, and we all had a good laugh.

September 10, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterfaye

mmm these look so delicious!! Already thinking about a possible blackberry version for after I've made these! Lovely photography as well!

What a great idea. Minature little pastries that would be an excellent dessert for dinner guests.

September 10, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJovina Coughlin

These are the most elegant looking hand pies I've seen, and they sound so good!

September 12, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMarie

It's true that these are some of the best looking pies I've seen. Will have to resist the urge to try making these tonight. Best leaving them until the weekend!

September 12, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterweb design belfast

YUMMY - will definitely be trying these! Thanks for sharing.

September 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterThe Twilight Chef

I know a great Italian restaurant in Naperville, IL that serves something like this, they are fantastic.

September 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBooker

I made these for a rehearsal dinner for a friend's wedding as a less sweet, and easily portable dessert option. They were a huge hit. I was afraid to make them to many days ahead, but it would have been fine. They aren't as picture perfect the second day, but they stay together beautifully. I also think you could make them ahead and freeze or refrigerate them and just pop them in the oven quick. I cheated and used store bought dough as I was running behind. I had the best success baking on my cast iron cookie sheets...perfection. They were also a huge hit the night after the wedding around the bonfire late at night. Thank you so much for the recipe and inspiration!

September 18, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterShannon

This looks really nice and the photos show very clear instructions step by step, so it seems easy to follow. I love this, the pies are so cute and beautiful, and it is more convenient to eat. Big pie sometimes is falling apart when cutting it. :)

September 19, 2013 | Unregistered Commenteryung@foodyoo.com

These look so beautiful. Am going to try these before it turns to fall here - which will probably be this week!

September 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJoanne from Colorado

Making these beauties today! Does it matter what kind of butter you use?

August 15, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterKristin

From The Italian Dish:

Kristin: Just regular, real butter!

August 15, 2014 | Registered Commenter[Elaine]

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