I’ve been craving something like an individual hand pie – something with a lovely, flaky crust that melts in your mouth, along with a nice sugary crunch and rich syrupy fruit on the inside. I also wanted them to be small enough to have 1 – or maybe even 2! – with my afternoon cup of tea.
I ended up pulling from a couple of different recipes to make these small hand pies. The blueberry sauce came from Pioneer Woman Ree Drummond, and the crust from Baker by Nature Ashley Manila. Along with a couple of minor edits of my own, of course.
Instead of making my pies into a crescent shape, I wanted circles, so I used my 2.5-inch biscuit cutter to cut out the circles from my crust dough, two for each pie. I piled the blueberry sauce as high as I could on the bottom circles, and found when I slightly stretched the top circle it would go over the blueberries and be big enough to crimp down all around the edges with a fork.
A couple of fondant cutters cut out nice flower or star shapes to put on the top, though one needs to watch the time in the oven so they don’t get too dark. I don’t mind them a little toasty brown, but if I were serving them to afternoon tea guests, I might put tinfoil over the top for the last 5 minutes or so of baking.
The original recipe called for putting slits in the top, which I didn’t want to do, but rather wanted to feature the shapes on top. I was afraid that might mean I’d get a lot of seepage, but you can see from the photo below I had just a little bit of seepage, but certainly not a lot. They were all quite presentable, and that little bit of seepage certainly didn’t hurt the taste!
When I gave one to my husband to try, the first thing he said was how much he loved the crust. And it really is a lovely flaky crust, one that melts in your mouth, isn’t too sweet and goes great with the robust flavor of blueberries.
And that lovely golden brown color – I don’t know how anyone can resist that alone!
Blueberry Hand Pies
- 3 c. fresh blueberries
- 1/2 c. granulated sugar (for the blueberry sauce)
- 3 Tbsp. cornstarch
- 2 tsp. lemon zest and juice of 1/2 a lemon (I used a Tablespoon of elderflower cordial instead of lemon juice
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 2 c. all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 3/4 tsp. baking powder
- 1 and 1/2 Tbsp. granulated sugar (for crust)
- 2 sticks unsalted butter, cold, cut up into cubes
- 1/2 c. cold sour cream (preferably full fat)
- 1 egg + 1 tsp. water for the egg wash
- Coarse white sugar for sprinkling on top before baking
DirectionsFor the filling: Combine the blueberries and sugar in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and cook, stirring, until the sugar is melted and the berries have started to burst, or a few minutes. (You could hold back about 1/2 a cup of the blueberries to add at the end so you have more whole blueberries in the sauce.)
In a separate glass or measuring cup, stir together the cornstarch and lemon juice (or elderflower cordial, if you use some of that instead of lemon juice), until combined, then add it to the blueberry mixture. Add the lemon zest and vanilla last. Continue to cook until glossy and thickened, or 2-3 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool completely. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
For the crust: In a large bowl whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder, and sugar (I used the paddle of my stand mixer). Add the butter, working it into the dry ingredients in the mixing bowl with the paddle on medium high, just until it’s a coarse meal. The butter should still be in large, pea-sized pieces. (You can also use a pastry cutter, or your fingers to work in the butter.)
Then switch to a rubber spatula to stir in the sour cream. The dough will be very “shaggy” at this point, but turn it out onto a well-floured work surface and bring it together with a few quick kneads.
Shape the dough with your hands into a 10-inch log, then roll it out into a 10″ x 12″ rectangle. Dust both sides of the dough lightly with flour, and starting with the shorter end, fold it in three, like a letter. Flip the dough over, and roll it again into a 10″ x 12″ rectangle. Fold it in three again, then wrap the dough in cling film, and chill for at least 1 hour.
Once the dough has chilled, preheat the oven to 425° Fahrenheit. Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Roll out the dough into a large rectangle, and cut out 16 circles with a 2.5-inch biscuit cutter. Use small fondant cutters to cut out small flowers to decorate the top of the pies with.
To assemble the pies, put 8 circles on the prepared baking sheet, and mount up a good teaspoonful of blueberry sauce in the middle of the pies. Use your egg wash to brush all the way around the edges, then put a second circle of crust dough on the prepared pies. Use a fork to press along the edges, making sure the edges are well sealed.
Brush the top of each pie with the egg wash, then put the desired flower decoration on the top, brushing it with egg wash as well. Sprinkle liberally with coarse sugar.
Bake the pies for 20 minutes. Remove them from the oven, and let cool for 20 minutes before serving.
These are wonderful with a nice cup of Assam or other robust black tea. And it was hard to stop with just one, so plan for at least two apiece. That is, if you’re not serving a full three-course afternoon tea, but this is your primary tea treat.