While we’re on the subject of neglecting foods/ingredients (see previously: chocolate), pie has been utterly passed over in my kitchen this summer. Why? Not for any particularly noble reasons, but mainly because pie does requires time and care. Pie is commitment, whereas there are a plethora of other ways to use up fruit that are much more easygoing. (I’m looking at you, cobbler.)
But I got my act together for the Fourth to make some patriotic red raspberry and blueberry hand pies, which, by the way, are essentially the pastry form of a personal pizza. Genius. They’re also an ode to all the crust-lovers out there, as the ratio of crust: filling is most definitely skewed towards the former.
I made these on an impulse, before getting overwhelmed by all the Pinterest-y perfect red, white, and blue concoctions out there, and somehow managed to shoot down my typical scruples about such a recipe– too fussy? (who am I kidding, this is a baking blog, after all), too much crust? (not a bad thing), all too likely to drive me crazy striving for perfectly formed and crimped pies? (perhaps, but I just accepted defeat in the form of misshaped pies). Glad I did, since these were new winners in my book that even passed the patriotic test.
Berry Hand Pies
adapted from Bon Appetit, July 2013
As noted, hand pies definitely have more crust and less filling than traditional pie, so all the more reason to master your skills of making great homemade pie dough.
I made 1 1/2 the recipe and used 2 cups blueberries and 1 cup raspberries (see footnote).
Pie Crust (makes enough for 6 hand pies)
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2″ pieces
Around 1/2 cup ice water
Stir together flour, sugar, and salt in a large bowl. Toss the butter cubes into the flour mixture. Using your fingertips or a pastry cutter, rub or cut butter into flour until the texture of very coarse meal. You should still have some large clumps and flakes- don’t overwork the dough. Add 1/4 cup ice water and stir the dough together with a rubber spatula, adding more water if dry, until dough comes together. Form into a square, wrap in plastic, and chill until firm, about 2 hours.
Crust can be made 3 days ahead. Keep chilled. Let stand at room temperature 15 minutes before rolling out.
Pie crust, above, chilled
All-purpose flour (for dusting)
2 cups blueberries (about 10 ounces)*
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 large egg, whisked with 1 teaspoon water
1 tablespoon raw sugar
Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Roll out dough on a floured surface to a 15 x 12 inch rectangle. Cut into 6 rectangles.
Toss blueberries, lemon zest, lemon juice, sugar, and salt in a medium bowl. Brush edges of rectangles with water; mound some blueberries in the middle of one side of each. Fold dough over, and use a fork to seal the edges. Place on the prepared baking sheet, brush each with egg wash, and sprinkle with raw sugar. Cut slits in tops with a sharp knife.
Bake hand pies, rotating sheet halfway through, until juices are bubbling and pastry is golden brown, 35-40 minutes (juices will run onto parchment). Transfer to a wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.
*As noted above, I used a mix of blueberries and raspberries. You can use any combination of blueberries, raspberries, and/or blackberries (maybe slice them if they’re large).