Monday, July 06, 2009

Blueberry Hand Pies


Rebecca of Ezra Pound Cake and I had the honor of choosing the theme for this month's You Want Pies With That. We asked the participants to come up with a pie that reminds them of a "Taste of Summer". Summer can conjure up seasonal fruit or carnival foods, but it can also be about sunburns and bored kids. I was one of those bored kids.


The concept of over scheduled children driven around by a "soccer mom" didn't quite exist when I was growing up. My parents didn’t send us to camp or summer school. In fact, it was okay to leave children at home alone unsupervised for a few hours back then. My brothers and I would hang around the house and try not to destroy the house or each other.

My mom never let us have any junk food normally. But during the summer break we could occasionally go to the corner store and pick out something sugary. I always chose a Hostess Fruit Pie. I know it sounds gross and I am a bit ashamed to admit that I like it, but a 9 year old me thought it was delicious. [Note: Hostess Fruit Pies are commercially produced hand pies.]


So I decided to bake some miniature blueberry hand pies as a tribute to that childhood summertime treat.


Blueberry Hand Pies
(22-24 mini hand pies)

1 quantity of Flaky Pie Crust (see recipe below)

Blueberry Filling:
14 ounces blueberries
6 tbsp granulated sugar
5 tsp cornstarch
2 tsp finely grated lemon zest

Optional glaze:
1 egg, lightly beaten with 1 tbsp water
1-2 tsp granulated sugar

To make the filling:
Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well.

To assemble the hand pies:
Roll out your chilled dough to about 1/8-inch thick. Using a 4-inch round cutter, cut out 4-inch circles. (You can reuse the dough scraps once. Lay the scraps, side by side slightly overlapping and roll them between plastic wrap. Refrigerate dough for at least 15 minutes before cutting out more circles from the rolled scraps.) You should get about 22-24 circles.

Spoon about 1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons of the blueberry filling, leaving a 1/2-inch border. Brush the edges lightly with cold water (to help the dough stick) and fold dough in half. Using your fingers, press the border to seal it and then press the border using the tines of a fork. Refrigerate filled hand pies for 30-60 minutes.


To bake:
Preheat oven to 400F. If desired, brush the chilled turnovers with egg glaze and sprinkle lightly with sugar. Use a sharp knife to cut 3 steam vents into the top of each turnover. Bake at 400F for 15-20 minutes or until the pastry is lightly golden and the filling is bubbling. Let hand pies cool for 15 minutes before serving.

Flaky Pie Crust
(makes 20 ounces dough - enough pastry for 22-24 hand pies)

7 ounces (14 tbsp) unsalted butter, cut into 3/4 inch cubes
11 1/4 ounces (2 1/4 cups) bleached all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking powder
5 to 7 tbsp ice water
1 tbsp cider vinegar

Divide the 7 ounces (14 tbsp) of butter into 2 portions: 4.5 ounces and 2.5 ounces (9 tbsp and 5 tbsp). Refrigerate the 4.5 ounce portion and freeze the 2.5 ounce portion for at least 30 minutes.

Place the flour, salt and baking powder in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade. Process for a few seconds to combine.

Add the 4.5 ounces of (refrigerated) butter and process for about 20 seconds or until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add the 2.5 ounces of (frozen) butter and pulse until the frozen butter is the size of peas.

Add the 5 tbsp of ice water and the vinegar and pulse 6-7 times. Pinch a small amount of the mixture to see if it holds together. If not, add another 1 tbsp water and pulse 3 times. Try pinching again to see if it holds together. If not, add the final 1 tbsp water and pulse 3 times.

Divide the dough in half. Wrap each portion with plastic wrap and flatten into discs. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 2 days.



celestialcakes said...

Those look delicious! I can't wait to try this recipe! Whenever I do, I'll post it on my blog with a link back to yours :)

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Oh, they must taste wonderful!



Judy said...

These sound fabulous! I love anything blueberry.

Michelle said...

Gorgeous pies! I made apple hand pies last fall, but I just adore blueberries. I plan on making these soon!

Meeta K. Wolff said...

these are so perfect! especially since we are going mad over blueberries right now! soeren will love these!

Nicole Pearce said...

Just today I went to check on how the wild berries are coming along. The blueberries have just another week until they are ready. I see blueberry hand pies in my very near future. Thanks for the recipe.

Sharon said...

Oh I love Hostess Pies too! In fact, I look at them at the store and want to grab one. I definitely want to try these!

Katerina said...

Beautiful! I did not grow up on the hostess version, though I remember the Mcdonalds apple pies?

Juliana said... it! I will really try this recipe since I have a bunch of blueberries in mu refrigerator...yummie!

Madam Chow said...

My mom didn't buy junk food, either, but when I could get it, I would pick the cherry Hostess pies. These look sooo much better!

Valerie Gamine said...

I was a fan of the Hostess Apple pie.:) My pie dough never looks pretty. I can't seem to get the hang of the pinching technique. Your look lovely.
I made the salted p.b toffee cookies and they turned out beautifully! Thank you for posting the recipe.

Anonymous said...

Those look so good...mine always get hollow...too wet of a filling?

Debbie said...

"Hand Pies" are definately going on my "gotta try it someday" list.

Sara said...

Mmmm, this looks awesome! I loved those Hostess pies too, and this version looks absolutely delicious!

Trupti said...

those pies looks mouthwatering..lovely click

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Alpineberry Mary said...

John - It's possible that too wet of a filling creates too much steam between the filling and crust. But the vents should release the steam.

Anne said...

That looks wonderful! I need to try that pie crust, I've never made a version with vinegar.

Jen H said...

these look far more delicious that the prepackaged convenience store ones that I remembering buying when my mom would let us ride our bikes into town. Great job!

Alpineberry Mary said...

Anne - The acidity of the vinegar inhibits some of the gluten formation and makes the dough less elastic. Less elasticity means easier rolling and less shrinkage.

Amy of Sing For Your Supper said...

How cute these are!! And they look delicious!!


Jacque said...

Oooh, I love blueberry pie. Your version looks wonderful, and portable to boot!

Nice work!

Anonymous said...

My mom was more lenient than you. We had those pies all the time. I wouldn't eat one now but it brings back good memories...

Andrea said...

Do you think the sour cream pie crust would work on this?

Alpineberry Mary said...

Andrea - Yes, a sour cream pie crust would work here.

Mimi said...

Yum! Those look so good!

Thanks for the trip down memory lane. We had a wonder bread thrift store close to where I lived and we used to go there to get cherry and apple pies.

Your homemade pies look much better than the hostess pies. :0)

emiglia said...

I never had Hostess pies growing up, but I like the looks of these! I bet they're tons better than the mass-produced ones...

Mar Varela said...

Delicous pies, I love your perfect pies...
A kiss from Spain

Liz said...

Hello Mary, I love these pies, they are really cute. I wanted to ask you if it would be okay to add your blog to my blogroll, I hope it is! Thanks for your woderful recipes, Liz.

Jen said...

I just came across your blog & have spent the last hour (maybe 2), exploring it. INCREDIBLE! I've just recently, really started baking & I'm having a ball. There are so many wonderful baking blogs that are full of inspiration, but yours is just extra special! I plan on making "Hand Pies" tonight, but I'm going to use strawberry. Wish me luck & I will report back. Thanks for such a beautiful blog. I'm hooked!


chow and chatter said...

looks great i just came to your blog when i googled yogurt recipes love it here

Alpineberry Mary said...

Liz - Feel free to add me to your blogroll.

Jeanette said...

Hey Mary! Congratulations to us! Our pies tied. (I voted for yours by the way!-yummy!) If you want to e-mail me so we can come up with next month's theme it's email4jeanette @ gmail . com. Talk to you soon.

Anna said...

I've never experienced the commercially produced version (British girl, here), but these sound so good - I have blueberries in the fridge that are starting to make me anxious (I just don't know what to do with them!) so hand pies may be the answer. Not to mention that these are the cutest things in the world.

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Navita (Gupta) Hakim said...

this is simply those tiny pockets :)

Sleepwalker said...

These are so freakin' cute and yummy. We're having one of the best blueberry crops in years here in Michigan, so I made a double batch of these for a big bake sale where I work. I've never made a pastry crust with baking powder in it before. It was lovely to work with, and beautifully tender. It stands up to a little extra handling, too.

How well I remember those lunchbox pies from childhood (and early adulthood). I've long since straightened out my dietary habits, but I still get primal cravings for things like that. Thanks for posting a terrific upgraded version.

Andy said...

Those look great - blueberries are probably my favourite fruit that I grow in the garden but they very rarely make it to the cooking pot, usually I eat them all straight from the plant!

Really good site btw, will definitely be back!

Andy -

Jessica said...

Mmmm! Love how the hand pie revolution is making a comeback in the blogosphere! Made these after peach picking last month. So frickin' tasty!

Peggy said...

Oh my these look delicious! Oddly enough I made apricot/peach and apple whole wheat hand pies yesterday, only to have the dog sneak them. Yes, he ate the remaining 12! So tomorrow I am going to make the blueberry hand pies! I am sure a "tribe" of teen boys will greatly appreciate it!!

I just love your blog! This is my first time here and I am so looking forward to spend time perusing it!