I am a pie kind of gal. I have been known to go in search of pie at every opportunity-family vacations, weekend jaunts, regattas, anytime, anywhere. I am talking about some serious hunting for a slice of some “damn fine pie”. A family trip years ago in a rental car did not deter me (our Suburban died in Salt Lake City on our way to Yellowstone for a bike trip) from stopping in Logan, Utah just to eat huckleberry pie…we had to drive through Utah to get to Yellowstone anyways, why not? Then there are my crewmates who have come to realize I don’t row to row, I row to eat pie. Luckily they like pie too. A 4-hour detour to Underhill Vermont for pie NBD, right?
I have been eyeing a recipe for blueberry hand pies from King Arthur Flour for awhile and just hadn’t gotten off my duff to try it. I just needed a little nudge which happened when a post on Ipso Fatto (on my FAV blog list) for that very recipe arrived in my inbox. Coupled with blueberries that have been so good lately….made it a no-brainer to finally try it. I’m glad I did, these hand pies are SUPER DELICIOUS! The crust is flaky and buttery with a touch of tartness from the sour cream. The filling is simple and straight forward, blueberries with a bit of lemon like Fred and Ginger, the perfect duo.
The dough is fairly easy to work with so I would recommend this for pie crust novices. I start with my food processor to combine the dry ingredients and the butter. I use quick pulses to break up the butter into the flour. When the butter is about pea size stop and proceed by hand. Out comes my wooden bowl in goes the butter flour mixture. Add the sour cream to this and using your hand or a wooden spoon stir to incorporate the sour cream. You will end up with a shaggy mess that does not stick together (see above photo with blueberries). Pour this mixture onto a flat surface and using a dough scraper or hand “smoosh” the dough together until it comes together. Form into a disc and chill.
The Pi Golden Rule (I just made that up) if the dough gets soft or sticky and difficult to work with throw it in the fridge to CHILL. This will save you lots of tears and frustration. I roll my dough out between parchment and transfer it to a baking sheet so I can chill it again before cutting.
The extra step for this dough is folding it like an envelope and rolling it out a couple of times. Much like the puff pastry process, this creates layers of butter in the dough and makes the crust FLAKY. SO YUMMY. The recipe calls for an egg wash and coarse sugar sprinkled on the pies. Me, meh, sugar on my pie crust is not my thing so I skipped it. I leave it to you. I did dust the pies with powdered sugar to add some sweetness. I adore lemon and blueberry together so I kicked it up a notch by adding a teaspoon of lemon zest to the filling. La la la….love it!
So the name of the game is don’t overwork your dough, chill it if gets too soft, work quickly. Ta-dah! Blueberry hand pies that will blow your family and friends away.
- 2 cups (81/2 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 cup (16 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup cold sour cream
- 2 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch or 1 tablespoon Instant ClearJel*
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon salt (a large pinch)
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- *For frozen berries, use 2 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch or 1 1/2 tablespoons ClearJel.
- 1 large egg, beaten
- 2 tablespoons white sparkling sugar, for garnish
- The directions can be found here on the King Arthur Flour site.
- Optional changes include:
- 1/2 - 1 teaspoon lemon zest to the blueberry filling
- Omit sparkling sugar and egg wash, dust with powdered sugar before serving.
- I'm sure this would work with any seasonal fruit including strawberries and lime, or peaches with hint of almond extract...go for it!