This week would have been my dad’s 84th birthday.I thought about writing a tribute post last year, when he died, but I was in no mental condition to do it. And then all hell kept breaking loose and I was too physically and emotionally wrung out to do anything that wasn’t absolutely necessary.However, one thing about my dad: he had a terrible sweet tooth. He loved desserts, chocolate, and pies. Especially pies.Particularly strawberry and blueberry pies. Sadly, I haven’t found the right strawberry pie recipe yet. For some reason, most of them have rhubarb, which he hated, or cream cheese, or even jello?! (nope nope nope) but this mini blueberry hand pie recipe is something he would have loved.
The pies are stuffed with blueberries, they’re sweet, and they taste like long, summer days.
I happen to like the fact that this mini blueberry hand pie recipe makes a bunch of little, one person serving hand-held pies, rather than a single large one.It’s much easier to just eat one, and a hand-held pie is a lot less messy than a standard pie. You don’t need silverware or a plate, you can just pick one up and eat it. They make a wonderful, sweet, summery treat. They’re easy to eat, and easy to pack for lunch or a picnic, without making a big mess. A slice of pie doesn’t travel all that well!
I’ve adapted this recipe from King Arthur, cutting the recipe in half to make four pies, rather than eight. Eight was a bit much! If you don’t have time to finish the recipe all at once, you can make the filling, chill the dough, and then come back to it later. The finished pies will keep well in the fridge for several days, or you can freeze them.
Mini blueberry hand pies that are easy to pack and the perfect size for one person.
1 cup flour (plus more for kneading)
1/3 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup cold unsalted butter
1/4 cup cold sour cream
1 cups fresh blueberries
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 T plus 2 tsp sugar
small pinch salt
1 1/2 tsp lemon juice
1 large egg, beaten
Add flour, salt, and baking powder to a medium size bowl. Whisk them all together until they are thoroughly mixed. Add the butter, mixing it together until the mixture is crumbly with pea size pieces of butter.
Now mix in the sour cream. It should end up with chunks of flour/butter/sour cream.
Sprinkle some extra flour onto a counter or board and then dump the flour/butter/sour cream mixture onto the board. Knead it together (just a few turns), to form a dough.
Shape the dough into a log shape (doesn’t have to be perfect or neat). Using a rolling pin, roll the mixture out into a rectangle, about 4 x 5 inches. Sprinkle it with flour, turn it over and sprinkle the other side.
Fold the dough into thirds, starting at one third from the bottom, and then from the middle to the top (like folding a letter into an envelope).
Wrap the “letter” in plastic wrap and put in the fridge to chill for at least half an hour.
Rinse and drain the berries and add them to a small saucepan (don’t heat it yet). Whisk the cornstarch and sugar together in a small bowl. Pour the mixture over the berries in the pan. Add the salt, and then the lemon juice, and stir it all together.
Now put the pan on the stove and heat on medium-high. Cook, and stir, until the liquid starts to simmer. Turn the heat down and keep cooking, and stirring, for about five minutes (until it starts to thicken).
Once the blueberries are cooked, take them off the heat and let them come to room temperature. You can do this part in advance, and refrigerate the berry mixture until you are ready to bake. Just let it come to room temperature again before you start.
Preheat the oven to 425, with the rack on a middle shelf.
Take a baking sheet and line it with parchment paper.
Roll out the dough into a 7 x 7 inch square. Cut out eight squares, using a knife or a pastry wheel, or a square dough cutter, if you have one.
Put about a tablespoon of filing onto four of the squares and brush some of the beaten egg along the edges.
Cut slits into the remaining four squares and then place one slitted square over each filled one. Push along the edges, using a fork, to create a seal.
Take the rest of the beaten egg and brush it along the top of each mini pie and then place the pies on the baking sheet.
Place the baking sheet in the oven and bake the pies for 18 to 20 minutes. They should turn a light brown. Take them out of the oven, and let them cool a bit (about 20 minutes or so) before you eat one.
They’ll stay in the fridge or a week or so or keep at room temperature (wrapped loosely) for a few days. Or, you can freeze them to eat later.