Note to self: Seal better.
I was feeling brave and adventurous the other day and decided to tackle hand pies--first, I would tackle the recipe with my mind and mad baking skills (hmm...), then I'd tackle the actual pies with my teeth. Good plan.
This undertaking required courage on my part mostly because hand pies or turnovers are not something I've attempted, and I'm usually hesitant to try new things. Dealing with finicky doughs is always a little risky, especially when said dough requires more handling than for your typical pie.
Regardless of the risks, I jumped in and met with great success. Beginner's luck? Probably. The crust was delicious (the freshly-grated Vietnamese cinnamon sprinkled on top had a lot to do with that), and the blueberry filling was perfectly sweet and only a wee bit too juicy (as evidenced by the overflowing ooze).
I'll be making these again posthaste. Here's hoping it wasn't actually beginner's luck, but simply a display of my growing competency in the kitchen. :)
Blueberry Hand Pies
(based on this recipe)
1 batch of sweet butter pie dough (recipe below)
2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and grease a large baking sheet.
In a microwave-safe bowl, combine berries, granulated sugar, cornstarch, and cinnamon; mix well. Microwave for 5 minutes and stir, then microwave in one-minute increments until all the berries burst and the mixture begins to thicken.
Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and divide in two; rewrap one half and place it back in fridge to stay cold. Roll the pie dough out until it reaches a thickness of about 1/8". Using round pastry cutter (or a bowl, if that happens to be all that you have...), cut out about 4-5" rounds. Place rounds onto the baking sheet and back into the fridge if necessary. If not, place about 2-3 tablespoons of the blueberry mixture into center of each round.
Using a pastry brush dipped in a small amount of egg, brush the edge of half of each round. Fold dry edge onto egg-brushed half, forming semicircle shape, and press edges together with a fork to seal in an aesthetically-pleasing manner. Brush the top of each pie with the egg mixture and sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon. Use a small knife to make a 1 inch slit in the top of the pie for steam to escape. Repeat with remaining pastry dough.
Place the pies in the oven and bake until tops are beginning to turn golden brown, about 20 minutes. Let cool on sheets for 7-10 minutes and then transfer to wire rack to cool completely. Serve warm or at room temperature, preferably smothered in vanilla ice cream.
Sweet Butter Pie Dough
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, cubed
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3-4 tablespoons cold buttermilk (or milk with a bit of lemon juice)
In a small bowl, combine vanilla and buttermilk, stir to combine and set aside. In a large bowl, add flour, sugar, and salt and whisk to combine. Use a pastry cutter or two knives to cut the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs. Add the buttermilk mixture a bit at a time and stir in until dough comes together.
Transfer the dough to a floured work surface and shape into a flat disk. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least one hour.