January 21, 2009

an easier way to eat pie

As if I needed any help in that endeavor...

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.

68 comments:

Culinarywannabe said...

I've always liked the idea of a hand pie. So convenient and delicious! I kinda liked that your blueberries oozed a bit, makes them look even more yummy!

Lisa said...

Your oozing berries look wonderful! Just cause it doesn't look perfect doesn't mean it doesn't taste terrific. I love the whole idea of hand pies.

canarygirl said...

OH. My. GAWD. My mouth is watering all over the place!

Bellini Valli said...

Hand pies are the way to go. All that fruity goodness and no fork required:D

haleysuzanne said...

Oh, wow - these look great! My grandma used to fry up blueberry turnovers, and they were always the most amazing treat. This totally makes me think of those....and also that I should probably make some. Yummy!

LyB said...

I am so bad at making pies, I wouldn't know where to begin making hand pies! Beginner's luck or not, those look fabulous Grace! :)

kat said...

Those look like little handheld pieces of heaven to me! Wanna send a few up north!?

Bunny said...

Grace I love this, I've never made them , one of my most favorite things about any pie is the crust and yours looks so good. I love the filling spilling out, it means theres plenty inside!

Maria said...

Oh yum! The filling looks so good oozing out!!

OhioMom said...

These remind me of the fried pies my Aunt used to make, oh yum!

Lo said...

ooooh... hand pies! These take me back! So delicious. Grace, you've outdone yourself :)

Ingrid said...

Girlfriend it was your mad baker's skill all the way! I still can't get over how you created yummy deliciousness out of old cereal!
~ingrid

toontz said...

I think they look perfect.That filling oozing out makes me hungry, I can see what is inside. Yummy!

Rachael said...

Those look so good...and you are really a talented cook/baker!

My husband's grandma used to make fried pies and I was in awe of her ability to make something so lovely and delicious! Your pies looks equally as great :-)

Dawn said...

Oh I love hand pies! My hubby is so good to me when I make these.
I think yours came out perfectly, period!

Marjie said...

These pictures are drool inducing!

Amanda said...

Oh, girl! I'd definitely be in trouble with some of these around the house. Pie. Blueberry pie. Blueberry pie that fits in my hand. Oh, that would be trouble, indeed!

The Blonde Duck said...

Once again, you've taken my inner food daydreams and created them! I forsee apple pies in my future...in the palm of my hand!

mikky said...

lovely... very lovely... :)

Aleta said...

I just heard my stomach rubbling after looking at the picture. It looks yummy!

Mike of Mike's Table said...

Those look absolutely spectacular. I tried something similar a few months ago, but with peaches, and (the best part): deep-fried. If I would have baked mine, I would have also had a dab of that tempting ooze yours has. Instead, for deep frying them, I had a full batch of exploded pies. I ate what I could, but rofl, I did not have tremendous success.

Bridgett said...

While I cannot do oozing fruit pies, the crust would get me hooked. I know these would be a hit with my hubby.

Lorraine @NotQuiteNigella said...

Grace Grace Grace, such food porn in that first pic! Love the oozing filling. And Vietnamese cinnamon? Sounds fabulous and somehow it seems fitting that I first hear about it from you! :)

annieseats said...

Mmmm, I've made hand pies a few times and they've been great, but I've never done blueberry. Blueberry is my favorite regular pie so I think I better try these soon!

Helene said...

I'm buying your dessert. Looks so good.

Jeena said...

Give me some of these any day they look fabulous!

Jessica@Foodmayhem said...

OMG, I think this is my favorite post of yours ever, and you put out great stuff all the time. Go blueberries!

foodhoe said...

I used to love those paper wrapped pies from 7-11, these look amazing and I agree that the leakage makes it look more appealing.

Heather said...

mmmmmmmm. these sound really, really good. i would especially enjoy the "tackling the pie with my teeth" part. isn't that always the best?

Cookie baker Lynn said...

Oh, so good! My husband, looking over my shoulder, just requested that I make these. I don't mind at all - I'm drooling!

Pam said...

I love hand pies even more than regular pies, especially since the crust is my favorite part.

Katie said...

Not only are hand pies delicious they are also portion controlled so I don't feel guilty for eating a whole pie. Normally I think I can polish off 1/2 of a regular pie no issue so these will stop me. Thanks for sharing.

Jacque said...

Mmm, those looks so delish! With my newfound love of pie, I can see hand pies in my future.

Nice work!

Abby said...

Great minds think alike, apparently, because I made fried apple pies this week, myself! But you beat me to posting them.

I've never had them with blueberry, but considering how many of my dad's fresh frozen blueberries I have in the freezer I might have to give it a try!

Navita said...

love the oozy -gooey pie!! will try them...esp bcoz i don't own a pie dish :)

Robin Sue said...

I am seeing more and more hand pie and I ask, why don't I make these? I am lazy too! But I must make these as they would be great for the lunch boxes!

pigpigscorner said...

Love the idea! The oozing filling looks really delicious!

Theresa said...

Mmmm, looks so good.

RecipeGirl said...

I'm simply horrid at pie crust so maybe I could handle the little individual sort. They look mouthwatering... kind of like those ones they sell at McDonalds that I used to get when I was a starving teen.

Peabody said...

Martha had hand pies on yesterday and now I see these. I need me some hand pies. Yum.

lisaiscooking said...

Hand pies are the best! Now, I'm hungry. That blueberry filling has made me very hungry indeed.

Pam said...

You are killing me Grace - I could eat so many of these tasty treat. YUM.

Peter M said...

This reminds me of the pies at McD's and that's a good thing. As a kid, a meal was not complete without one.

Smile..I wanna see your blue teeth!

noble pig said...

Holy cow, these look awesome with their ooze..ma gawh! I love em'!

Elle said...

I need one of these, right now! Maybe two...yeah, definitely two.

Lori said...

Those look so good Grace! You did a fantastic job. Mine usually bleed all over and I end up smelling burning fruit before they are done.

Kevin said...

Those look good! I am going to have to try making some hand pies soon.

giz said...

I definitely think your culinary accumen has grown so much over the past year and the photography - yowzer.

Albany Jane said...

Oh, these just brought back a fit of nostalgia for those cheap-o pies you'd get for, what a quarter? 50 cents? They tasted great as a kid, and now here's a yummy grown up version!

Gloria said...

Look fantastic Grace Im hungryyyyyyyy!!!!!LOL Gloria

Sandie said...

Hand pies---fabulous! And here, after reading the title of this post, silly me thought you were simply going to say, "Use a bigger spoon," ;-)

Sophie said...

It's not luck, it's your skilllz :D. These are my fav, love these...I cannot find a gluten free recipe, though...time to do some research, I've got a craving to feed :)!

MaryBeth said...

OMG...you are a girl after my own heart. I love pie in any flavor, shape or size. Looks GREAT!!!

kellypea said...

Oh jeez. These look way dangerous. I can imagine all kinds of evil that could be sandwiched between those lovely flaky layers of dough. Seriously. Think maybe if I snap my fingers they'd appear in my kitchen? Maybe?

sliceofsueshe said...

these look scrumptious. i'd love to have one of those right now. i've never tried vietnamese cinnamon myself, but have heard very good things about it.

Dee Light said...

Hand pies are the best!!! Take a little more time than a full sized pie, but worth it.

bigsis said...

Those look fabulous! We've always called them fried pies, even if they were baked. Go figure. Whatever you call them, they're a sentimental family favorite that goes back to our grandmother's peach and apricot pies. Thanks for sharing your recipe!

~BigSis
www.bigsislilsis.com

Anonymous said...

Wish my first attempt at something like this looked as good as yours.
My first try ended up as an epic fail :(

Ann said...

I have never made these either, but MY GOD thank you for using blueberry!

kimberleyblue said...

For some reason, I'm always more tempted by individual pies than I am by a slice of pie.

That dough sounds especially good - I'm always looking for the best pie dough recipe out there. Yum!

Char Anne said...

I am so hungry right now and these are absolutely making my mouth water. I think I might have to try these.

emily said...

These look incredible. I know just what I'm making for a warm, snuggly dessert!

kelly said...

yum! those look sooo delicious!

tamilyn said...

These look great, however I don't like fruit pies (but the hubby does). I wonder if pecan pie filling would work? I might have to experiment..........

Jeanne said...

I haven't made turnovers for ages and ages - thanks for reminding me to do so! Love that first oozy pic :)

Psychgrad said...

Taking away barriers to eating pie? I like the way you think. This looks delicious. I have some frozen blueberries too....hmmm..

Farmgirl Susan said...

PIE! These look wonderful. : )

dessertobsessed said...

these are too cute!