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Blueberry Hand Pies

You may have memories of finding small, individually wrapped pies tucked into your school lunch box. And while everyone has his or her favorite pie, surely blueberry is at or near the top of most lists. Be sure to have plenty of napkins ready, as part of the appeal is the delicious fruit juice that runs down your hands.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups blueberries  
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 Tbs. sugar  
  • 1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice  
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch  
  • 2 Tbs. water 
  • Basic pie dough for a double-crust pie (see recipe at left) 
  • 1 large egg, beaten with 1 tsp. water  

Directions:

In a saucepan, combine 1 1/2 cups of the blueberries, the 1/4 cup sugar and lemon juice over medium heat and cook, stirring frequently, until the berries begin to give off their juices. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until all of the berries have burst, about 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, stir together the cornstarch and water. Add the cornstarch mixture to the blueberry mixture and cook until the juices come to a boil and thicken. Remove from the heat and stir in the remaining 1/2 cup berries. Place the saucepan in a bowl of ice water and let the mixture cool, stirring frequently.

Preheat an oven to 375°F. Have ready an ungreased rimmed baking sheet. Place the dough on a lightly floured work surface and dust the top with flour. Roll it out into a rectangle about 20 by 13 inches and 1/8 inch thick. Using a 6-inch saucer as a template, use a paring knife to cut out 6 rounds. Place about 3 tablespoons of the blueberry filling on one half of a round, leaving a 1/2-inch border uncovered. Fold the dough over so the edges meet, then crimp them with a fork. Transfer to the baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining dough rounds and filling. Refrigerate the pies for 15 minutes.

Lightly brush the pies with the egg wash, cut an X in the top of each pie and sprinkle with the remaining 1 Tbs. sugar. Bake the pies until golden brown, about 20 minutes. Let the pies cool on the pan on a wire rack, then serve warm or at room temperature. Makes 6 hand pies.

Variation: To make a simple glaze, sift 1 cup confectioners’ sugar into a bowl and whisk in 1–2 Tbs.water until the mixture has the consistency of a thin icing. Brush the icing over the cooled pies, then let set for a few minutes before serving.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Comfort Food, by Rick Rodgers (Oxmoor House, 2009).