Sunday, March 16, 2008

Blackberry Hand Pies

There just has not been enough dessert around here lately! Which also means I have not had enough dessert- life gets crazy sometimes. We all know what a priority sweet stuff is to me so today we are back on track with these little blackberry hand pies. I know it's not quite summer yet- actually it even isn't quite spring yet, but in 80 degree weather blackberries seem quite seasonal. A friend gave me a basket of berries and I knew exactly what I would do with them as soon as I tasted one. The recipe was inspired by one I had spied in an old Gourmet magazine, I remember thinking what a great idea the addition of grated apple was. The pastry recipe is a good one- it allows for re-rolling of the dough, it is one of the flakiest pie doughs I've had. Let the dough rest a little while before the second roll so it wont be too elastic and want to shrink back. Allow the filling to cool well before assembling the hand pies, this will keep the butter in the pastry from melting before they go in the oven. Parchment paper is a must-have for this recipe, the filling sometimes runs out of the pies making a big sticky mess. The recipe yields 8 hand pies and can be easily doubled.

Blackberry Hand Pies

1 cup fresh blackberries (1/2 pint)
1/2 cup grated apple
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup sugar
milk for brushing tops
additional sugar for sprinkling tops

1. In a medium heavy saucepan over medium heat cook blackberries, apple, sugar, cornstarch and cinnamon. Stirring frequently, until mixture comes to a boil and thickens, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.

Preheat oven to 375

Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

Hand Pie Pastry Dough

1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
6 tablespoon unsalted butter, cold, cut in small cubes
2 tablespoons shortening
pinch salt
3-4 tablespoons ice water

1. In food processor or by hand, blend flour, butter, shortening and salt until the mixture resembles a coarse meal and has some pea sized pieces of butter left in it.

2. While pulsing add water a little at a time until dough comes together when pinched in your hand. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour or up to 1 day.

Assembling Hand Pies:

1. Roll chilled pastry out on a lightly floured surface into a 1/8 inch thick rectangle. Cut 5 inch squares or circles with pastry wheel. Place the circle in your hand and fill with about a mounded tablespoon of filling. Seal shut pressing the edges well with your fingers. Fold edges over in a decorative shape or seal with the tines of a fork. Re-roll dough scraps to make up to eight circles or squares, allowing it to rest about 10 minutes between rolling.

2. Place hand pie on parchment lined cookie sheet. When all the pies are on the cookie sheet brush with a little milk and generously sprinkle with sugar.

3. bake about 20-25 minutes until golden brown, rotating cookie sheet half way through baking. Store at room temperature.


  1. Beautiful! I've seen the most gorgeous blackberries in the market this winter. Not local, of course, but irresistible.

  2. What a beautiful and quaint dessert. I love them! If I find decent blackberries I know just what to do with them...these really are so lovely!

  3. These look wonderful. I love that they would have a wonderful crust-to-filling ratio too for this crust-lover. I adore blackberries too.

  4. looks so adorable! i would also say very cute!

  5. These are so cute Katia. I love making hand pies- there is something so old fashioned and quaint about them. I was just thinking the other day that I cant wait for rspberry season so I could make some!

  6. Not only a beautiful dessert but also a delicious one, Katia!

  7. that looks amazing. I look at them and think, "what a perfect size and shape for grabbing out the door on my way to the bus," and then I think, "but should I be eating pie for breakfast?"

    And I stop and think about that for a while, and then resolve to make these as soon as blackberries come around, so I can answer that question once and for all.

  8. Those look awesome! When I first saw them I thought they were emapanadas...

  9. How gorgeous! Your photograph of these mouthwatering treats took my breath away! I would love to try to make them on my own, is there something else I can use instead of shortening? Thank you for your time and delicious creation!

  10. Mmmmm. Those remind me of summer holidays....dreamin...:-)

  11. Those look so good! Bookmarked for the summer.

  12. YUM-OH!

    My aunt makes these in the summertime with peaches ... but these just make me jones for them RIGHT NOW.

  13. wow, these look really nice! I've goota try them, maybe with strawberries:)

  14. This is the ideal way to make a pie. I like warm from the oven pie but when you cut into a warm pie the filling tends to flood the area where you removed the first piece or two. Individual pies solve that problem!

  15. Fabulous. I love pastries like these. How great, to receive a basket of berries as a gift!

  16. I really wanna try it! Looks so delicious! Your blog is awesome!

  17. I made these last night using agave instead of sugar. I don't think i rolled the dough out thin enough because the crust wasn't as flaky as I was hoping. Also, I didn't have a fancy cutter and ended up making really strange shaped hand-pies. I'll have to try this again another time, though my boyfriend has already eaten half the pies in the past 12 hours!


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