around here, things are a special kind of crazy!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Blueberry Hand Pies

It's Sunday night, which usually means clipping and organizing coupons. But tonight I was feeling a little frazzled and decided to try and re-center with baking. So I made these little guys:

I'm not gonna lie, I ate all four.
I got the idea here at Braised Anatomy, but adapted their use of caramelized apples to sugared blueberries.

I probably could have stopped right there
First rinse, sort and de-stem your berries. I bought mine form the farmer's market, so there were a few stems, but not as many as if I'd picked them myself, also highly recommended. Sample a few berries, this is essential. Sprinkle a tablespoon or two of sugar (or Splenda or Truvia, etc) over your berries, depending on how sweet they are and how sweet you want them to be. Stir gently to get the sugar on each berry, being careful not to crush them. Set the berries aside while you prepare the crust.

Not too big a list for such tastiness!

You will need:

1 1/2 c ap flour
3 Tbls powdered sugar
1 stick butter cold (I used margarine, just stuck it in the freezer for a few minutes)
1 egg yolk (save the egg white for an egg wash to keep the pies together and sugar on the top)
A few Tbls cold water (I ended up using 5, BA used 4)

Using a pastry cutter (or if you're me, a wire whisk) blend the flour, sugar and butter until it resembles coarse crumbs. Thoroughly mix in the egg yolk, and add water 1 Tbls at a time just until the dough holds together. Use your hands or a spoon for this part. Form the dough into a ball and set it in the freezer for about 10 minutes. While it's setting, preheat your oven to 350 and prep your rolling pin and surface.

I like to do both at once!
I sprinkle some flour over the counter then run my rolling pin through it a few times to get better coverage on both. Once the dough is ready, roll it out as thin as you can. A tip I read once on All Recipes about rolled cookies was to never roll the dough more than twice since more flour gets mixed in with the dough and alters the flavor and consistency, so I divided the dough into thirds, rolled it out, cut it into rounds using one of Pon's cups, put the "scraps" into a pile, and when I was done with all three, re-rolled the scraps and then threw that batches scraps out. Besides, at this point I had enough rounds for 28 pies!

That cup worked well as a cutter.
Pulling the scraps out.
Stacking the rounds by twos helped me keep track of tops and bottoms.
Now, at this point I forgot to keep taking pictures, so I apologize. Take one stack of rounds and lay them out on a greased or lined baking sheet or two. I managed to fit 24 of 28 on my Silpat, so the last four went on a sprayed piece of aluminum foil. Stir your berries once more to evenly spread any resulting juices, and spoon 1/2 Tbls into the center of each round. I'm warning you now, this will be an exercise in patience as the berries really love to roll. Either divide up any leftover berries among the pies, or eat them as is or with a bit of yogurt. Brush the outer edge of the round with the reserved egg white and place one of the reserved rounds over it, pinching it closed. This also take patience as the dough may want to tear around the berries. Also, work one at a time unless you're super fast. I tried to brush four pies at a time, but the dough wouldn't stick. Once all your pies are sealed, use a fork to poke holes into your top crust (I just stabbed them each once) to allow steam to escape. Brush each pie with your egg white egg wash and sprinkle with a little sugar.

Waiting patiently for their turn in the oven
Bake for 10-12 minutes at 350. Allow to cool, and enjoy!

I certainly did!
I learned a few things tonight, like a whisk and frozen margarine aren't good friends. I should get a pastry cutter, but my birthday's coming up, so maybe I'll get one soon :) Also, I found out that mixing different things into an egg wash causes different things. A whole egg scrambled with a bit of salt makes your pastry top shiny. Adding milk to that blend makes it shiny and golden brown. Adding water to the egg causes a matte finish to your baked good. Who knew? Well lots of people, obviously, I found a chart after all!

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