Delicate, yet portable pastries bursting with blueberry flavour.
Yield: 8-10 3” hand pies
Preparation Time: 3 hours
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time 3 1/2 hours
10 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled
1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
½ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons vodka, chilled (may be substituted with additional ice water)
1-2 tablespoons ice water
1 large egg, beaten
10 oz./283 g frozen blueberries (about 2 cups)
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
Zest of 1 medium lemon
Juice of ½ medium lemon
Frosting and Decoration
1 cup powdered sugar
¼ cup frozen blueberries, thawed (reserve juices)
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
8-10 fresh blueberries
¼ cup sliced almonds
To make the Pie Dough:
Begin by combining the flour, sugar, and salt in a large mixing bowl.
Using the large holes of a box grater, grate the cold butter into the flour mixture.
Using your fingertips, work the butter into the flour until the mixture reaches a texture resembling coarse crumbs. You’ll want to leave some larger pieces of butter intact to ensure flaky layers.
Mix the chilled vodka and ice water in a small measuring cup. Alternatively, replace the vodka with additional ice water. The vodka helps promote a more tender crust texture.
Gradually pour the liquid into the flour mixture, one tablespoon at a time, and stir using a fork after each addition.
Stop adding liquid when the dough just starts to come together in clumps. Typically, 3-4 tablespoons of liquid are added.
With your hands, bring the dough together into a cohesive ball, and place on your work surface. Flatten into a 1” thick disk.
Wrap the disk in cling film and refrigerate for 1-2 hours. The dough should be firm, but slightly pliable.
To make the Blueberry Filling:
Place the frozen blueberries, sugar, cornstarch, and lemon juice in a medium saucepan. Mix to combine.
Place the saucepan on an element set to medium-high heat. Stir the mixture continuously until it comes to a simmer.
Lower the heat to medium-low and keep stirring frequently, crushing the berries as you stir. Allow the mixture to cook until it reduces to a thick, jammy paste, about 15 minutes.
Stir the lemon zest into the blueberry mixture and transfer to a bowl. Allow it to cool in the fridge until chilled, about 1 hour.
Roll the Pie Dough:
Flour your work surface and place the chilled disc of dough on top.
Using a rolling pin, roll the dough into a circle with a thickness of 1⁄8'' (3 mm). The diameter will be about 12 inches.
With a 2 ½” - 3” round cookie cutter, cut circles of dough. Cut the circles as close together as possible to yield the maximum number on your first roll. Re-roll the dough scraps and cut out additional rounds.
To maintain a workable dough, place the circles in the refrigerator until firm, about 15 minutes.
In the meantime, preheat the oven to 375°F (191°C) and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
Fill and Bake the Hand Pies:
Place half the dough circles onto the lined baking sheet, spaced evenly in 2 rows. These are the bottom crusts.
Spoon approximately 1 tablespoon of the chilled blueberry filling into the centre of each bottom crust, making sure to leave a border of bare crust.
Brush the borders with beaten egg and add the top crusts, sandwiching the filling.
Join the crust edges together by pressing lightly with your fingers. Crimp around the entire perimeter with a fork to seal.
Brush the tops of the hand pies with the remaining egg. With a paring knife, cut a small X into the top of each hand pie to let out steam.
Chill the assembled hand pies in the freezer for 10-15 minutes before baking. This ensures the pies will hold their shape while baking.
Bake for 22-30 minutes until the pies are golden brown. Rotate the pan halfway through baking. Remove from the oven and let cool on a rack for 20 minutes before decorating.
Thaw the frozen blueberries by heating for about 60 seconds in the microwave. Using a fine mesh strainer, strain out the blueberry solids and reserve the blueberry juices. You may discard the solids or save for a separate purpose.
In a medium bowl, whisk 4 teaspoons of blueberry juice, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract to form the glaze. Add more blueberry juice or powdered sugar as necessary to achieve your desired consistency. The glaze should be thick, but spreadable.
Using a spoon or piping bag, spread the glaze over the cooled hand pie. Start in the centre and let the glaze flow towards the edges. Allow the glaze to set-up slightly for about 10 minutes.
Take 6-7 sliced almonds and arrange them in a flower petal pattern in the centre of each hand pie. Place a fresh blueberry in the middle of each almond flower to complete the flowers.
Let the glaze harden for about an hour before enjoying. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days, or in the fridge for up to 6 days. To reheat, bake at 350°F (177°C) for 10 minutes.