Friday, July 5, 2013

ABC - Blueberry Hand Pies

When I saw this recipe for Blueberry Hand Pies on the King Arthur Flour website, I knew I had to give these a try. They were a natural choice for the ABC group :o) These portable hand pies are made with a flaky crust that's a cross between a traditional pie crust and puff pastry, and filled with sweet and juicy fruit.

Blueberry/Plum Hand Pies
I used a combination of blueberries and black plums, but the options are endless. Use your favorite fruit(s) and adjust the sugar and thickener accordingly.

If you'd like to join the ABC bakers in their monthly baking adventures, please go to the ABC blog for more information.

Given the amount of butter in the recipe, I knew I'd be the only big fan of this recipe in this house :o) So I cut the crust recipe in half.

The crust recipe was a bit tricky. I followed Karin's advice and mixed the cold butter and flour in the food processor, being careful not to overmix it and keeping pea-sized chunks of butter. After adding the sour cream, the dough was still very crumbly. Fellow ABC-ers had a similar experience and cautioned against adding any additional liquid. I put the dough on my floured pastry cloth, and used the cloth to push the dough together. When the dough started to stick together better, I rolled it out, did a business letter fold, and repeated that step. Into the fridge it went for a few hours.

For the filling I chose frozen blueberries (4 oz) and one black plum (4 oz). I decided to make the full recipe because it wouldn't take that much more time to make and I'd have a little treat that I could enjoy with some yogurt or something else. I know that corn starch tends to "dull" flavors, and I feel it did in this filling. I added more sugar and then some more. When it was sweet enough for my taste, I still thought it was missing something, so I added the zest of half a lemon.

When I rolled out the dough into an 8" x 14" rectangle, I thought the hand pies would be pretty big if I made only four, so I decided to make 6 smaller ones instead.

I cut out leaves in four of them. Just for fun, I cut out a lattice top for two of them. They turned out cute :o)

My kitchen was pretty hot when I made. The crust had softened quite a bit when I was done assembling the hand pies, so I put the baking sheet in the freezer for about 5 min. I brushed them with an egg wash and sprinkled them with some coarse turbinado sugar, and into a 425F oven they went.

After 19 min, they were golden brown and delicious.

Look at those flaky layers. Bon appetit!

Final thoughts/tips:

  • As soon as these came out of the oven, I was greeted by the intense butter aroma that the hand pies gave off. While I loved this aroma, my husband cautiously approached the baking sheet and said "I can tell these have a LOT of butter". Ha ha.
  • I was afraid he might not even give these a try, but he's a good sport and he ate half of one. He found the crust way too buttery and thought the filling needed even more sugar. His rating: 8 out of 10.
  • I loved these hand pies. When I ate half of one, it was still slightly warm and it was absolute heaven. It reminded me of a European pastry made with high quality all-butter puff pastry. The ratio of filling to crust was perfect. The filling was perfectly thickened, not too runny and not too stiff. I thought the sweetness of the filling was fine and the lemon zest was subtle but noticeable. And the dark purple color of the filling was beautiful.
  • My BFF also tried one and she liked it. It reminded her of some pastries she had in Europe. She too found the crust a bit too buttery and gave this an 8.5 out of 10 rating.
  • If you'd like to try this recipe yourself, you can find the recipe on the KAF website.
  • Don't forget to check out what the other ABC-ers said about this recipe.


  1. wow!finely Hanaa you have made love the little cut outs that you have done, next I will try the little cut out to / Blueberries and black plum what a great idea and have that syrup look in the blueberries and plum that I like , they must taste real delicious Hanaa..

    1. Thanks Rosa. I loved the bluberry/plum combo. I agree such a gorgeous color.

  2. a crust too buttery? How is that possible :)
    Your dough is superflaky, fantastic. Love the lattice top too.

    1. Ha ha. I guess being from Holland (aka "dairy country"), it can never be too buttery.

  3. I didn't know corn starch would affect the fruit flavor. Oh well. Love the layers! I thought the crust was too rich, but mine was heavy, not flakey. Gee, guess I'll just have to try again! ;)

    1. Yeah, maybe I should have used less than 1 Tbsp of corn starch. Oh well. Definitely try again. I hope it's flaky for you the second time around!

  4. I agree with Lien, there's not such thing as a too buttery crust. Your hand pies turned out perfect, and the lattice top is a nice touch (I have to learn those!).
    It is definitely a good idea to taste the filling so that you can adjust sugar or lemon, before you fill the pies. I did, too, and added quite a bit of lemon juice.
    (Btw, Hanaâ, I am a Karin with an "i")

    1. As I told Lien, being from Holland/Dairy Country, there's no such thing as too buttery. The lattice top was fun to make but a bit time consuming which is why I only made two (AND because my kitchen was hot and my dough was getting soft).
      Btw, I fixed the typo. Sorry about that (two Karen's and one Karin - no wonder I get confused) :o)

  5. These are so beautiful. I must give them a try some day.

  6. Hi Hanaa,
    Your pies looks excellent!
    Looks like I'm the only one with a very wet and sticky dough? I was worried at first and thought that mine is doomed! But luckily they turned out so good! Very deliciously buttery, flaky and tender! Great pick, Hanaa!

  7. Just mouthwatering...looks delicious!

  8. My mouth is watering right now. I would love to try these, but I'm lazy so I would use pastry sheets...probably not as good though.


Thank you for visiting my blog and leaving a comment.