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Flaky and tasty homemade Blueberry Hand Pies
A nostalgic handheld pastry stuffed with a thick, fresh blueberry filling.
Blueberry Hand Pies are the perfect answer to all your summer dessert needs. These little treats are wonderful to take on picnics, weekend BBQ’s or potluck get-togethers. No fork or plate required! Folks are going to fight over these mini-pies so make sure you have plenty to share!
Ingredients needed to make Blueberry Hand Pies:
For the filling:
- blueberries – fresh or frozen
- lemon juice – fresh is best
- vanilla extract
- granulated sugar
- cornstarch mixed with 1/4 cup cold water to thicken the filling
For the pastry:
- all-purpose flour
- granulated sugar
- cold unsalted butter
- solid vegetable shortening (like Crisco – not vegetable oil)
- ice water
- egg and milk for brushing on the pastry
- coarse sugar or lemon glaze for topping
How to make Blueberry Hand Pies:
1. Start by making the blueberry filling.
The filling is best made ahead so it has time to chill in the refrigerator until very cold. Hot filling on unbaked pastry is never a good thing.
Combine the blueberries, lemon juice, vanilla, sugar and salt in a medium saucepan. Heat until it comes to a boil. Smash some of the blueberries while cooking, leaving some whole.
Stir in half the slurry made with cold water and cornstarch. Add a little more and cook until you reach a thick, jam-like filling.
Remove from the heat and add one cup of fresh blueberries. Stir until all the blueberries are incorporated. Set aside to cool, then transfer to a jar and refrigerate until well chilled.
2. Next make the pastry crust.
In the bowl of a food processor, pulse the flour, sugar and salt. Add the butter and shortening and pulse again until the mixture resembles a coarse meal. Pour in the ice water and process just until the dough holds together.
Gather the dough together and divide in half. Form each half into a disk, then seal tightly in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or up to 3 days.
3. To assemble the hand pies:
Using a rolling pin, roll the dough out onto a floured work surface. Using a cookie cutter, cut out as many 4-inch rounds as you can. Brush each with an egg wash then spoon the filling into the middle.
Bring the sides of the pastry up to form a taco. Seal the seams by pinching the dough together starting at the bottom working up to the middle. Use the tines of a fork to crimp the edges and seal the crust.
Cut a few slits in the top of each hand pie to vent. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before baking. Or, seal the unbaked hand pies in an airtight container and refrigerate overnight.
Brush each pie with the remaining egg wash, sprinkle with plenty of coarse sugar, and bake on a parchment lined baking sheet until golden brown.
Serve slightly warm or room temperature.
Drizzle each hand pie with an icing made with lemon juice and powdered sugar as we’ve done on our Peach Hand Pies.
Or, make a thinner glaze of lemon juice and powdered sugar, then brush it over each pie. Allow the glazed pies to dry at room temperature then serve. Leftover glazed or drizzled hand pies are best refrigerated. Unglazed pies can be stored at room temperature.
Another tasty option is to sprinkle with sliced almonds after brushing with the egg wash, if desired.
All these options are perfectly delicious variations for these little treats.
How long will Blueberry Hand Pies keep?
As with many desserts, these hand pies are best eaten the day they’re made. However, they also keep well at room temperature for up to 4 days. Again, if they’re glazed or drizzled with icing, please refrigerate for best results.
Can you freeze Blueberry Hand Pies?
Absolutely! You can freeze them before or after they’re baked. If frozen before baking, allow them to come to room temperature for 30 minutes before baking, or store in the refrigerator in a single layer for a few hours.
Don’t add the egg wash until ready to bake.
Can you use other berries or a combination?
These hand pies are great with just about any kind of fresh berry like raspberries or blackberries. However, if using a combination of berries I recommend trying our Mixed Berry Hand Pie recipe.
Finally, these homemade Fried Apple Pies are calling my name. They must be sooooo delicious!
Shortcuts to make Blueberry Hand Pies:
We’re always looking for easy shortcuts here at SRFD. If you’re in a hurry and need to cut some time, try using pre-rolled refrigerator pie crust. You can also use canned pie filling in place of the fresh blueberry sauce. Follow our recipe directions and enjoy!
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Blueberry Hand Pies
For the filling:
- 3 cups fresh blueberries divided (about 15 ounces)
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- pinch of salt
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch mixed with ¼ cup cold water
For the pastry:
- 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour (354g)
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 8 tablespoons cold unsalted butter cut into ½-inch pieces (4oz or 113g)
- 6 tablespoons solid vegetable shortening like Crisco - not vegetable oil
- 6 to 7 tablespoons ice water
- 1 large egg mixed with 1 tablespoon milk for brushing on the pastry
- coarse sugar or lemon glaze for topping
To prepare the filling:
- Rinse fresh blueberries removing stems and debris. Pour 2 cups of berries into a medium saucepan reserving the remaining 1 cup to add later. Add the lemon juice, vanilla, sugar and salt to the saucepan. Stir gently to combine. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Once boiling, cook for 2 minutes while mashing some of the blueberries with a fork or spoon. The berries should be splitting apart at this point.
- Stirring constantly, slowly drizzle about half the cornstarch slurry into the blueberry filling. Add half the remaining slurry or more until the sauce is as thick as jam. Reduce the heat and cook for about 1 minute. Remove from the heat. Gently fold in the remaining 1 cup of blueberries. Set the filling aside to cool. Once cooled, spoon into a glass jar and refrigerate until needed. Filling can be made several days in advance and stored in the refrigerator. The filling is best used when cold.
To prepare the crust:
- Combine the flour, sugar and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Add the butter and shortening and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Pour in the ice water and pulse again until the dough starts to hold together. Don’t over process.
- Pour the dough onto a piece of plastic wrap. Gather the dough together and divide in half. Form each half into a disk about 6-inches in diameter. Wrap each tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour, or up to 3 days.
To assemble the hand pies:
- Remove one dough round from the refrigerator and allow it to rest at room temperature for about 10 to 15 minutes. Lightly flour a clean work surface. Unwrap the dough and place on the floured counter top. Sprinkle the top of the dough with flour. Using a rolling pin, roll out the dough to 1/8th or up to 1/4th-inch thick. If the dough starts to split while rolling, allow it to warm another minute or two and try again.
- Cut out as many 4-inch rounds as you can at first pass. Place the dough rounds on a piece of parchment or wax paper. Gather remaining dough scraps and re-roll. Cut out as many 4-inch rounds as possible. Any remaining dough scraps should be placed in the refrigerator to chill.
- Beat together the egg and milk. Brush the egg wash over the top of the pastry rounds. Place 1 ½ tablespoons of chilled blueberry filling in a mound in the center of each pastry round. Don’t overfill or you won’t be able to seal. Start small and add more if you can to ensure each hand pie is full. Pull up the sides of the pastry to make the hand pie look like a taco. Starting at the bottom and working your way up to the middle, firmly pinch the dough together to seal. Leave the top center area for last.
- Lay the pies on their side and firmly press the edges together using the tines of a fork. Using a small knife, cut a few small slits in the top to vent. Move the unbaked pies to a parchment lined baking sheet and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before baking. Repeat with the remaining dough and filling. Finally, gather any remaining scraps and cut out as many rounds as possible. If the dough becomes hard to handle or sticky, refrigerate for 15 to 20 minutes and try again.
- When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350°F. Line one or two large baking sheets with parchment paper or a silpat mat. The pies should be spaced about one inch apart.
- Remove the pastries from the refrigerator and place on the prepared baking sheet. Brush the tops and sides of the pies with the remaining egg wash. Sprinkle with coarse sugar, if using, and make sure the vent holes are open. Bake for 30 - 40 minutes or until golden brown. Transfer the pies to a wire rack to cool. Pies can be served slightly warm.
For glazed or drizzled hand pies:
- Once all pies are cooled, mix together 1 cup of powdered sugar and 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice. Add more powdered sugar or lemon juice as needed to reach the desired consistency. Drizzle the icing on top of the pies before serving. You can also brush a thin glaze over the pies. Simply add more lemon juice to the icing to thin and lightly brush on each pie. Allow the glaze to set before serving. Glazed pies should be refrigerated for best results.
- Blueberry Hand Pies will keep at room temperature for up to 3 days. Refrigerate or freeze for longer storage.
- You should get between 12 to 16 hand pies depending on how thick you roll the dough, and what size you cut the pastry rounds. Thinner hand pies may not need to bake as long as thick pies.
- You should have a little leftover blueberry filling. Leftovers are delicious mixed into yogurt, dolloped on biscuits, pancakes or a bowl of ice cream. Blueberry sauce will keep for about a week in the refrigerator.
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