Though I realize most people have Christmas cookies on their mind right now, I thought I would go ahead and post these little hand pies because they turned out so wonderfully. I made my first batch of hand pies a couple months ago and they turned out just okay. The crust lost its flakiness within a couple hours and the filling was a bit dry. However, once finals were over I gave hand pies another try and this time used my grandmother’s pie crust recipe along with a filling recipe that sounded really yummy. It also didn’t hurt that I already had mascarpone in the fridge and blackberries were on sale at the local grocery store. The crust was as flakey as ever, and the mascarpone really helped keep the filling moist. I also love that the filling is prepared ahead of time to help prevent the pies from deflating due to broken down filling.
If I can keep our adorable yet wild puppy Stella from tearing down all of our blackberry canes, hopefully I’ll be able to make these next summer with homegrown blackberries! Also, I know I promised puppy pictures earlier but just haven’t gotten around to going through them and getting them up. They will be posted soon!
Another item to cross off the Baking Bucket List!
For the filling:
¾ cup granulated sugar
3 Tbsp. cornstarch
¼ cup water
2½ cups blackberries, separated
1 tsp. lemon juice
¼ cup mascarpone cheese
For the crust:
2½ cups all-purpose flour
1¼ tsp. salt
1 cup shortening
4-5 Tbsp. cold water
1 egg, beaten
2. Preheat oven to 425 ºF. To make the crust, combine flour and salt. Cut in shortening until the particles are pea-sized. Sprinkle mixture with cold water, 1 tablespoon at a time, tossing with a fork until all flour is moistened and a ball starts to form.
3. Divide pastry dough in half. On a floured surface, roll one piece of pastry to about ⅛” thick. Cut half of the rolled out dough out into 2½” diameter circles and the other half into 3″ diameter circles. Place smaller circles on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
4. Roll out and cut the other half of the dough in the same manner. Feel free to bunch together the dough scraps and re-roll, though the dough will be less flakey and more prone to cracking.
5. Working one at a time, place 1 teaspoon of mascarpone in the center of each circle, pressing dollop down a bit with a spoon. Top with 2 tablespoons of the cooled filling. Brush a small amount of beaten egg around the edges of each circle. Gently place the larger dough circles on top of the filling and seal the edges by pressing down with your fingertips. Press the tines of a fork around the edge of the circle to fully seal in the filling.
6. Bake the pies for about 18-20 minutes or until the crust is golden brown. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack.
Yield: about 12
(Filling recipe from The Kitchen McCabe)