Blueberry Hand Pies

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Okay everyone. It’s time to prepare yourselves. Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. It’s that time of year when we’re bombarded with candy hearts, stuffed animals, red roses, and cheap champagne. I’ve never been a big fan of the holiday myself, and Matthew and I never do anything overly extravagant to celebrate. This year we’re opting to cook a romantic dinner for two at home. This is exactly the type of low-key Valentine’s Day celebration that I can appreciate.

After the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, I’ve just started finding my way back into the kitchen to do some baking. I decided to start with a simple recipe that I’ve done many times before. A couple of summers ago, I took a pie baking class at Sur La Table with a friend where they taught us how to make hand pies. Using the same recipe, I simply swapped out my circular cookie cutter for a heart shaped one! You can use any filling that you’d like, I just chose blueberry jam because it is what we had in the refrigerator. Regardless of my feelings about Valentine’s Day, one thing I definitely can support are these homemade heart shaped treats!

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Blueberry Hand Pie Recipe

Pastry Dough Ingredients
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, chilled and diced
1/4 cup ice water

Egg Wash Ingredients
1 large egg
1 tablespoon water

Jam Filling Ingredients
3/4 cup jam
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon cold water

Directions
To make dough, combine flour and salt in a large bowl. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in water, a tablespoon at a time, until mixture forms a ball. Separate into two balls, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.

Place racks in the center of the oven and preheat to 400 degrees F. Line to baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats.

Remove pie crusts from the refrigerator and roll out to about 1/8 inch thickness. Using a heart shaped cookie cutter, cut approximately 10 hearts from the crust. Place these hearts on a tray in the refrigerator while you’re working on the second crust. After rolling and cutting out each crust, you should have approximately 20 hearts.

Beat your egg and water together to form the egg wash and lightly brush half of the hearts with the egg wash. Place a small amount of jam in the center of each heart. Gently place the remaining hearts over the top and use your fingers to seal the edges. Go over the edges with the tines of a fork for a final seal. Use a paring knife to cut three small vents on the top and brush each heart with the beaten egg.

Place the hearts on your prepared baking sheet and bake for 10-14 minutes. You want the tops to be golden and the filling to be bubbling. Remove from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Heather’s Helpful Hints
There is a fine art to rolling out pastry dough that only comes with practice. I’m still learning as I go along but have found two things that always help with the process. First, always work with well-chilled pastry; otherwise, the dough will stick to the counter and tear. Second, never roll out dough by rolling back and forth over the same section. Each time you press on the same spot, more gluten develops that can toughen the dough.

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18 thoughts on “Blueberry Hand Pies

  1. Yum! I have some pastry dough in the freeze that I’ve been wondering what to do with. I also made jam on the weekend, ha ha. A fortunate coincidence. Thanks for the idea! :-)

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  2. What a great idea Heather and they are so cute! I bet it was a fun class, I’d like to do something like that. I hope you had a nice January! We will be celebrating at home too :D Have a wonderful low-key Valentine’s my friend :D

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  3. These look lovely Heather and I hope you and Matt enjoy your in-house celebration on Valentine’s Day. I can’t quite believe it’s February already! Thank you for the tip about pastry rolling, I didn’t realise it was a bad idea to roll back and forth. :)

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  4. These look lovely – they have kind of a sweet, retro vibe! I’ve never made hand pies but I’m thinking it’s about time to try them out. We never do anything grandiose for Valentine’s Day either, but I love making homemade Valentine’s treats!

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  5. Pingback: Baking Through the Block | Anita Kushwaha

  6. Aww Heather, what a perfect Valentine’s Day celebration, a homecooked meal together :-) Hand pies sound so cute, I’ve never heard of that expression! I love the idea of tiny bites like this. And in all the years I’ve made pastry (only usually around Christmas time now, but at one time more often, long, long ago, ha!), I I knew rolling back and forth over the same spot could make the pastry tougher, but I didn’t know that it was because of the production of gluten. There is defnitely a lot more to successful baking than meets the eye! Happy Belated Valentine’s Day my friend, lovely to see you back here baking up your wonderful treats :-) <3

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    • We did end up having a fun low-key celebration at home! We went to the grocery store after work and got the fixings for a surf and turf meal for two. I was too tired to make a special dessert so we just grabbed some wine instead ;-) Speaking of pastry dough, I often get the chilled pie crusts from the store and use those for my baking! Especially if I’m making a pie… it’s nice to avoid the extra hassle. I’ve got a fun cookbook that explains all the science behind baking and I’m always learning something new! I hope that you had a lovely Valentine’s Day as well Sherri :-)

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      • Oooh…surf and turf and a bottle of wine…your Valentine’s sounds just perfect Heather :-) We did have a lovely day too, Mike took me out for a meal at a place we’ve often gone to for special occasions, as one of the first places he ever took me when we first met! Those chilled pie crusts are a great short cut. We have a wonderful pastry baker here called Mary Berry. Have you heard of her? She hosts The Great British Bake Off. Sadly, it’s moving channels this year, so she is no longer hosting it, but it was fascinating watching each contestant produce their bakes for the weekly challenge, which Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood (her co-host, and yes, that is his real name, lol!) had to taste. I can see you winning that show Heather, I really can! :-)

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        • Aren’t traditions fun Sherri?! Matt and I will be heading back to Washington DC this spring and we are looking forward to revisiting a couple of our favorite restaurants already! I love the Great British Bake Off! I’ve only watched the first season in its entirety. And if you can believe it, I was even able to convince Matt to watch a few episodes with me. Mary Berry was actually on a four-week American edition of the show called the Great Holiday Baking Show! How sad that she’s going to be leaving, I really enjoyed her as a judge. I do think it would be a fun show to compete in, as everybody just seemed so nice! What a fantastic compliment Sherri! <3 <3

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          • Oh wow, back to Washington DC, how wonderful! Spring time must be lovely there. I remember my brief visit (not for tourism purposes, but as part of my early life in the US, which I mention in my memoir) and remember how green it was with all the trees. It was July and humid. Spring must be just right. Mike loved the show too, which surprised me also! How fun, an American edition for the holidays…and yes, it is such a shame she has left now. I’m not sure I want to watch it now, but let’s see… And I meant every word Heather :-) <3 xoxo

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