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Monday, July 1, 2013

July challenge: Blueberry Hand Pies


I've been anxiously awaiting this challenge.  I didn't dare make the whole recipe because I know I'd plow through all 8 pies in about two days.  I halved it, but in order to roll out a reasonable shape (7" x 14" would be difficult) I ended up with 3 pies instead of 4.

I decided to play with the filling a little.  One of the things I really like about blueberries is their "cool" taste, which is why I'm not big on pairing them with lemon, a common partner but a very "warm" and bright taste. So I got onto the Food Pairing web site and found that blueberries supposedly pair well with a number of interesting flavors.  Seeking to retain the coolness, I chose cardamon and fresh thyme and I'm really happy with the results.  The filling has a very earthy, woodsy taste -- exactly what I was looking for.

Some people on the KA site complained that there wasn't enough filling and that what was there bubbled over.  I ended up with too much filling, and it didn't spill out at all.  I used corn starch instead of the ClearJel, and my berries were somewhat dry, so maybe that made the difference.  I thought the filling texture turned out perfectly.

Awaiting trial by fire.

For the pastry, I substituted full-fat Greek-style yogurt for the sour cream (because I had it) -- it worked fine, I think.  The pastry could have been a little more flaky, but we've having a heat wave and it was SO hot in the kitchen while I was rolling it out; I think it melted all the butter into the flour.  It was still good and nicely crisp on the outside.  I would have liked just a little more salt in it, I think.  (Always with the salt -- too much, too little...)

Conclusion:  These were very good, but a little fussy, and I'm not sure worth the extra effort.  I'd be just as happy with simple turnovers made with standard pie crust, although these are a little more festive and might be nice for a special occasion.  (They're also a lot more rich, since they use sour cream instead of ice water.)

Recipe:  Blueberry Hand Pies via King Arthur Flour


15 comments:

  1. they look really good and full of blueberries yummy!

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  2. They are beautiful...I love the slits. I hate to admit your brilliance in halving the recipe because I did plow through quite a few of them!!

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    1. Hahaha! Seriously, you made me laugh out loud. But I always think now about what will happen if I'm left alone with what I've made.

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  3. They look really good. I love how the blueberries are peeking through in your last picture. I'll be late with these but I'm definitely looking forward to making these.

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  4. Your pies look lovely! If I didn't have others here I would have halved the recipe too!! I could easily have eaten more of these than I should!

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    1. Yes, they go down easy, don't they? :)

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  5. Yours look chock full of filling and the herb additions sound fabulous! I had to take most of mine to work to prevent me from eating them all =)

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    1. You are so disciplined! I always say I'm going to do that. :\

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  6. I used cornstarch too, yet my filling was runny. Love how you managed to get so many berries inside! Delicious summer treat

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    1. I read the directions on the box, but they were giving different quantities depending on what it was. And then I wasn't quite sure how much liquid I had. I think I started with a teaspoon for about one cup of frozen berries (that I figured produced maybe 1/3 cup juice) and went from there. Since people had complained about the filling bubbling out, I figured it was better to be a little on the thicker side. But I thought the consistency ended up just right.

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  7. Your flavor combination with thyme and cardamom is very interesting (and quite courageous) Definitely worth a try! And your pies look quite nice (and don't they go down well!)
    I never order blueberry pie in restaurants because they are too often paired with lots of nutmeg, overpowering the delicate berry flavor.

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    1. I'm always seeking out new flavors and combinations. The real trick is in knowing how much to use! Interestingly, the cardamom got weaker and the thyme stronger after they were baked, even though the filling was pre-cooked. This is where a really good baker would immediately make them again and fuss with the quantities. Me? On to the next experiment! (Although I would like to see if it really was the heat that left me flakeless, or if there was something else I need to amend.)

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  8. Wonderful pies! I love it that you have added cardamom and thymes! Lovely!

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