Berry Hand Pies

I was out of the country for half of June, partly because I caught and recovered from COVID while abroad. Now that I’ve returned, I didn’t hesitate to get back into baking with summer’s fruit. For a recent cottage weekend we were invited to, I contributed lemon bars and these hand pies.

A long time ago, I made pie lollipops, which are a kind of hand pie, I suppose. The May/June 2022 Cook’s Illustrated article and recipe yields larger treats, but are just as fun to behold and eat.

I misread the directions about cutting the butter sticks into long planks and just cubed mine, before bashing it with the flour inside a large Ziploc bag. The rough puff dough turned out fine anyway. It was fairly easy to fold and roll but did shrink back quite a bit, but patience and resting is the key here.

Berry Hand Pies

As for the filling, we have a small serviceberry tree on our property, and this year, we harvested the fruit as soon as they started to darken and turn ripe. I followed the magazine’s cherry filling recipe, using a scant 2 cups of fresh serviceberries, and a bit of frozen blueberries. There wasn’t a lot of liquid in the mixture, so it thickened nicely while cooling.

Berry Hand Pies

Shaping the hand pies was the fun part: you paint an egg wash border and make the pies as you would ravioli. The directions call for two tablespoons per pie, but I had leftover so I think you could get away with a bit more than that. I crimped the edges with a fork after trimming to ensure a good seal.

Berry Hand Pies

We ate these a few hours after they came out of the oven, and they were still warm. Hardly any of them leaked. The pastry was beautifully tender and flaky, but sturdy. The filling was not too sweet or runny. Highly recommended. I want to make more with peaches and cherries and plums and blueberries!

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