I am afraid there is about to be a berry shortage. I am always afraid there is about to be a berry shortage. It is the only explanation for a grown woman to have bags of berries in her freezer. Every time I use fresh berries for salads (ahem, crepes, ahem) I toss the extras into a bag & save them in the freezer for sauces and fillings and jams and stuff.
Today my emergency stash of strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries unite to make hand pies. If you want to take the easy route, you can slap some store-bought jam or pie filling into some store-bought pie crust cut into shapes but sometimes the extra effort is fun and, no doubt, very country girl.
Preheat oven to 350F.
Hand Pie Filling
- 2 cups berries (mixed or any kind you like)
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- 4 tablespoons cornstarch
Place berries in medium sauce pan. Stir in sugar & lemon juice. Let sit for about 30 minutes. Stir in cornstarch. Cook over medium high heat while keeping a close eye on berry sauce. The sauce will start to boil. When it gets thick, remove from heat immediately and set aside.
Hand Pie Crusts
- 3 cups white flour
- 1 1/2 sticks butter (or 3/4 cup), cut into small pieces
- 6 tablespoons sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup very ice-cold water (approximate)
- 1 egg (for brushing onto top)
Place all pie crust ingredients in food processor except for water. Pulse until butter is incorporated with flour & sugar (crumbly & about the size of peas). Add water. Continue processing until dough turns into somewhat of a ball. Add a teaspoon more water at a time – only if needed.
Roll dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Using a 4-inch cookie cutter, cut dough into circles about 1/8-inch thick. Make 2 circles for every hand pie. You should be able to get about 6-8 hand pies total.
Place bottoms (ugliest circles) onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Using a spoon, place about 1/4 cup berry filling onto the middle of each pie bottom. Center and place pie tops over each pie. Using a fork, crimp all around the edge of each pie to seal together. I always overfill so if you like a prettier pie, do as I say and not as I do.
Beat egg well in a small dish. Using a pastry brush, brush egg onto the top of each pie crust. It is best to start brushing from middle and work your way to the edges to prevent filling from smearing all over pies.
Bake in the oven for about 30 minutes or until pies are light golden brown.
Leftover filling can be saved in the refrigerator and used for jam.
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons water
Place powdered sugar, water, and fresh lemon juice into a bowl. Stir until no longer lumpy. Add a tiny bit more water if needed. Drizzle or spread over warm hand pies.
Allow pies to cool just long enough so the centers aren’t dangerously hot – about 30 minutes, then insert in your pie hole and go ride a tire swing, brave country girl. You have survived another berry shortage.