The dark, mysterious, beautifully flavored and often misunderstood blackberry is the star of this show. Nice firm and tart Granny Smith apples support the berries so things aren’t one note smooshy or soupy, but that gorgeous dark magenta berry bubbling out the top of these hand pies tastes like all that is right in the world. I used this butter crust recipe, and you know I’m loyal to my shortening, but for a handpie where you’re going to need to handle the dough more and it takes more of a center stage, this dough worked out well, but it is tougher to make and can be harder to work with so feel free to use a shortening dough if that’s what you prefer. You can use other berries too, but this combo made for a sweet and sour flavor explosion of total and complete hand-pie joy!
Pâte Brisée (don’t be freaked out by the name, it’s basically just a butter crust)
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
1/4 to 1/2 cup ice water
extra flour for dusting
1 egg lightly beaten for tops of pies
demera or raw sugar for sprinkling
Apple Berry Filling:
2 granny smith apples peeled and diced into 1 inch cubes
2 1/2 cups blackberries
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 cup granulated sugar (I thought this was the perfect amount of sweetness, but you can use a little more if you want your pies less sweet)
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cardamom
- First make the Pâte Brisée or crust. In the bowl of a food processor, combine flour and salt; pulse to combine. Add butter, and pulse until mixture resembles coarse crumbs with some larger pieces remaining, about 10 seconds. (To mix by hand, combine dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl, then cut in butter with a pastry blender.)
- With machine running, add ice water through feed tube in a slow, steady stream, just until dough holds together without being wet or sticky. Do not process more than 30 seconds. Test by squeezing a small amount of dough together; if it is still too crumbly, add a bit more water, 1 tablespoon at a time.
- Turn out dough onto a clean work surface. Divide in half, and place each half on a piece of plastic wrap. Shape into flattened disks. Wrap in plastic, and refrigerate at least 1 hour or overnight. (The dough can be frozen for up to 1 month; thaw overnight in the refrigerator before using.)
- To make the filling in a medium bowl, add apples, blackberries, lemon, sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon and cardamom; stir to combine, set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line two baking sheets with Silpats (a French nonstick baking mat) or parchment paper.
- On a lightly floured work surface, roll one half of dough into a large rectangle, about 1/8-inch-thick. Using a 5-inch cookie cutter, cut out 6 rounds. Transfer rounds to prepared baking sheet. I used a small bowl and just traced around it with a knife because I don’t have a large cookie cutter – I think mine was just short of 5 inches.
- Place about 3 or so tablespoons of the apple/berry mixture onto one round – use a slotted spoon and leave any juices in the bowl so you don’t get soupy pies. Lightly brush egg around the edge of each round. Take another dough round and put it on top. Gently press edges together to seal. I then took a fork to the edge for decoration, do what you think looks cool. Brush the tops of each pie with egg. Using a paring knife, slash the top of each pie. Sprinkle generously with raw or demera sugar.
- Repeat this process with second half of dough and remaining filling on second baking sheet.I was able to make 8 total, but you can use less filling and roll them over into half moons to make more.
- Bake until golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Transfer pies to a wire rack to cool slightly before serving. Or let cool completely, and store in an airtight container at room temperature up to 4 days.
Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart strawberry hand pies