Recipe: Gin-Spiced Blueberry Hand Pies
Recipe by Ashley Chapman
all-butter pie pastry (double crust or 12 small pies)
2¾ cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) high-fat unsalted butter, cut into ¼" pieces
about ½ cup cold water
Combine the flour, sugar and salt in a large bowl. Toss well by hand, to mix. Scatter the butter over the dry ingredients and toss to mix. Use your fingertips to rub the butter into the flour until it is broken into the size of small peas. Sprinkle half of the water over the dry mixture. Toss well with a fork. I use a Danish dough hook to dampen the mixture and toss it around. Add the remaining water in stages until the mixture is pulling from the bottom of the bowl. Form dough into two flattened balls and wrap in plastic wrap. Place in refrigerator until use.
4 cups fresh blueberries
½ cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons (30 ml) gin (I use St. George Spirits Terroir Gin)
⅛ teaspoon ground cardamom
⅛ teaspoon ground ceylon cinnamon
⅛ teaspoon ground ginger
⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 tablespoon fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon cornstarch
pinch of salt
Combine the blueberries, sugar, salt, spices, lemon juice and gin in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the berries just begin to soften and release their juices. Reserve one tablespoon of the juice in a small separate bowl, add cornstarch and mix until smooth. Slowly add cornstarch mixture into blueberries, gently stirring as it simmers. Cook until thick. Remove from heat, let stand uncovered and let cool to room temperature. Store in fridge if not using right away.
Remove dough from refrigerator and roll out to 12" x 16" rectangle. Using a pizza cutter, slice evenly into twelve 4" x 4" squares. Lay squares onto parchment-lined sheet pan. At this point, you may need to return it to the refrigerator. Dough should always remain as cold as possible. Pause at any point to chill dough if it becomes warm and butter shows signs of melting.
Prepare egg wash by whisking one egg with a splash of cold water or milk until completely mixed and smooth. When you are ready to fill and shape the pies, lightly brush two edges of each square with egg wash. Spoon about one tablespoon of blueberry filling onto each square. Fold over pastries into triangles. Use fork to seal the two edges of the triangle by lightly pressing fork tines into dough.
Use the tip of a sharp pairing knife to score the tops of each pie. Brush lightly with egg wash. If you prefer, sprinkle raw or coarse sugar prior to baking. Place in refrigerator while oven is pre-heating. Bake at 375 degrees for 25- 30 minutes, or until golden brown and filling is bubbling around the edges of each pie. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Serve warm or at room temperature.