BLUEBERRY HAND PIES
With Lemon Glaze
PATE BRISEE (CRUST):
All-Purpose Flour / 2 1/2 Cups
Kosher Salt / 1 teaspoon
Granulated Sugar / 1 Tablespoon
Unsalted Butter / 8 ounces
Ice Water / 1/4-1/2 Cup
Fresh Blueberries / 2 cups
Water (cold) / (enough to cover the blueberries)
Granulated Sugar / 1/2 cup
Lemon Zest / 1/4 of a lemon
Cornstarch / 2 Tablespoons
Water (cold) / 2 Tablespoons (for Cornstarch)
Eggs / 2
Heavy Cream / 2 Tablespoons
Powdered Sugar / 3 Cups
Lemon Zest / 1 Lemon
Lemon Juice / 1 Lemon
Heavy Cream / 3-6 Tablespoons (as needed)
FOR THE PATE BRISEE (CRUST):
Cube cold butter into 1/4 inch cubes. Continue to chill in the refrigerator or for up to 15 minutes in the freezer. The colder the better. (Note: the flour and bowl could also be chilled in the refrigerator. This is not necessary, but aides in keeping the crust flaky).
Place several ice cubes in a small bowl. Pour purified water over the ice and set aside for later use.
Put the flour, salt, and sugar in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse to mix. Add all of the pieces of butter and process for approximately 10-20 seconds, or just until the mixture resembles coarse meal. There will be some larger chunks of butter and that is fine. (This can be done in a stand mixer by pulsing on high for approximately 30 seconds. Be sure to cover the stand mixer with a dish towel, as flour will billow up from the bowl).
Add ice water, drop by drop, through the feed tube with the machine running, just until the dough holds together without being wet or sticky; do not process more than 30 seconds. Test the dough at this point by squeezing a small amount together. If it is crumbly, add a bit more water. You may need all of the water, and that is perfectly fine. This will vary based on the temperature and humidity of the room as well as the temperatures of the ingredients. (This can be done in a stand mixer by pulsing on high for approximately 30 seconds. Be careful not to allow any pieces (even very small ones) of ice to slip into the dough. This will cause soggy spots in the dough that will not brown up properly during baking.
Turn the dough out onto a large piece of plastic wrap; grasping the ends with your hands, press the dough into a flat circle. This makes rolling easier than if the pastry is chilled as a ball. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill for at least an hour. Overnight is best. (Be sure that the dough is well wrapped, as it takes on other flavors and odors very easily).
FOR THE BLUEBERRY FILLING:
To prepare the filling, add 2 cups of blueberries to a medium sized pot. Pour filtered water into the pot until it just covers the blueberries. Add a 1/2 cup of granulated sugar and the zest of 1/4 a lemon. Give the blueberry mixture a quick stir and bring to a boil. Once the mixture has come to a roaring boil, turn the flame off.
Place 2 Tablespoons of cornstarch and 2 Tablespoons of cold water in a small bowl. Stir until the cornstarch has completely dissolved and the mixture resembles milk. (Be careful not to leave any clumps of dry cornstarch behind; as this will result in gelatin-like clumps of blueberry forming in your filling). Pour the cornstarch mixture into the sweetened blueberries and stir until you can no longer see any of the milk-like liquid. Return the flame to medium-high while stirring constantly, until the mixture begins to boil. Once boiling, lower the flame to medium and allow the blueberry mixture to simmer for 1 minute. (This is an important part of the process, as this minute is necessary for the cornstarch to fully activate and serve, properly, as our thickening agent).
After 1 minute, immediately remove the blueberry mixture from the heat and pour into a glass storage container. Leave uncovered. Once the mixture has reach room temperature, cover and place in the refrigerator. If placed in an airtight container, the mixture can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
FOR THE EGG WASH:
Place 2 eggs and 2 Tablespoons heavy cream in a medium bowl and whisk until thoroughly combined. Run the mixture through a sieve. Do not skip this step. Running the mixture through a sieve removes the chalazae (or ropey membrane) found in an egg white. Although harmless, if left behind, these ropey clumps become visible when used in an egg wash. The egg wash can be stored in an airtight container, in the refrigerator, for up to 2 days.
TO ASSEMBLE THE HAND PIES:
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Remove a disk of Pâte Brisée from the refrigerator and allow to rest at room temperature for 10-15 minutes. (Attempting to roll the dough directly out of the refrigerator will cause the edges to crack). Dust your work surface with flour. Using a floured rolling pin, roll dough to 1/8 of an inch. With William-Sonoma’s “Pop Tart” cutter, make 10-12 rectangular cuts (as close to each other as possible) in the rolled dough. Discard the scraps. Do NOT attempt to gather them up and roll them out again! Using a fork, prick holes in half of the rectangles. These will be the bottoms of each “Hand Tart”. The rectangles that have not been pricked with the fork will be the tops.
One at a time, assemble the “Hand Tarts”. Brush the edges of a forked rectangle with the prepared egg wash, making a ½ inch border all the way around the dough. Place 2 Tablespoons of Blueberry Filling in the center of the rectangle. (Avoid the temptation of over stuffing the “Hand Tart”; as that will simply result in the filling leaking out during baking). Gently place the top layer of dough over the filling; then, using your fingers, gently press down on the edges off the “Hand Tart”, creating a seal. Using the bottom piece of the William-Sonoma “Pop Tart” cutter, press down on the “Hand Tart” until the dough pushes out slightly. Now, set the cutter (or top piece) directly above and guide it down (over the bottom piece) until it cuts through the dough creating small scraps of Pâte Brisée and leaving a perfectly shaped “Hand Tart”. Transfer to prepared baking sheet and repeat the above steps until all of the “Hand Tarts” have been assembled. Brush with prepared egg wash.
Place in a 375 degree oven for 30 minutes, or until golden brown.
While the “Hand Tarts” bake, prepare the glaze.
FOR THE GLAZE:
Sift 3 Cups of powdered sugar into a large mixing bowl. Zest and juice 1 lemon into the same bowl. Add 2 Tablespoons of heavy cream to the bowl and whisk. Continue to add heavy cream until the mixture is perfectly smooth and resembles syrup. Cover and set aside.
Once the “Hand Tarts” are a beautiful golden brown, remove them from the oven. Allow to cool, on the baking sheet, for 10 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack. After an additional 10 minutes, place the cooling rack (and “Hand Tarts”) back onto the baking sheet (for easy clean-up, leave the used parchment paper on it). Generously spoon the glaze over the “Hand Tarts”. Finish with sprinkles. Allow the glaze to harden for 15 to 30 minutes before serving.
- Josh Hager
Music by Jake Schaefer