Every week we’ll post a recipe that we both made. This week’s recipe was Blueberry-Cream Cheese Hand Pies, found over at Martha Stewart. Printable recipe can be found at the bottom of this post.
This week’s recipe was my choice. I think I saw it in Martha Stewart Food magazine, and ripped it out with the intention of making it someday. When we drive up into Tennessee, we stop at this little store run by a Mennonite woman, and she sells hand pies that are really good. I’ve been saying, for years, that I needed to try to make some -only, hers are fried in oil and I wanted to make them baked – so when I saw this recipe, I was all over it.
First things first: there’s no way on this planet that I’m going to make my own pie dough. I’ve attempted (and fucked up) making pie dough 63 (slight exaggeration) times, and when I can buy the same thing at the store and same myself the heartache, I am all over that.
So, the ingredients:
Store bought pie dough, sugar, flour, cream cheese, lemon juice, egg, 10 ounces of frozen blueberries. That Spice Islands jar with the label falling off is lemon peel. Shut up – Martha didn’t say it had to be fresh, did she? NO SHE DID NOT.
Dump the (room temperature) cream cheese, lemon zest, sugar, and egg in a bowl and then stir it together. I used my hand mixer so as not to exert one iota more of effort than absolutely required.
In another bowl, mix together blueberries, sugar, lemon juice, and flour. I used a rubber spatula because I’m fancy like that.
With your fillings ready to go, roll out your pie dough onto a sheet of parchment paper. Then cut it (the pie dough, not the parchment paper) into quarters.
Put one heaping Tablespoon of the cream cheese stuff in the middle of each quarter, and then two Tablespoons of the blueberries on top of that.
Brush the edges of each quarter of dough with cream, and then fold the sides of the dough over the filling to make a triangle. “Crimp the edges” of the dough, says Martha. I don’t know what that means, exactly, so I went around the edges with a fork and mooshed them together. Then brush the tops of the pies with cream.
And sprinkle them with sanding sugar. I didn’t have anything called “sanding sugar” and I didn’t want to go searching for it at the grocery store, so I used what I had, which was Turbinado sugar. Sugar’s sugar, right? Right. Don’t try to tell me any different. SUGAR is SUGAR.
See that pie second from the left, with the blueberry filling oozing out? That’s right around the time I started calling Martha Stewart names. The second pan of pies was even more oozy (due to the blueberries thawing, I’m sure), so I threw them together as quickly as I could, remembered at the last moment to cut a slit in the top of each pie, and then put them in the oven.
Yeah, blueberry shit oozed out, but it certainly could have been worse.
And the verdict? Fred didn’t like them – he’s not crazy about cream cheese filling in stuff. I was kind of meh on them – the crust was good, but there was something about the filling I didn’t like. It took me a few bites to figure it out, but I finally realized that it was probably the lemon peel. It had a nasty bitter aftertaste (I blame Martha for not insisting I use fresh lemon zest) and so the pigs got most of the hand pies.
I’m planning to make these again, but I’m not using cream cheese and will probably use something like store made pie filling. Fred loves all things cherry, so I’ll maybe make a batch of cherry hand pies. It was worth trying, just to see that the process of making baked hand pies wasn’t all that difficult. As always, the pigs thought they were superawesomefantabulous and would like more, please.
I went to the store because I needed a lemon for this freaking recipe. A LEMON. $84 later, I have a lemon. Man, this is why I hate to go to the grocery store. Note: Gourmet Basil up there is that stuff that comes in a tube and lasts forever. I bought it because I can’t keep a basil plant alive for some reason. Look at me justifying, whee!
I took the easy way out and bought ready made pie crust because I was in NO MOOD to be making blueberry pies. In fact, I will never be in the mood to make blueberry pies because blueberries should only be in a recipe that is called BLUEBERRY MUFFINS. Served cold with butter. Because I am a fat fatty and dammit that is some good shit right there. I just want y’all to know that this hand held pie business is suspect. I don’t trust it. Because it’s not a muffin. Are you picking up what I’m laying down?
Parchment paper? Oh, Martha. you goddamn rich whore! I hate it when I have to break out the parchment paper because it’s so expensive and just because I spent $84 at the grocery store that does not mean that I want to be using up all my precious goddamn paper on blueberry pies! I’ve had this box for over a year now because I AM THRIFTY, dammit (and y’all can just hush about my thrifty $84 receipt up there).
See me, saving myself from a heart attack by eating less fat. And also, I did the whole Splenda® replacement thing when it came to the sugar in the recipe. Except for the sanding sugar because I had no choice. After I found out what the hell sanding sugar was thanks to Google. Can I just say that if you’re walking around talking about sanding sugar I’m gonna be rolling my eyes at you. I totally will do it because I’ll think you are a pretentious asshole who sands with her sugar and talks about it. It’s just too much for my brain to handle. And no, I am not drunk.
This right here is a zester. Or at least I think that’s what it is called. I know you have got to be impressed that I have this in my kitchen. And jealous. Because the other side actually measures whatever the hell you’re zesting.
Except it didn’t work for shit and I had to give up and just guesstimated the amount of zested lemon I put in it.
I’m not even sure what the reason is for lemon when working with berries. All I know is that this had better not make my cream cheese too crunchy.
This is how I measured my lemon juice. I squeezed both halves and called it perfect. I’m sure Martha would have a stroke. Speaking of Martha, don’t tell anybody but I really like her. I’ll never do any of her dumb crafts and shit, but I figure she can’t be all bad if she has a bunch of animals and a clean house. And I think she’s more than a little uptight. That’s my kinda gal right there!
Why is whipping cream so expensive? $1.99 for a pint. And I only needed two tablespoons of it. Sigh.
I may have put too much zest in this. I’m hoping nobody notices. And also, I was on pain killers at the time and had to ask my mom how she would “quarter” the pie crust. It was just too much thinking for me. We finally figured it out when I noticed that the recipe says it makes 8. PATHETIC.
This is where I started to wonder if Robyn actually took the time to measure her berries. She’s such a goody-two-shoes that I bet she did.
Man hands trying to fold the pie dough over while taking a picture with the other hand.
This got tedious real fast.
Childish people take the time to twitter their complaints so the whole world knows their pain. Wah, wah, wah.
Coated with heavy cream and sanded with sanding sugar (insert eyeroll here).
This is what they looked like when they came out of the oven. They kind of reminded me of Pop Tarts.
A close-up look at them. I actually did do the right thing and let them cool before eating. They weren’t bad, but they weren’t really great either. They were just meh. Or it could be my issues with blueberry segregation. I probably (most likely) will never make these again. Just because it’s such a bother and it’s putting blueberries where they should not be.
Please note: This does not mean in any way that there will not be fried pies in our future. I am determined to make them because hello, FRIED PIES!
- 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons lemon zest, plus 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 large egg
- 10 ounces frozen blueberries
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- Pie Dough, each disk rolled ⅛ inch thick
- 2 tablespoons heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon sanding sugar
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Stir together cream cheese, ½ cup granulated sugar, lemon zest, and egg until smooth. Toss blueberries with ¼ cup granulated sugar, lemon juice, and flour.
- Lay 1 dough round on a parchment-lined baking sheet and cut into quarters. Spoon 1 heaping tablespoon cream cheese mixture into center of each quarter. Spoon 2 tablespoons blueberry mixture on top. Brush edges with cream and bring opposite corners together to form triangles; trim if needed. Crimp edges to seal, brush tops with cream, and sprinkle with sanding sugar. Repeat with remaining dough round and fillings. Cut a small vent in each pie and bake until golden, 20 to 25 minutes, rotating sheets halfway through. Let cool completely on wire racks before serving.