Five Ingredient Hand Pies

pie

Let me preface this by saying I’ve been binge-watching Cutthroat Kitchen on Netflix lately, so improvisation has been on my mind.  I get a craving for something sweet now and then, and have nothing in the house to satisfy it. Luckily, I always have flour, sugar, and butter/margarine (use which ever you like, I’m not a hardcore advocate for either). What I can make with these simple ingredients is shortbread cookies. Last night I was looking up how to make pie crusts without eggs, because I have two cans of strawberry rhubarb pie filling in my pantry, but I didn’t want to bust into them since my boyfriend was at work already. A shortbread pie crust would work just fine, but not wanting to make a full pie, I poked around the kitchen for other things to add to my shortbread.
We have a small bag of frozen blueberries that my boyfriend uses to make smoothies. I have sugar already and I have cornstarch; I could make some sort of blueberry pie. I start looking up recipes for tarts, and they all have some other filling beneath the fruit, but I could make hand pies. No parchment paper and my cookie sheets need to be washed, I lay some foil over a pizza pan and set about making my shortbread.  It’s pretty forgiving, just mash the three ingredients together with a fork until they look uniformly crumbly and roll it into a ball.  You don’t want the butter to get too warm, so once you have it in the ball, you should chill it.

I pop the dough in the refrigerator while I prepare the pie filling. I don’t want to use much of the blueberries, because they aren’t mine, so I quarter the recipe until I’m left with just enough blueberries to fill my dough (3/4 cup). I thaw them in the microwave and then stir them together with the sugar and cornstarch. My dough turned out to be enough for four decent sized hand pies. I didn’t know this beforehand, I just started rolling out hunks of it into what I thought would fold nicely. I don’t have a rolling pin, and my flat mug wasn’t doing a great job either, so I pressed the dough out by hand. About 6″ diameter seems to work fine. I scooped two spoonfuls of the filling into the center of the crust, folded over one side and joined the edges with a fork.

With all the pies filled and folded, I placed the pan into the refrigerator while I preheated the oven to 375. When it was ready, I popped the pan in and set my timer for 16 minutes (that was the least of the times for any of the recipes I’d seen, so it was a safe place to start). I ended up cooking this batch for 24 minutes to get the edges golden brown. They came out great. Not super sweet, but enough to satisfy my craving. It honestly reminded me of blueberry topped breakfast biscuits.

Here are the measurements for the ingredients.  This makes 4 hand pies.

Shortbread
1 cup flour
1/2 cup butter/margarine
1/4 cup sugar (you can use 6 packets of Truvia, or 1Tbsp+2tsp)

Filling
3/4 cup frozen blueberries
1/4 cup sugar (you can use 6 packets of Truvia, or 1Tbsp+2tsp)
1 Tbsp cornstarch

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