Think back to when you were a kid. OK, now think back to when you always saw that friend of yours eating Pop Tarts…and how jealous you got. Well, at least for me that was the case. My parents never bought me Pop Tarts and I was always jealous of my friends that had those delicious smelling toaster strudels. Then you eat one, and that entire romanticized idea of a “delicious” Pop Tart goes out the window.
Blueberry Hand Pie
Makes 8-10 pies
Ingredients for Pate Brisee (French Style Pie Crust, a la Martha Stewart – recipe in link):
2 1/2 Cups All Purpose Flour
1 Cup Vegan Butter, cubed and chilled (Earth Balance)
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Sugar
1/4 – 1/2 Cup Ice Water
2 Tbs Soymilk
2 Tbs Sugar
Ingredients for Blueberry Hand Pie:
1 10 oz Bag Frozen Blueberries
2 Tbs Sugar
2 Tbs Cornstarch
Preparation for Pate Brisee:
1. In a food processor, combine the flour, salt and 1 tsp sugar until well mixed. Add the butter using pulses until you no longer see chunks of butter in the dough. It should look like damp sand trying to clump together, but it will feel dry. Use pulses to get everythig to mix together correctly, it does a better job of breaking up the butter than just letting the machine run.
2. Slowly add the ice water a tablespoon at a time while pulsing the dough until it is evenly distributed and it begins to look like little peas/play-dough. You may not need to use all the water! You do not want the dough to be too wet – it should not be sticky, but should hold together, barely. Be cautious, or you’ll need to start over.
3. Remove the dough from the food processor and knead for a few minutes until it begins to smooth out. Do not over-knead the dough, you just want it to come together and smooth out a little bit, it should really only take 1-2 minutes. Divide the dough in half, flatten into discs, cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate for about an hour. You can also freeze this dough and this point for later use.
Preparation for the Blueberry Hand Pie:
1. Preheat oven to 425º
2. Make and chill dough (Pate Brisee). Roll out 1 disc of dough to about 1/4″ thick. It’s much easier to do this on a large cutting board that has been covered in parchment paper and lightly floured. If the dough rips, press it back together with your fingers.
3. Cut two rectangles out of the dough. It doesn’t really matter what size they are, since you’re going to roll them out again and make them larger, but mine were about the size of index cards.
4. Roll out a rectangle again to its final thickness, about 1/8″ thick. That’s thin enough that the dough begins to become slightly translucent, but thick enough that you can still pick up the dough without ripping it. Use more flour as you’re rolling the dough out if you need to.
5. Trim the dough again into a neat rectangle. Again, size isn’t important, so go for whatever size appeals to you. I wanted my finished pies to be the same size as pop tarts, so I guestimated the height (5 inches?) and the width (7inches?) and rolled out the dough accordingly. This will make a 3.5×7″ pie once it’s filled and folded in half to close.
6. Prick one half of the dough with a fork, and place two tablespoons of filling on the other half. Pricking the dough helps it bake more evenly, preventing dough bubbles. You could cut out little shapes as vents instead if you want, but the filing will bubble up and out of any large holes.
7. Fold the dough over the filling and press closed with your fingers to seal. Then use a fork to crimp the edges. It’s okay if some juice escapes, but try to keep it at neat as possible. Use a spatula to pick up your hand pie and place on a baking sheet covered in parchment or lined with a silpat.
8. Repeat these steps, rolling, cutting and filling, until you run out of dough. Lightly brush each pie with soymilk and sand with sugar.* Bake the pies for 18-20 minutes until golden brown. Cool slightly on a wire rack and serve warm.
9. Keep an eye on them while baking – escaped berry juice and tender, flaky edges burn quickly when you’re not looking! Ours didn’t last long enough to save for later, but they will keep at room temperature for a few days if stored in an airtight container.
*If you want to freeze these and then reheat them in a pop-up toaster like Pop Tarts, skip the sugar so it doesn’t burn up when you toast it. If you’re going to use a toaster oven, you can sugar them or frost them with a simple powdered sugar and soymilk glaze.