Berry season floods us with harvest here, and apart from eating them plain and sometimes straight off the branch, I have quite a long list of sweet recipes to try with them. I love berries in baking as they improve their flavour and whatever you bake with them is just incredibly delicious. These hand pies are little crusty pockets with black currant filling, you may use any berry you fancy though.
If you pick any other berry, just keep in mind to adjust the sugar amount in the filling as sweet berries such as blueberries, strawberries or raspberries need less sugar and sour berries such as currants or sour cherries require a bit more (just follow the recipe quantities then).
Berries go well with some herbs and spices, here I’ve added a little bit of dried mint, but it is totally optional, plus, you may substitute it for cinnamon, vanilla or cardamom, if you like.
These hand pies keep well for several days.
Black currant hand pies
The recipe makes 27-30 pcs
- 1 c/ 3.5 oz/ 100 g black currants
- 3½ T/ 1.4 oz/ 40 g white sugar
- ½ t lemon juice
- ¼ t dried mint
- 2 t/ 6 g cornstarch
- 2 t cold water
In a medium saucepan, add the black currants, sugar, lemon juice and dried mint. Set the pan over medium-low heat and bring to a boil, stirring the mixture occasionally, the sugar should dissolve.
In a small bowl, combine the cornstarch and water until homogenous, add the mix to the berries, stir until incorporated, then continue cooking the mixture for another 3-4 minutes until lightly thickened and the berries are soft. Remove from heat, let cool completely.
- 1½ sticks/ 2/3 c/ 5.8 oz/ 165 g unsalted butter, cubed, softened
- 1/3 c/ 2.8 oz/ 80 g white sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 T heavy cream
- 1 t vanilla extract
- 2 c/ 10 oz/ 300 g all-purpose flour + for rolling
- 1 t baking powder
- pinch of salt
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk, beat the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and creamy. Add the egg and continue whisking until fully incorporated and thick, 2-4 minutes. Stop the mixer and scrape the down the mixture from the sides of the bowl, if necessary.
Add the cram and vanilla extract and whisk again.
In a separate bowl, mix the flour, baking powder and salt. Gradually add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and incorporate using a spatula until just combined. The dough should be thick but soft and a little crumbly. Shape the dough into a disk.
Preheat the oven to 355ºF/ 180ºC regular or 320ºF/ 160ºC fan-forced. Line a baking tray with parchment paper.
Dust the working surface with flour, place the dough on it and dust it with some flour, too. Roll it out with a rolling pin to 1/8″/ 3-4 mm thick. Cut out 2.8″/ 7 cm circles, remove the cut-outs and shape them again in a disk, set aside.
- 1 egg + 1 t water, lightly whisk
- 1 T white or brown sugar
Brush each dough circle on the edge with the egg wash. Place ½ t of the filling in the centre, fold over the dough to make a half-moon shape. Crimp or seal the edge gently with fork tines. Transfer the hand pie to the baking tray and repeat with the remaining dough circles and filling. Place hand pies ~1-1¼”/ 2-3 cm apart.
Brush the top surface of hand pies with the egg wash and sprinkle with sugar. Bake in the hot oven for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack.
Whilst the first batch of hand pies is being baked, prepare another one using leftover dough and filling.
Store at room temperature for 3-4 days.