Hand-held pies are the perfect picnic food, ideal for casual get togethers and easy to pull together for a simple yet elegant dessert. They would be an excellent choice for a dessert buffet too. Tender pie crust comes together with a sweet filling in this perfectly portioned pie. I used a mixture of raspberries, blueberries and blackberries in this edition of hand pies but the process lends itself easily to many fillings. Last year I posted a similar recipe for apple pies; it’s one of my earliest blog posts and let’s just say I am glad to be on a road of improvement both in photography and text, though I have a long way to go.
The crust for this pie was America’s Test Kitchen’s recipe in which the secret ingredient is vodka. Yup, I have vodka in the freezer for the sole purpose of pie crusts! As usual, America’s Test Kitchen produced a stellar recipe which deserves a later post all of its own. For this post I’d like to share the process of assembling these sweet berry pies. You can make your own crust or use store-bought crust.
First cut circles of dough using a circle about 3 1/2 to 4 inches in diameter. I used a drinking glass to make circles but a biscuit cutter or cooking cutter would be fine as well.
Place your filling (I used macerated berries) on one half of the circle. Use less filling than you want to—only 5-6 berries fit on each pie, which seemed small to me but they packed plenty of fresh, berry flavor when baked. Dab water on the edge of half of the circle then fold over the dough; press the edges to seal and cut a small slit in the pie to allow steam to escape.
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