By Andrew Zimmern
These hand pies are an ode to my summer camp days in Maine, where we would forage for wild blueberries when they were at their peak every August. Those tart, sweet little berries just explode with flavor. For me, these hand pies are the best way to enjoy the season’s harvest — a simple filling of wild blueberries with cardamom, orange and ginger, stuffed into a flaky pie crust, fried and tossed in cinnamon and sugar.
Blueberry Hand Pies
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 7 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter
- 1 egg yolk
- 3 to 4 tablespoons ice water
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 3/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 5 cups blueberries, washed and dried
- 1 orange, zested
- 3 quarts vegetable oil
- 2 cups sugar
- 1/4 cup ground cinnamon
First, make the dough. Mix flour and salt together in mixing bowl. Cut butter into ½-inch cubes. Press butter chunks between fingertips and drop into center of bowl. Toss to coat. With fingertips, gradually work flour and butter together until mixture resembles coarse meal. Whisk egg yolk and 3 tablespoons of water together in small bowl to blend. Drizzle egg yolk mixture over flour mixture, tossing with fork. Stir dough until mixture begins to come together; press together with hands to form a rough dough.
Turn out onto cool counter and press together into mound. Sprinkle with enough remaining water to reach dough consistency if it is very crumbly at this point. With heel of hand, smear a small amount of dough away from you on counter. Scrape up and continue with remaining dough, mounding smeared dough together on counter. Press mound into disk. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours.
Next, make the filling. Combine sugar, cornstarch, cardamom, ginger, salt, blueberries, and orange zest in a large mixing bowl.
Heat 3 quarts of oil in a large pot to 350 degrees. Place sugar and ground cinnamon in a large work bowl and reserve.
Roll out 6 discs of dough roughly 5 inches across. Add a couple tablespoons of the blueberry filling. I like to use a hand pie or empanada press for speed. Seal by crimping or use a fork to seal the edges. Fry in the oil.
Immediately pull from oil when nicely browned and roll in the cinnamon sugar. Let cool on a rack and eat while still warm.