Sun-ripened blackberries are one of my absolute favorite fruits. Several times over the summer, my family and I drive out to a local pick-your-own blackberry patch and pick buckets full of the juicy black jewels. With six of us picking we always end up with plenty of berries to eat and to make into jams, cobblers, crisps and of course – pies. Oh, how I love blackberry pie! Spice those berries with a little cardamom and wrap them up in a flaky, buttery pie crust made with Hodgson Mill Buckwheat Flour and I’m in heaven. Believe me, I know a good blackberry pie when I taste one and these Blackberry Cardamom Hand Pies with Buckwheat Crust are simply amazing. If you’re as big a blackberry pie fan as I am, you’ll want to get your hands on some fresh blackberries and pull out your mixing bowls right now.
Making the crust is first on the agenda since it must chill before we can put the pie together. You’ll need Hodgson Mill Naturally White Flour and Hodgson Mill Buckwheat Flour to get started. Baking with Hodgson Mill Buckwheat Flour is still new to me, but I had such good luck with it in my Buckwheat-Almond Citrus Sables, that I was eager to see what it would taste like in pie crust. Let me just say, I’ll be adding it to many more pie crusts in the future; it’s that good and it’s another way to add the goodness of whole grains into a dessert. Perfect.
Begin by combining the flour, sugar, salt and cardamom in the bowl of a food processor and then get the butter out of the refrigerator. Keeping the butter cold is crucial to having a flaky crust, so it needs to stay in the refrigerator until the last minute. If I think of it ahead of time, I put my flours and butter in the freezer for a couple of hours to get them as cold as possible before using them.
Cut the butter into small chunks and add it to the bowl.
If you’re not familiar with cardamom, it’s a warm, sweet spice that’s used frequently in Indian and Middle Eastern cooking. I find that it complements the tart blackberries really well and adds an overall lovely flavor to these hand pies. Feel free to substitute cinnamon in its place if you like, but if you happen to have some cardamom in your spice cabinet, I encourage you to use it in this recipe – it’s part of what makes these pies taste so great.
Pulse the mixture about 10 times or until the butter resembles the size of small peas.
Open the lid of the food processor and pour the water all around the butter/flour mixture. I find that pouring it around works better than pouring it down the food processor chute – it distributes throughout the ingredients better. Also, make sure your water is literally ice cold. Fill up a small bowl with cold water and put in a handful of ice cubes. Pour what you need from the bowl to add to the food processor. Cold is key.
Replace the lid and pulse the mixture about 10 more times or until it begins to come together. The dough will still look crumbly, but if you can pinch together a clump, it’s ready. If the mixture is too dry and won’t stick, add a little more water, one tablespoon at a time, and pulse again until it comes together in the pinch test. I didn’t find it necessary to add more water. Be careful not to over mix the dough.
Pour half of the dough onto a large sheet of plastic wrap. See how crumbly my dough still looks? That’s okay – it’ll come together in a minute.
Pull up the sides of the plastic wrap, pressing on the dough with your palms and kneading it ever so slightly, until it forms a flat disc. Using the plastic wrap to handle the dough keeps it colder than if I had used my bare hands alone.
The dough should be able to hold its shape when the plastic wrap is pulled back. See those white flecks in the dough? Those are our pea-sized butter bits, just waiting to make our crust flaky.
Wrap the dough back up in the plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour or overnight. Repeat with the second portion of dough.
When you’re ready to make the pies, combine the blackberries, sugar, lemon juice, tapioca, nutmeg and cardamom in a small bowl.
Toss together gently and set aside. It’s important not to do this step too far ahead of time or the berries will macerate and become overly juicy, making it harder to fill the pies.
Take one disc of pie dough out of the refrigerator about 10 minutes before you want to roll it, keeping the other disc in the refrigerator until needed. Roll the dough into an approximately 16-inch circle on a lightly floured work surface. Be sure to rotate the dough as you roll to prevent sticking.
Using a 3 ½ -inch biscuit cutter, or in my case a cup with a 3 ½ -inch-wide opening, cut out as many circles as possible in the dough. You should end up with about 12 circles.
Transfer the circles to a large, lined baking sheet and then spoon two blackberries onto each piece of dough. If your blackberries are large, you may need to snip them in half with a scissors in order to get them to fit.
Next, using your finger or a pastry brush spread a little bit of egg wash along the bottom edge of each circle. The egg wash is simply a large egg beaten with a splash of water. It seals the edges and helps keep the blackberries from leaking out of the pies as they bake.
Fold the dough over the filling of each pie, pressing the edges to seal. Use the tines of a fork to crimp the edges. Place the baking sheet of pies in the refrigerator for 10 minutes to chill.
After the pies have chilled, use a sharp knife to cut two slits into the top of each pie.
Then brush each pie with some of the egg wash.
And sprinkle with a pinch of sugar. Repeat the process with remaining dough.
Bake the hand pies in a 400oF oven for 15-17 minutes or until the tops and edges are golden brown.
Remove the pies from the oven and transfer to a rack to cool. Serve warm or at room temperature. More than one of my family members risked burning their mouths to eat a blackberry hand pie as soon as possible. They’re irresistible.
These Blackberry Cardamom Hand Pies with Buckwheat Crust are a great way to use fresh blackberries to create a delicious summer dessert. Cardamom is the perfect spice to compliment the sweet/tart blackberries and the Hodgson Mill Buckwheat Flour adds extra flavor and nutrients to make an otherwise ordinary pie crust exceptional. I’m so pleased with how the buckwheat flour tasted in these hand pies that I’m already thinking about what it could do to enhance my apple and pumpkin pies this fall. I’ll be sure and keep you posted.
Don’t let blackberry season pass you by without making these Blackberry Cardamom Hand Pies with Buckwheat Crust. They’re bound to become one of your new favorite ways to eat blackberry pie. Enjoy!
- 2 cups Hodgson Mill Naturally White Flour
- 1/2 cup Hodgson Mill Buckwheat Flour
- 2 Tbsp granulated sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp cardamom
- 8 oz unsalted butter (2 sticks) very cold or frozen, cut into small chunks
- 3/4 cup water ice cold
- 1 1/2 cups blackberries fresh
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tsp lemon juice fresh
- 1 Tbsp Minute Tapioca
- 1/4 tsp cardamom
- 1/8 tsp nutmeg
- 1 large egg beaten with a splash of water (for egg wash)
- granulated sugar for sprinkling
Blackberry Cardamom Hand Pies with Buckwheat Crust
Adapted from http://acozykitchen.com
In the bowl of a food processor, mix the flour, sugar, salt and cardamom. Add the butter and pulse the mixture about 10 times or until the butter resembles the size of small peas. Remove the lid of the food processor and pour the water all around the flour mixture. Replace the lid and pulse the mixture approximately 10 times or until the dough begins to clump together, checking the dough by pinching together a small clump. Add more water one tablespoon at a time if necessary. Pour half of the dough onto a large sheet of plastic wrap and use the sides of the plastic wrap to press the dough into a disc shape. Repeat with the other half of the dough. Refrigerate discs of dough for at least an hour or overnight.
Not long before the pies are ready to be assembled, mix together the blackberries, sugar, lemon juice, tapioca, cardamom and nutmeg. Set aside.
Remove one of the discs of dough from the refrigerator and roll into a 16-inch circle on a lightly floured work surface, rotating the dough as you roll to prevent sticking. Using a 3 ½-inch biscuit cutter or cup, cut as many circles as possible from the dough. Transfer the circles to a large, lined baking sheet and spoon two blackberries onto each piece of dough. Blackberries may need to be cut in half if too large to fit. Use your finger or a pastry brush to spread a little bit of egg wash along the bottom edge of each circle. Fold the dough over the filling of each pie, pressing the edges to seal. Use the tines of a fork to crimp the edges. Place the baking sheet of pies in the refrigerator for 10 minutes to chill. After the pies have chilled, use a sharp knife to cut two slits into the top of each pie, brush each with egg wash and sprinkle with granulated sugar. Repeat process with remaining dough. Bake the hand pies in a 400oF oven for 15-17 minutes or until the tops and edges are golden brown. Remove the pies from the oven and transfer to a rack to cool. Serve warm or at room temperature. These pies are best eaten the same day they’re made.
Makes approximately 24 hand pies.