Blackberry Thyme Hand Pies
Sweet dough. Handpicked blackberries. Fresh thyme clipped from your garden. These are the makings for a handheld summer treat.
One of my favorite things to do in the summer is visit a farm abundant in fresh fruit and pick to my heart’s content, maybe even sneaking a couple to ‘taste-test’.
Last weekend my better half and I strolled down to Henley Farms in Pungo to roam the aisles of winding blackberry vines until our 5-pound baskets could hold no more.
My husband, ahead of me, joked that I was taking too long to pick, as he thought his more 'experienced' blackberry skills meant being an excellent scanner and therefore picking the better berries. In actuality, the lady at the farm stand said his blackberries—tighter and with more red specks of unripened berry—were not going to be the sweetest. Mine on the other hand—more plump and full of ripened goodness—were much more up to her berry standards.
The plumper and sweeter the better, and all the more perfect to be made into these lovely blackberry thyme hand pies.
What you’ll find is a very subtle aromatic thyme presence among seedy blackberry bits and a tinge of lemon in the juiciest filling folded into an airy crust. As much as I enjoy berries right from the vine, these cutesy palm-sized pies may be coming to a close tie. But why take my word for it? You be the judge; just get ready for a fuchsia mess.
Blackberry Thyme Hand Pies
Prep Time: 30 minutes + 1 hour for dough to chill
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 2 hours, 30 minutes
Yield: 6 hand pies
For the dough:
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tbsp sugar
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
For the pie filling:
3 cups blackberries
zest of one lemon
2 tbsp lemon juice
dash of salt
1 tsp fresh thyme leaves + a few sprigs to cook
1/3 cup sugar
For the egg wash:
1 tsp water
Make the dough. Add flour, sugar and salt to a food processor. Pulse until mixed evenly. Add butter, and pulse until a coarse consistency is reached. Add 1/4 cup ice water, and pulse until dough comes together. Slowly add more water if too dry. Knead to assist dough into a disc shape and wrap with plastic. Refrigerate until firm for about 1 hour. Dough can be made 3 days ahead, just defrost in room temperature for about 20 minutes.
Make pie filling. Add all ingredients for the pie filling to a bowl. Mash until you reach a pulpy consistency. Transfer mixture to a saucepan on medium heat. Add additional thyme sprigs. Bring to a simmer and cook for 15–20 minutes until the mixture has thickened. Remove thyme sprigs. Transfer back to the bowl and allow to cool. Preheat oven to 375.
Form your pie crusts. Roll refrigerated dough disc out to a rough 14-inch long rectangle. Score dough to make 6 rectangles then cut. Roll each rectangle into balls, and flatten into roughly 5-inch discs.
Make egg wash. Whisk the egg with the water. Set aside.
Assemble hand pies. Add roughly 2-3 tablespoons of cooked blackberry filling to the middle of each disc.
Fold over dough and pinch close or use a fork to adhere.
Brush with the egg wash, sprinkle raw sugar and cut slits into each.
Transfer hand pies to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake for 30–35 minutes or until pies are golden brown. Turn pan halfway through cook time. Expect pie filling to spill out slightly. Allow to cool and serve…with a few napkins nearby.
Don't miss out on blackberry picking season! Henley Farms is located at 3484 Charity Neck Road in Virginia Beach. They are open 7 days a week from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Visit their website or Facebook page to see what’s ripe for picking.
No time to make your own? Here’s a lovely bumbleberry pie from Jamestown Pie Company.