Filled with fresh blueberries and a hint of lemon zest, these Glazed Blueberry Hand Pies are the perfect dessert for warm summer days!
Back when Laura and I lived in Atlanta, we’d make the trip up to the north Georgia mountains every Fall to go apple picking. This trip usually involved renting a cabin with a group of friends for a long weekend, and it was absolutely one of our favorite times of the year! (In fact, the year we moved north, the last thing we did was spend a long weekend with friends in the north Georgia mountains. We embarked on our 16-hour drive not from our old house in Atlanta, but from a rental cabin in the mountains.)
One of our favorite things to do while in the mountains was go apple picking. Aside from the actual apples, the orchards were home to one of the best creations ever: apple hand pies. The orchards would have racks upon racks of fried hand pies stuffed with apples and cinnamon, and I dutifully did my job of trying one from every orchard. Hey, someone had to do it, right?
Apple season is still several months away, but fresh blueberries have been plentiful in our stores lately. Robbie loves blueberries, and we took him to a local blueberry farm a couple of times last summer. Standing in the farm shack at that blueberry farm reminded me of those apple hand pies from the north Georgia mountains. And then I realized that hand pies don’t have to involve apples. Those bad boys can get stuffed with whatever fruit happens to be in season…which just so happens to be blueberries since we are in the summer months. So blueberries it is! And these Glazed Blueberry Hand Pies are the result!
I thought about cooking down the blueberries into a traditional “pie filling,” but instead I opted for just tossing the berries in a bit of sugar and lemon zest. The fresh flavor of the berries really came through in this Glazed Blueberry Hand Pies. I also chose to fry these hand pies just because I wanted to reminisce about those fried pies from the apple orchards down south. (You could certainly bake these hand pies instead if you don’t want to go to the trouble of frying them. Either way, they’ll be delicious!)
Have you ever had a hand pie? If the answer is no, then stop everything and make a batch of these Glazed Blueberry Hand Pies today! A hand pie is just that…a pie that you can carry with you…in your hand. And don’t skimp on the glaze! There’s no sugar in the actual dough here, so the glaze provides a nice sweet balance to these Glazed Blueberry Hand Pies. So grab some fresh berries (or whatever fruit happens to be in season) and whip up a batch of hand pies. Enjoy, my friends!
P.S. Craving an apple pie instead? This Deep Dish Apple Pie is one of our favorites!
Glazed Blueberry Hand Pies
For the Blueberry Filling
- 1½ cups blueberries
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- 3 Tbsp sugar
For the Dough
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 4 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 large egg
- ¼ tsp salt
- ⅓ cup milk
- Canola or vegetable oil for frying
For the Glaze
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 2 Tbsp milk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
For the Blueberry Filling
- Toss all ingredients together in a small bowl until well combined. Set aside.
For the Dough
- Using a large bowl and a pastry cutter or two table knives, cut the butter into the flour until pea-sized; set aside.
- Using a small bowl, whisk together the egg and salt. Heat the milk until hot (but not boiling) and gradually pour milk into egg mixture, whisking constantly while you pour.
- Pour the milk mixture into the bowl with the flour. Using a fork, toss flour until it forms a soft dough. (If necessary, add 1-2 tsp of water to help the dough come together.) Turn dough out onto a lightly-floured countertop and knead several times.
- Divide dough into 6 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a ball and then flatten each one into a 6” circle. Place 2-3 Tbsp of blueberry filling into center of each circle. Brush edges of circle lightly with water. Fold dough over, pressing edges to seal together.
- Pour oil into a deep fry pan or Dutch oven until it is ~2” deep. Using a deep-fry thermometer, heat oil over medium-high heat until temperature reaches 375°F. Meanwhile, prepare a tray with 2 layers of paper towels; set aside. (Tip: If you don’t have a deep fry thermometer, then you can drop a pinch of flour into the oil. If it browns and bubbles immediately, then the oil is ready to go!)
- Working with 2-3 pies at a time, place pies in hot oil. Fry for 4-5 minutes, flipping occasionally, or until pies are golden brown. Using a slotted spoon, transfer pies to the paper towel-lined tray. Repeat with remaining pies.
- While the pies are cooling, make the glaze by whisking together the powdered sugar, milk and vanilla extract in a small bowl. While the pies are still warm (but not hot), brush the glaze onto top of pies. Let cool, flip and brush the glaze onto bottom of pies.