Double Berry & Cardamom Hand Pies

Today is my favorite holiday of the year: pi day. I was never a big fan of pi day while I was in school—math and I do not jive—but now that those dark days are behind me, this day is just an excuse to make (and EAT!) pie. As far as I’m concerned, if a day practically begs you to eat pie, it’s a good day.

So, in celebration of pi day, I whipped up a batch of these little beauties. This recipe was a little bit of an experiment for an upcoming event. My boyfriend, Kyle, is a barista (free coffee for me!), and he’s leading a seminar on coffee pairings next week. A few days ago, he asked me if I could come up with a dessert that paired well with chocolate and berry notes. To which my answer was: duh.

This recipe, then, was a test run to see how my chosen flavor profile—berries and cardamom—played together. Luckily, I found that they play very, very nicely, especially with the crust, which is my favorite part of any pie. Whenever I bake them, I use the buttery flaky pie crust recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction. It comes together so easily and has the perfect balance of flavor and flake.

The crisp crust; the thick, gloppy, delicious berry filling; the warming aromas of cardamom and cinnamon… I just think that a house feels more like a home when there’s pie lying around, don’t you? I’ll take two, please!

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Double-Berry Cardamom Hand Pies

Prep Time: 20 mins + 1 hr inactive | Cook Time: 20 mins | Servings: 10

For the crust:

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup shortening, chilled and cut into cubes
  • 6 Tbsp butter, chilled and cut into cubes
  • 1/2 cup ice water
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 Tbsp. milk
  • optional: Turbinado sugar

For the filling:

  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1 cup blackberries
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp cardamom (I like a lot of cardamom, but if you’ve never tried it and aren’t sure about it, start with 1/2 tsp and work your way up from there! You can always add more later.)
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

Instructions

  1. Mix the flour and salt together in a large bowl. Add the butter and shortening.
  2. Using a pastry cutter or two forks, cut the butter and shortening into the flour until the mixture looks like coarse meal with a few pea-sized bits.
  3. Drizzle in your ice water (make sure it’s cold), 1 Tablespoon at a time, and stir with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon after every Tablespoon (15ml) added. Do not add any more water than you need to. Stop adding water when the dough begins to form large clumps.
  4. Transfer the pie dough to a floured work surface. The dough should come together easily and should not feel overly sticky. Using floured hands, fold the dough into itself until the flour is fully incorporated into the fats. Form it into a ball. Divide dough in half. Flatten each half into 1-inch thick discs using your hands.
  5. Wrap each tightly in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour (and up to 5 days).
  6. While your dough is resting in the fridge, combine all the filling ingredients in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook the fruit for 5–6 minutes, or until the mixture is nice and thick. (Side note: I always pre-cook my pie filling because it helps prevent a soggy crust, and no one likes a soggy crust. Also, when you pre-cook your filling, you have a shorter bake time, which means no fiddling with pie shields or tin foil. Much better experience for everyone.)
  7. Remove the filling from the heat and pour it into a bowl to cool at room temperature for about an hour. (This is where you go watch an episode of whatever TV show you’re binging. I watched an episode of Parts Unknown, but you do you.)
  8. Preheat the oven to 425° F.
  9. Once the pie dough is chilled, roll it out an a floured surface until it’s about 1/8 inch thick. Try to make it as rectangular as possible, but don’t sweat it if it isn’t perfect. Trim the edges with a pizza cutter or sharp knife, and cut the dough into 8 equal rectangles. Roll out the scraps and cut out two more rectangles, then place all of them on two parchment-paper-lined baking sheets. Repeat this process with the other dough disc, but score these rectangles three times so the pies can vent.
  10. Scoop your filling onto the bottom crusts. The temptation to overfill will be strong, but do not give in. I used a scant 1/4 cup to fill mine and they could have done with less.
  11. Beat the egg and milk together in a small bowl. Using a pastry brush, lightly brush the outer edges of the bottom crusts with the egg wash. Place the top crusts over the filling, and seal the edges with a fork. Brush the top crust with the egg wash. You can also sprinkle the tops with turbinado sugar before baking for some extra crunch, sweetness, and ~*sparkle*~.
  12. Bake the pies in the center of the oven for 20 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown and the filling is bubbling. Don’t panic when the filling bubbles right out of the vents; these are rustic and that’s what parchment paper is for. Allow to cool on the baking sheets for at least 10 minutes or you’ll burn the life out of your mouth with molten berry lava. Enjoy with friends immediately (recommended) or keep them in an airtight container on the counter for up to 4 days.

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