3.26.2017

Blackberry Hand Pies (gluten free + vegan)

I'm just loving blackberries at the moment. My littlest kiddo is a fan of just about any fruit, but blackberries, raspberries and blueberries are definite favorites. If he even catches a glimpse of them, he starts saying "apple, apple, apple" (he calls everything "apple" right now) and will throw a fit if he doesn't get them. Needless to say, it is difficult to keep any of them around the house for very long. This child would eat a pint of berries in one sitting if I would let him!

I picked up a couple of pie crusts at our local allergy-friendly bakery just to try them. What I love about the crusts I purchased is that the "top" crusts come prepared, rolled out, and packaged between two pieces of parchment paper. So all I had to do was remove them from my freezer and let them thaw for about 10 minutes on my kitchen counter. Just enough time to prepare the filling for these beauties!

You could definitely make homemade pie crusts though. My absolute favorite recipe for homemade crusts comes from my friend Megan at Allergy Free Alaska. Hers is my go-to recipe anytime I need to make a pie from scratch. It has never failed me and I've been using it for years!


I've really been wanting to make these hand pies lately. I remember the storebought individual pies we would have as kids, and while I thought they were delicious back then, they're just too sweet and artificial tasting for me now. Since I've been trying to stock up on my favorite blackberries (and hiding them so the kiddo can't steal them all) it was the perfect time to make a homemade version filled with sweet blackberry filling.


Blackberry Hand Pies

recipe makes about six 4' pies
  • 2 pie crusts (homemade or storebought)
  • 1/2 cup fresh blackberries
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 Tbsp sugar 
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tsp  cornstarch
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbsp apricot or peach preserves
  • 2 tsp water
  • 1 tsp sugar for topping
for the filling:
In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the blackberries and 1/4 cup water. While cooking, use a wooden spoon to smash the blackberries. Once the mixture is hot and all of the blackberries have been softened, carefully pour the mixture through a fine mesh strainer to remove the seeds and lumps.

Return the liquid to the pan over medium heat. Add the sugar and continue stirring until it dissolves. In a small bowl, whisk together 1/4 cup water and the cornstarch to form a slurry. Add to the hot blackberry mixture and continuing cooking until the mixture thickens. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract. Pour the mixture into a bowl and set aside to cool. Once cooled, it should thicken to a jelly-like texture. 

for the pies:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Prepare and roll out pie crusts. Cut into 4" circles with a cookie or biscuit cutter, or just by using a knife. Each pie crust should yield six circles. Place half of the pie crust circles on the parchment paper. For the remaining crusts, roll them out using a rolling pin so they're just slightly larger than the bottom crusts. This helps to allow space for the filling inside the pies.

In a small bowl, whisk together the apricot or peach preserves and 2 tsp water. (This helps the crusts to stick together and brown while baking. In lieu of this mixture, you could use an egg wash instead if eggs aren't an issue.) 

Drop a small spoonful of the blackberry filling in the center of each bottom crust. Lightly brush the preserves and water mixture around the outer edge of each bottom crust. Gently place one larger top crust over the filling. Press the edges of the tops and bottoms together. Use a fork to help crimp them together to form a seal. Repeat with all remaining crusts.

Use a paring knife to cut a small "x" in the center of each pie to allow steam to escape. Lightly brush the top crusts with more of the preserves and water mixture. Sprinkle with a pinch of sugar. Place the pan in the preheated oven and bake for 8 minutes, or until the crusts are just beginning to brown. Remove from the oven and allow pies to cool before serving. 





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