Showing posts with label hand pies. Show all posts
Showing posts with label hand pies. Show all posts

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Blueberry Hand Pies with a Yummy Yogurt Pastry Crust from Culinary Mystery Author Cleo Coyle

Blueberries as big as the end of your thumb, 
Real sky-blue, and heavy, and ready to drum 
In the cavernous pail of the first one to come!

~ Robert Frost

With blueberry season on its way, I thought this recipe might come in handy. Yes, handy as in hand pies. Hey, no groaning. Puns are my business, along with murder (the fictional kind). And it IS tax-filing week here in the USA when murderous moods are not uncommon. 

So why not channel some of that tax-filing frustration and find a better use for your rolling pin than committing a felony...

Cleo Coyle has a partner in 
crime-writing—her husband. 
Learn about their books 
by clicking here and here.

Hand Pies with
Yogurt Pastry Crust

When I have a hankering for hand pies, my yogurt crust is the one I choose. It's tasty and tender and also strong enough to hold together for a pan-free pie. 

The yogurt accomplishes a few things in the recipe. It slightly reduces the amount of butter and shortening thus reducing the calorie count a bit. It makes the dough easier to work with. It also boosts the crust’s flavor. The slight tanginess of the yogurt offsets the heaviness of the butter and shortening and creates a crust with a brighter flavor, one that especially complements the taste of a fruit pie. 

To download this recipe in a 
PDF format that you can print,
save, or share, click here.

Click for free Recipe PDF

Cleo's Yogurt Pastry Crust

Makes 6 or 7 hand pies, depending on size and crust thickness


2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1 Tablespoon sugar

1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, very cold

1/4 cup (4 T) solid vegetable shortening (e.g. Crisco), cold

2 large eggs

1 Tablespoon water

1/4 cup plain regular yogurt - full-fat yogurt is best
     (low-fat is okay to use, but do not use nonfat yogurt)

Step 1 - Sift flour, salt, and sugar into a bowl. Cut butter into small slices, add solid shortening and use fingertips or pastry blender to work the fats into the flour. (Or pulse mixture in a food processor.) When the mixture resembles coarse meal, place the bowl in the refrigerator to keep cold

 Step 2 – Measure out the yogurt and place in a small bowl. Into a separate small bowl, crack two large eggs, add the 1 T. of water, and whisk vigorously until well blended. Measure out ¼ cup of this egg-water mixture and combine it with the yogurt. Using a fork, vigorously whisk the yogurt and egg-water mixture until blended and smooth. (Reserve the remaining egg-water mixture for brushing crust before baking.) 

Step 3 - Remove the bowl with the flour mixture from the refrigerator. Add the yogurt-egg mixture and stir with a spoon, rubber spatula, or your hand until a smooth dough forms. This dough will be sticky. That’s okay! Shape it into a ball, wrap it in plastic and place in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 hours. The dough will be less sticky, easier to work with, and because it’s well hydrated, you can use flour as you roll it out and the dough will stay tender. When ready, lightly flour a flat surface and your rolling pin and roll out and bake according to pie or tart recipe. 

2 TIPs: Always keep pastry dough COLD. Roll hand pie crusts one at a time and keep the rest of the dough in the fridge. Place all formed pies back in the fridge for ten minutes before baking. If you bake the pies cold, they will have even flakier crusts.

To Make Hand Pies

Mix the filling: Gently mix 2-1/2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries (do not thaw) with 1 tablespoon flour (or cornstarch) and 2 tablespoons sugar (more sugar if berries are tart). Toss with 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon. Set aside.

Make the pies: To make the pies, break the chilled pie dough into 6 or 7 even pieces. Lightly flour a rolling pin and roll each piece into a rough circle. Dough can be rolled thin, down to about 1/8-inch, but no thinner or the pie may break while baking. 

Mound a small amount of the blueberry mixture into the lower half of the circle. Wet your finger with water and run it along the outside edge of the circle. Fold the circle over the filling and seal the pie by pressing down the edges with a fork. Trim ends with a pizza cutter or knife. 

Place finished pies on a parchment-covered baking sheet. Do this for 2 reasons. The pies may leak blueberry juice and the paper will catch this mess. The parchment paper also provides a bit of a shield from the direct heat of the pan so the pies will bake more evenly and are less likely to over-brown or burn in places.

Brush with the egg wash you reserved from making the Yogurt Pastry Crust. Sprinkle with sugar if you like. Cut a small venting slice in the top of each pie. CHILL the pies before baking and your crusts will turn out even flakier (simply slide the pan into the fridge while you preheat your oven).  


Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F. for at least 30 minutes. The combination of a very hot oven and cold pastry dough is what helps produce a flakier crust. 

Bake time for the pies is 15 to 20 minutes, depending on your oven and the thickness of the crust. Eat warm or allow to cool completely before topping with a drizzle of sweet glaze (recipe below).

Sweet White Drizzling Glaze

1-1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar

3 Tbsp. half-and-half or light cream

Note: Milk and water will also work, but will not taste as rich and may need a bit more sugar to thicken.

Directions: Measure out the powdered sugar. Stir in half-and-half (or light cream) until all the sugar is dissolved. With a wire whisk or fork, whisk the mixture until it appears smooth and without a single clump. Test on a plate. The glaze should drizzle easily but should not be thin or watery, and it should set in about ten minutes. If the glaze is too thin and watery, add a little more sugar. If too thick, add a bit more liquid. When you’re happy with the consistency, dip a fork into the glaze and pass the tines back and forth over the top of each completely cooled hand pie to create a drizzling effect.

Eat with springtime joy!

~ Cleo Coyle

New York Times bestselling author of  
The Coffeehouse Mysteries

Friend me on facebook here. * Follow me on twitter here
Learn about my books here

* * *

Our newest mystery is now

a bestselling hardcover!

Coffee. It can get a girl killed.

Amazon * B&N

A Mystery Guild Selection
A Baker & Taylor Fall "Trends" Pick
Three "Best of Year" Reviewer Lists

Dead to the Last Drop 
is a culinary mystery with 
more than 25 delicious recipes!

See the free illustrated 
Recipe Guide by clicking here.

*  *  *

The Coffeehouse Mysteries are bestselling
works of amateur sleuth fiction set in a landmark
Greenwich Village coffeehouse, and each of the
15 titles includes the added bonus of recipes. 

(with mini plot summaries)

* * * 

Marc and I also write
The Haunted Bookshop Mysteries

Get a free title checklist, 
with mini plot summaries, 

Or learn more about the 
books and meet Jack Shepard, 
our PI ghost by clicking here.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Charmed Meat Pies with Paprika Aioli

We're delighted to welcome back our own Ellery Adams. PEACH PIES and ALIBIS, the third book in her delightful Charmed Pie Shoppe Mysteries is coming out on March 5th!

By Guest Blogger Ellery Adams

Ella Mae LeFaye of the Charmed Pie Shoppe knows that you’re about done with winter. You’re about done with cold weather and grey skies. Well, here’s a wonderfully tasty, slightly spicy hand pie that will warm you right down to your toes. That’s the magic of  homemade food, isn’t it? It makes you feel cozy and loved and happy.

However, I must warn you: this is the kind of pie that makes a man go weak in the knees. Ella Mae made it for Hugh Dylan, her handsome fireman, and now things between the two of them are really heating up! When Peach Pies and Alibis comes out next week (March 5) you can read all about it! Until then, here's the recipe:

2 ½ cups flour
2 teaspoons salt
½ cup vegetable oil
½ cup ice water

2 tablespoons butter
1 pound ground beef chuck
2 large garlic cloves, finely minced
1 onion, finely diced
3 tablespoons tomato paste
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
¼ teaspoon allspice
½ teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
3 splashes of Tabasco sauce (add more if desired)
1 egg beaten with tablespoon half and half (egg wash)

Paprika Aioli

¼ fresh lemon juice
5 garlic cloves, finely minced
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 ½ teaspoons (sweet or Spanish)
2 tablespoons sugar
1 ½ tablespoons tomato paste
1 ½ cups mayonnaise

In a large skillet, melt the butter. Add the ground beef and cook until no pink is showing. Add the garlic and onion and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the onion is translucent. About 8 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste, cayenne, cloves, thyme, and allspice and cook for 3 minutes. Season with hot sauce and let cool. Transfer the filling to a food processor and pulse until chopped.

Preheat the oven to 350° and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. On a floured work surface, roll out each disk of dough to a 12-inch round. (If you don’t want to make the dough by hand, Pillsbury pre-made piecrusts will work just as well). Using a 4-inch biscuit cutter, stamp out 6 rounds from each piece of dough. Brush the edges of the rounds with some of the egg wash and place a rounded tablespoon of filling to one side of each circle. Fold the other half of the dough over the filling and press to seal. Crimp the edges with a fork. Transfer the pies to the baking sheet and brush with the egg wash. Bake for 25 minutes, until golden brown.

While pies are baking, blend together all the ingredients for the paprika aioli. Serve in individual bowls for dipping.

Name the spiciest food you’ve ever tasted! 

And before I go, here's the blurb for Peach Pies and Alibis!
ISBN - 0425251993
Price - $7.99
Available at your local bookstore or Amazon.comIndiebound.comBarnes & Noble

Ellery Adams serves up a mystery that’s a real peach...
Ella Mae LeFaye’s Charmed Pie Shoppe is wildly popular in Havenwood, Georgia—which is not surprising since Ella Mae can lace her baked goods with enchantments. The shop’s extraordinary success seems destined to continue when Ella Mae meets an engaged couple who hire her to handle the dessert buffet at their wedding.

But Ella Mae has a lot on her plate. She is also searching for the origin of her magical powers—and hoping to determine if the spark of attraction she feels for the handsome Hugh Dylan is authentic or just her new abilities gone awry.

Then Ella Mae discovers a high-standing member of the community dead, and a wedding guest becomes seriously ill at the event she’s catering. Now she’ll have to use all her sleuthing skills and culinary talents to prove her pies don’t contain a killer ingredient . . .