When it’s cold and rainy outside, you’d do anything for a little bit of sunshine. I picked (okay, I watched my husband pick) a whole bunch of blackberries around our yard this past summer. I was adding them on top of pancakes, throwing them in smoothies, but soon realized there would be way too many to consume fresh. So I froze the rest and ended up filling almost half my freezer with bins of fresh, juicy blackberries. (Step-by-step tips for properly freezing blackberries coming soon). I decided that my husbands birthday would be a great time to use up some blackberries in a yummy, but not time consuming pastry. There’s something special about individual pies like these. Maybe it’s the delight of getting a whole pie to yourself and eating it with your hands. Or maybe it’s the perfect combo of a crisp (pre-made!!) puff pastry dusted with sugar and a flavorful blackberry filling. Grating in a golden delicious apple and a bit of all purpose flour help to thicken up the filling, without muting the freshness of the berries. We all deserve to enjoy a slice of summer even in the middle of January!
You’ll want to take the puff pastry sheets out of the freezer to thaw while you prepare the blackberry filling. They should be soft enough to roll in 10-20 minutes. But meanwhile, add fresh or frozen blackberries, some grated apple, flour, cinnamon and sugar into a saucepan and bring to a boil. Let it thicken for about 5 minutes.
If you use frozen blackberries like I did- no need to thaw, just add them in as is.
Once your puff pastry is ready, grab one of the sheets and roll it out to measure 16 x 11. Then trim it down to 15 x 10. This will ensure even edges.
Trim the dough into 6, 5-inch squares. The easiest way I found to do this was with a pizza cutter. Place a heaping tablespoonful of blackberry into the center of each square. Moisten the edges with some milk, and fold over into a triangle, pressing the edges together to seal.
Transfer to the triangles to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or silicone mats. Press tines of a fork around the edges of each triangle. This will help hold the fruit mixture in place. Plus it’s pretty. Repeat with the remaining dough and filling until you have 12 triangles total, 6 on each tray. Brush the triangles with milk and sprinkle with the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar. Bake, switching positions of pans halfway through, until pies are golden, about 30 minutes. Transfer the pies to wire racks to let cool.
Serve these blackberry hand pies with a hot cup of coffee.