Colorful & comforting seasonal recipes for savory dishes, sweets and cocktails. 

Blueberry Hand Pies with Whipped Basil Mascarpone

Blueberry Hand Pies with Whipped Basil Mascarpone

Just one more. Isn't that always the inner dialogue? Just one more, I tell myself at the farmers market as I see my once-full quart of blueberries quickly dwindle. I rally self-restraint by remembering the end game. It's for pie. You can do this for pie. I feel powerful in my grit, but it shrinks as quickly as my blueberry reserve, and inevitably I return to the vendor, Ozark Mountain Orchard, whose table is still bright with berries to buy an additional pint before heading home. They smile the way everyone else around me is smiling. It's the start of berry season and we're all exuberant. 

I carefully tuck my bounty in the backseat of the car, braced between napa cabbage and lush carrot greens, to protect it from the ride and deter my reach. 

At home I drape a kitchen towel over the berries while I roll out the pie crust for hand pies. I'll take pie in any form, but I'm partial to hand pies. The individual portions feel exclusive, like there's all the pie in the world, but this piece was made for the hands that hold it. I hold this in my mind as I prepare each one, rolling the dough, brushing egg wash across the edges, spooning in the filling. I'm overzealous with the filling, a habit that that will undoubtedly result in bright berry juice bleeding out during baking. And it does. The juice bursts out of the pies onto the surrounding parchment paper and hardens like a crystallized candy that I pick off and enjoy as a separate treat. It's the start of berry season and I'm exuberant. -Mallory

Blueberry Hand Pies with Whipped Basil Mascarpone
Makes 12 4-inch hand pies
8 ounces unsalted butter (2 sticks)
2 2/3 cups flour (12 ounces weighed)
1 teaspoon salt
4 ounce ice water
4 cups blueberries
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 egg, whisked
raw sugar for sprinkling
4 ounces mascarpone
2 ounces heavy whipping
1/4 cup basil leaves, cut in a chiffonade

Cut the butter into small pieces then set it in the freezer to chill for 10 minutes. Combine salt and flour in a medium-sized mixing bowl. Cut in the cold butter using a pastry cutter or your hands. Crumble the butter into the flour until any remaining pieces are the size of small peas. The flour will look more like cornmeal or polenta at this point. Add 2 ounces of ice water. Combine with a spatula until a dough forms. Add more ice water as needed, one tablespoon at a time. Shape the dough into two equally sized disks, wrap in plastic wrap and set chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

While the dough chills, prepare the blueberry filling. Combine blueberries, sugar, maple syrup, lemon zest, and cinnamon together in a mixing bowl. Refrigerate until ready to use. 

Preheat oven to 375 degrees fahrenheit. Roll out the pie dough on a floured surface until and cut into 4-inch piece. I used a glass container to cut my circles. Prepare two large baking sheets with parchment paper and lightly dust them with flour. In a small bowl whisk together an egg with 2 tablespoons water. Working with one pie at a time, brush the edges of the pie crust with the egg wash. Add a heaping tablespoon of filling to the center of the pie crust, fold it over and seal the edges with a fork. Transfer the pie to the prepared baking sheet and repeat. Make a "X" on each of the prepared hand pies before baking using a sharp knife. Brush egg wash across the pies and generously sprinkle with raw sugar. Baking for 25-30 minutes.

While the hand pies are baking, whisk together the mascarpone and heavy whipping cream by hand or using a stand mixer. Whisk until thick and soft peaks begin to form, then gently fold in the chopped basil. Top each hand pie with a large spoonful. 

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