Making the most of the blackberries

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Yesterday morning, Gavin had laser focus: playing on his tractor, snacking on blackberries and meandering down to the pile of felled pines (his favorite, most exciting play place) were all on the list. But I got stuck on the blackberries. And since I only have a few weeks each year to obsess over them (plus that wonderful time in winter when we pull a few bags out of the freezer) I figure I can get away with that. So when we came in from our playing and berrying expedition, it was time to put the harvest to use.

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I think it took less than an hour to piece together these little wonders (including crust-making time) so don’t be put off by their daintiness and tininess!

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Blackberry Hand Pies (makes about 28)

Crust:

2 C. Flour (I used whole wheat and it was fine, but I’m sure regular flour would be excellent as well)

3/4 tsp. Salt

3/4 tsp. Baking Powder

3/4 C. Butter, cut into 1″ cubes

1 Egg

1 Tbs. Apple cider vinegar

4 Tbs. Ice-cold water

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Sift together the flour, salt and baking powder, then cut in the butter till the mixture is fine and crumby. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg, vinegar and water. Add half of this liquid combination to the flour and stir it in. Continue adding in small amounts till the dough is easily formed into a ball, but not gooey. Shape into two balls, wrap each in cling wrap and refrigerate while you mix up the filling.

Blackberry Filling:

2 1/2 C. Fresh blackberries

1/4 C. White Sugar

1/4 C. Brown Sugar

1/8 C. Flour

1-2 tsp. Ground nutmeg

Gently stir together blackberries, sugars, flour and nutmeg until everything is dissolved into the blackberry juices.

Assemble Hand Pies:

On a lightly floured pastry cloth, roll out one of the balls of pie dough into a fairly thin sheet. Using a 4-5″ bowl, cup or biscuit cutter, cut out circles of dough. Place a few Tablespoons of filling onto each circle of dough, fold one half over the filling and crimp the edges together (the result should be a pretty half-moon shape, probably with a few ragged holes in some of them, like mine!).  Place on baking sheet. Continue with the rest of the dough and filling till both are used up. Cover hand pies with aluminum foil and bake 10 minutes. Remove the foil and bake another 10 minutes, or until they are golden and bubbling with blackberry juice. Enjoy (preferably after a few minutes of cooling)!

Love from Oregon,

Faerynn M.

P.S. There are a lot of blackberries out there: prepare yourself for more recipes!d

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