Blueberry Hand Pies

You will need a 4" square or round biscuit cutter

for the dough:
2 cups AP flour  
2 teaspoons sugar
1½ sticks butter (12 tablespoons), cut into slices
¼ cup ice water plus 1 Tablespoon (approximately)

for the cream cheese filling:
4 ounces of cream cheese, room temperature
½ large lemon, juiced
1 tablespoon confectioner's sugar

for the blueberry filling:
1 cup of fresh blueberries
zest of 1 large lemon
½ large lemon, juiced
1 tablespoon confectioner's sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch 

for the egg wash:
1 egg
2 teaspoons water

topping:
2 tablespoons vanilla sugar or course raw sugar

Place flour and sugar in a food processor.  Pulse.  Add about half of the butter.  Pulse.  Add the rest of the butter. Pulse until the mixture turns into coarse crumbs. Through the feed tube, slowly add the ice water and pulse until the dough gathers up into a ball.  Do not add all the water at once - add it a little at a time.  As soon as the dough gathers up into a ball, stop adding water. If it doesn't after a few seconds, add a few more drops of ice water until it does.  You don't want the dough too wet. Take the dough out and gently flatten it into a disc and place it on a sheet of floured plastic wrap. Refrigerate for about 30 minutes.

While the dough is resting, make the fillings.  In a small bowl, combine the softened cream cheese with the lemon juice and sugar.  Blend thoroughly.

For the blueberry filling, in a medium bowl, toss the blueberries with the lemon zest, juice, sugar and corn starch and let sit for about 20 minutes. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. 

After the dough has rested, remove from the refrigerator and place on the counter, unwrapping the dough but keeping it on the sheet of plastic wrap.  Flour the top of the dough lightly and place another sheet of plastic wrap on top.  With a rolling pin, roll out the dough to about a 16"x11" square (about 1/8" thickness).  If the dough is too cold to roll out, just let it sit for a few minutes and try rolling it out again. Using a 4" biscuit or cookie cutter, cut out 6 pieces of dough. Set these on a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  

Place a scant tablespoon of cream cheese filling on each piece of dough, keeping a good inch all around the dough with no filling.  Place a heaping tablespoon of blueberries on top of the cream cheese (about 10 blueberries).  Place the baking sheet in the fridge while you roll out the dough tops.

Gather the scraps and roll out again, to about a thickness of 1/8 inch. Cut out three dough tops, or as many as you can.  Reroll the scraps and cut out more dough tops. Keep doing this until you have 6 dough tops.  You should have just enough scraps to do this.  With a sharp paring knife, cut a little vent in the dough tops - you can cut a little "x" shape or "v" shape. 

Remove the pies from the fridge. Beat the egg and the water in a little bowl and with a pastry brush, brush the egg wash all around the outside border of the pies. Take a pie top and, holding the edges, stretch it just a little bit so that it's a little bit bigger than the pie bottoms (this will accommodate the filling).  Place the pie tops on top of the filling and press down just a little bit, so the filling isn't so high.  Press the borders together and seal. Repeat with the other tops. 

Brush the pies with the egg wash and sprinkle the vanilla sugar on top. Bake for about 20 - 25 minutes, until golden brown. 

The Italian Dish

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