I had some blackberries on the counter that were getting a bit worse for time. I thought I would turn them into a quick jam. Then I decided to put the jam into biscuit dough to make hand pies.
Karl’s Blackberry Biscuit Hand Pies
1 cup black berries
1 Tbs. sugar
1 tsp. corn starch mixed with 1 Tbs. water
2 cups flour, AP
1 Tbs. baking powder
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. sugar
1 stick unsalted butter, frozen
¾ cup whole milk
1. Mash the berries in a small pot with the sugar.
2. Bring the mash to a simmer and cook for 3-4 minutes.
3. Add just enough cornstarch to thicken the jam.
Tip: Put in half of the cornstarch and let it thicken for a minute. Add more as necessary.
4. Remove the pot from the heat and let it cool.
Tip.: While the jam is cooling, make your biscuits.
5. Sift the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar several times into a large bowl.
Tip: Repeated sifting helps distribute the ingredients evenly through the mix.
Note: Self-rising flour is not commonly available in the US. So the repeated sifting is an attempt to get s-r flour even distribution of salt and baking powder.
6. Using a box grater, grate the frozen butter into the flour mixture.
Tip: Stir the butter shred into the flour so that they do not clump together.
7. Use a pastry cutter, to break the butter shreds into tiny bits.
Tip: Many recipes have up use a pastry cutter on large lumps of butter. While this eventually works, the heat created by repeated chopping starts to warm the butter. With the frozen butter shreds you only have to chop the butter a few times to get a through mix.
8. Preheat the oven to 425º F.
9. Add most of the milk to the dry ingredients and use a spatula to combine them.
Tip: If necessary, add a bit more milk to make a soft dough.
10. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead 10-15 times.
11. Roll the dough to one half inch thick and cut the biscuits out with a 2 inch biscuit cutter.
12. A few at a time, roll out each biscuit out into a five inch circle.
13. Add 1-2 tablespoons of jam to the center of each disc.
14. Pull up the opposite sides of the dough and pinch the edges to seal them along the top.
Tip: Before sealing the last corner, press any air out of the pie.
15. Place the pies on a parchment paper lined baking tray and brush the tops with the remaining milk.
16. Continue until you run out of ingredients.
Tip: If you run out of jam before you run out of dough, leave the biscuits as biscuits and bake as usual.
17. Bake the hand pies at 425° F, on the middle rack, for 12 minutes or until golden brown.
18. Transfer the finished pies to a wire rack to cool.