Everything tastes better in summer -- we're guessing it's because so many fruits and vegetables are in season, all over the country. To celebrate the country-wide bounty, we're bringing you some regional recipes from bloggers across the U.S. -- but don't worry, they'll taste just as good coming out of your California oven. Beth, the culinary mastermind behind Local Milk, captures the flavor of summer in Chattanooga, Tennessee with these blueberry, basil, and goat cheese hand pies. It's the right time of year for blueberries, and these miniature sweet-tart pies are the perfect way to eat a handful.
Blueberry, Basil, and Goat Cheese Hand Pies
Makes about 10-12 four-inch hand pies
Ingredients For Buttery Pastry Shell
(from Thomas Keller via Smitten Kitchen)
2 cups (250 g) all purpose flour, divided + extra for dusting
1 tsp kosher salt
1 cup (2 sticks / 225 grams) cold unsalted butter, cut into small dice
1/4 cup (60 ml) ice cold water
Ingredients For Filling
1 pint (about 2 cups) blueberries
1/4 cup goat cheese
1/4 cup buttermilk
3 Tbsp honey (or to taste)
1 Tbsp finely chopped fresh basil
small pinch of salt
about 2 Tbsp flour to thicken
1 Tbsp whole milk
raw sugar, for sprinkling
Prepare pastry crust. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix one cup of the flour with all of the salt. Then, with the machine on low speed, add the bits of butter, a handful at a time, until the butter is completely incorperated. Add the remaining flour until just blended, then the cold water until thoroughly incorporated. Dump dough onto a piece of plastic wrap, divide it equally in two, and form each piece of dough into a flat, round disc. Wrap them with the plastic and chill for at least one hour and up to two days. It can also be frozen for up to three months.
Heat oven to 400° F.
Prepare filling. Mix blueberries with all of the ingredients except the flour. Sprinkle flour gradually over top and mix well until desired consistency is reached and mixture is smooth. Cover and chill while you roll out the pastry.
Generously flour your work surface. Place one chilled, unwrapped dough on the flour and flour the top of the dough. Keep the other disk refrigerated while you work. Gently roll your dough out from the center until about 1/8 inch thick. Re-flour your surface as needed, continually lifting and rotating your dough to make sure no parts are sticking. If the dough becomes difficult to work with at any point, chill for a few minutes in the freezer on a baking sheet before continuing.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Cut an even number of circles in desired size using a floured biscuit cutter or the base of a small bowl. Lay circles on parchment lined baking sheet. Lightly beat egg with milk for wash in a small bowl.
Top half the circles with a small amount of filling, brush edged with egg wash, top with another round, and seal edges by crimping with a fork. Brush top with wash, sprinkle with raw sugar, and cut to vent. When completed place in the refrigerator to chill and repeat with other disc of dough and remaining filling.
When second sheet of pies are formed, put in fridge and remove the first sheet. Bake for the first batch for 20 minutes or until golden brown on top and bottom. Repeat with second batch, allowing all pies to cool on a rack.
See more Southeastern recipes at Local Milk.