Summer Favorites - Blackberries
Sweet and yet tart, blackberries can be tossed into salad, added to smoothies or served alongside cheeses. When given the spotlight -- in pies, muffins, jams, or served plain -- their inky, sweet-tart juices bring you back to your childhood and remind you of mountain hikes and country picnics.
In Season: Blackberries peak from June to September.
What to Look For: Since berries don't ripen once plucked, choose ripe ones; they will be bright and aromatic. Avoid packages with juice showing or with bruised or moldy fruit.
How to Store: Refrigerate berries in their containers and use within a few days. Berries are sensitive to moisture; do not store in plastic bags. Wash just before use.
Blackberry Hand Pies
- 1 tablespoon sour cream
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice (from 1 lemon)
- 2 tablespoons ice water, plus more if necessary
- 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
- Coarse salt
- 1/3 cup plus 1 teaspoon granulated sugar, divided
- 1 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- 3/4 cup fresh blackberries
- 3/4 cup fresh raspberries
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- Fine sanding sugar, for sprinkling
1. Whisk together sour cream, lemon juice, and ice water in a bowl. Mix together flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1 teaspoon granulated sugar in a large bowl. Add butter and beat with a mixer on medium-low until mixture resembles coarse meal with some blueberry-size clumps remaining. Gradually beat in sour-cream mixture until just combined but still crumbly. (Squeeze a small amount of dough to see if it holds together. Beat in more water, 1 teaspoon at a time, if necessary.) Divide dough in half, gather into 2 flat rectangles, and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate until just firm, 45 minutes.
2. Roll out each rectangle of dough into a 7-by-14-inch rectangle on a piece of floured parchment with a floured rolling pin. (Dough will be very thin.) Transfer rectangles on parchment to 2 baking sheets and refrigerate until firm, 15 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, stir together berries, remaining 1/3 cup granulated sugar, cornstarch, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a bowl. Slide 1 dough rectangle, still on parchment, onto a work surface. With a long side facing you, cut dough crosswise into four 3 1/2-by-7-inch strips.
4. Mound 2 tablespoons berry mixture in center of bottom half of each strip. Brush edges with egg wash and fold top half over fruit to enclose. Press firmly to seal and trim bottom edge, leaving folded top edge uncut. Cut vents in each pie and place about 2 inches apart on baking sheet lined with fresh parchment. Transfer to freezer. Repeat with remaining dough and berry mixture. Freeze hand pies until very firm, at least 45 minutes.
5. Preheat oven to 375 degrees with racks in upper and lower thirds. Lightly brush pies with egg wash and sprinkle with sanding sugar. Bake, rotating sheets and switching racks halfway through, until pies are golden brown, 35 to 40 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Serve warm or at room temperature.