Star Spangled Berry Hand Pies
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Star Spangled Berry Hand Pies are a super simple, flakey cream cheese pie crust filled with fresh strawberry and blueberry compotes. These hand pies make one terrific, patriotic treat, perfect for summer barbecues and picnics!
Serves: About 20-24 3" hand pies
Ingredients
For the pie dough (enough for (2) 9" pie crusts):
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • 8 ounces (2 sticks), cold unsalted butter, cut into ¼" cubes
  • 16 ounces (2 blocks) cold ⅓ less fat neufchâtel cream cheese, cut into 12 large chunks
  • 1 large egg yolk, for egg wash
  • 2 tablespoons milk, for egg wash
For the blueberry compote:
  • 2 cups fresh blueberries
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
For the strawberry compote:
  • 2 cups strawberries, stemmed and coarsely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
Instructions
Prepare the compotes:
  1. Place the blueberries and strawberries in separate small saucepans. Add the lemon juice, sugar, and cornstarch to each pot, and cook over medium low heat until the fruit has softened and the juices have thickened, about 5 minutes. Crush about half of the fruit with the back of a wooden spoon during the cooking process to release more of its juices. The strawberries contain more juices, so increase the heat if necessary and cook just until thickened. Place the compotes in separate bowls to cool. These can be made ahead of time and kept covered in an airtight container in the refrigerator until ready to use.
Prepare the pie dough:
  1. Place the flour, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a food processor and pulse about 10 times to combine. Add the cold butter cubes and pulse 8-10 times, or until the mixture resembles a coarse meal in about pea sized crumbles. Add the cold pieces of cream cheese and pulse about 30 times, or until large, shaggy clumps of dough form. Your food processor will be very full, and there may be some large clumps of cream cheese remaining, which you can deal with during the kneading process.
  2. Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and knead gently until the dough comes together. Knead as minimally as possible to prevent the dough from becoming tough. Divide the dough in half and flatten into (2) discs about ¾" thick, wrap in plastic wrap, and chill for 30 minutes.
Assemble the hand pies:
  1. Line (2) rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. Place the egg yolk in a small bowl, and whisk lightly with the 2 tablespoons of milk until combined. Set aside. Remove one of the dough discs from the refrigerator, and flour a work surface. Roll the dough until it's about ⅛" thick, and cut out 3" circles using a biscuit cutter as close to the edges as possible and as close to one another to get the maximum amount of crusts as possible out of the first roll. Place half of the circles on the prepared baking sheet(s) about 1" apart. Brush the outer ¼" lightly with egg wash, and place 1½ tablespoons of the compote in the middle of the dough. Gently roll out the dough for the top crust just a bit so it will fit over the top of the filling, and use star shaped cutter to cut decorative patterns, reserving the star shaped cutouts. Place the top crusts over the filling and press gently around the edges, then press down around the edges with the tip of a fork to create a decorative edge. Repeat with the remaining scraps of dough and the other disk, and chill for 30 minutes prior to baking. Do not egg wash the top until just before baking.
  2. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and position the oven racks to the upper and lower thirds of the oven. Remove from the refrigerator, and brush the top crust generously with egg wash. Top with the star shaped cut outs, and brush egg wash over those as well. Bake in the oven for 25-35 minutes, or until the top and bottom crusts are nice and golden brown. Cool on a wire rack, or serve warm with ice cream. Enjoy!
Notes
You can halve the pie dough recipe to make less pies, or prepare the recipe as-is and freeze half. It's always nice to have homemade pie dough in the freezer!

I used ⅓ less fat neufchâtel cream cheese here because that's what I always have on hand. You can certainly use full fat cream cheese as well.

Leftover compote should be stored in the fridge in an airtight container and may be enjoyed with yogurt or oatmeal.

Compote recipes by Flavor the Moments.

Pie crust recipe adapted from Tante Marie Cooking School, San Francisco, CA, and "The Art & Soul of Baking", by Cindy Mushet.
Recipe by Flavor the Moments at https://flavorthemoments.com/star-spangled-berry-hand-pies-farmers-market-friday__trashed/