These Blackberry Hand Pies are made from delicious glazed pie crust or puff pastry surrounding a thick rich blackberry filling. Perfect for a lunchbox snack, an afternoon treat or an addition to the dessert table for a Holiday or party.
This hand pie recipe can be made with any fruit filling that you choose; strawberry, raspberry, lemon, even Nutella! We have wild blackberries on our property and they are our favorite berry during late Summer so we filled ours with a fresh blackberry filling. We chose our favorite sourdough crust to make the pastry, and we have a couple of our favorite crusts linked for you along with the blackberry filling recipe.
If you’re short on time you can always purchase a pre-made pie crust, but if you have the time we definitely recommend making your own. There is nothing better than a fresh, homemade pastry crust. These little pies also freeze really well, so you can make a lot at a time and save them for later.
What is the difference between a hand pie and a turnover?
When it comes to the differences between tasty turnovers and hand pies, the difference are subtle and don’t matter much in the final product. Turnovers and hand pies are both made with pie pastry or puff pastry; turnovers are sometimes made with a dough and shaped into a half circle shape much like a calzone. Hand pies traditionally are full circles all the way around.
As you can see from our little hand pies, they could be considered turnovers because of their shape…but that’s about it. The differences between these two pastries is so slight, you will often times see them used interchangeably.
What can you fill hand pies with?
Hand pies and turnovers can be sweet or savory depending on your mood. You could make a chicken pot pie filling, a pizza filling, or even a veggie filling. We enjoy a sweet pastry with a fruit filling using either fresh or frozen fruit. Some ideas for different sweet fillings would be any berry or fruit you choose including caramel apple, cherry, peach, pumpkin, even peanut butter and chocolate. The possibilities are endless with these tasty single serve pastries.
All of the filling recipes below will be great for fruit hand pies. Just add some extra cornstarch to make sure they thicken up well.
Click the links on the pictures to check out the pictured pie filling recipes.
How do I keep my hand pies from getting soggy?
If you are having trouble with soggy, or weak hand pies there are a few tricks that we suggest you try. Once your hand pies are assembled place them in your fridge and allow them to chill for at least 20 minutes. The dough will be warm from your hands and this will help bring structure back to the pies.
Baking temperature is also very important. An under baked hand pie or turnover will not be able to support the hot filling as well as a fully baked one, so be sure your oven is cooking at a hot enough temperature to fully bake the pies. For most regular ovens you will need your oven set between 400-425 degrees F.
Finally, be sure there isn’t excess liquid in your filling. Fillings should be soft and moist, but not wet and drippy. If you are adding excess liquid to your pies you will undoubtedly encounter seepage which will prevent your pastry dough from cooking properly.
Different crusts for your hand pies
Our favorite perfect pie crust for this recipe is a sourdough crust. It will give you a deep rich flavor that’s pretty hard to beat and compliments fruit fillings really well.
Sourdough pie crust also holds up well, makes a flaky pie crust and also has a bit of puff from the sourdough.
Use our sourdough pie crust or the coconut oil pie crust for a firmer crust.
Puff pastry is more tender and flaky. But it’s much less the style of the old Hostess pies you get from the store. We use it for our apple turnovers and other tender puff pastry recipes.
If you’re looking to make puff pastry hand pies use our homemade puff pastry below.
How should I store my hand pies?
Freshly baked hand pies can be kept safely at room temperature for two days, as long as your home isn’t unusually warm. They can be stored in an airtight container in your fridge for up to four days without the flavor or texture being affected.
If freezing, allow your hand pies to fully cool. Wrap them in a dry paper towel and place them in an airtight bag. When they are all properly stored in airtight wrappings, they can be stored together in a large freezer safe container or freezer bag for up to three months.
When you are ready to thaw and warm your hand pies, remove them from the freezer and move them to your fridge to slowly thaw, or place them on your counter to thaw at room temperature for a bit. Unwrap them and place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Warm them on a low temperature for 10 minutes or until warmed through.
Blackberry Hand Pies:
This recipe makes about 16 single serving pies. If you don’t need that many it’s easy to cut the recipe for the filling and pie crusts in half to make 8 small pies. If you chose to purchase a pre-made pie dough, it may not yield a full 16 recipe as our homemade crusts tend to go further.
Visual Guide and Process Photos
Please Watch our video demonstration for the complete recipe. We have linked several homemade pie crust options for you in the gallery above.
Here is a visual walkthrough of the basic step of the recipe with two exceptions. We did not include pictures of the process for making the pie crust or the blackberry filling.
This post is focused on the process of making and baking the hand pies. Pretty much any pie filling or reliable pie crust will work well for hand pies. We offer several of ours linked above.
This is a guide to the assembling and baking the pies.
Assembling your hand pies
How to glaze your finished hand pies
We use a simple powdered sugar glaze. Once hardened it holds up well when using these pies as finger food.
Your Printable Recipe Card:
Sourdough Hand Pies with Blackberry Filling
A flavorful glazed crust surrounds a thick rich blackberry filling. These pies make a sturdy treat you can easily eat in your hand without drips or crumbles. Great for lunchbox treats, dessert and breakfast on the go.
- One two Crust pie crust
- 4 cups fresh washed blackberries
- 1/4 Cup water
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoons cornstarch mixed with 2 tablespoons water
- 1 Cup Powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon Vanilla
- 2 Tablespoons Heavy Cream
- Water to thin
- Put the blackberries, water and sugar into a 2 quart pot. Stir often. Bring to a boil.
- While the blackberries are heating put the cornstarch in a small cup and add 2 tablespoons water. mix well.
- Add the cornstarch to the berries and stir until thickened.
- Remove from heat and set in the fridge or freezer to cool and thicken. At least an hour.
- Roll out chilled pie crust dough into a large rectangle about 1/8 inch thick.
- Invert a six inch bowl onto dough (Or use whatever 6 inch circle cutter you have) and cut the dough into round six inch circles.
- reroll the dough and continue step 2 until you have 8 circles. (enough to fill one baking sheet.)
- Make an egg wash by whisking one egg with two Tablespoons water.
- With a basting brush, brush the egg wash around the outer perimeter of the sourdough circle.
- Place two Tablespoons (approximately) into the center of the dough circle.
- Stretch the dough slightly and pull it gently over the filling to meet the opposite edge until a half circle is formed.
- Crimp the edge of the dough with a fork.
- Place each hand pie on your parchment or silicone mat lined baking sheet.
- Brush the egg wash over the pies.
- Score each Hand pie for venting.
Bake in preheated oven at 400 Degrees F for 20 minutes.
- Repeat assembly process for Second baking sheet while the first one bakes:
Cooling and Glazing:
Remove the baked hand pies from heat to cooling rack.
- Cool to warm (about 75 degrees F) while making glaze.
- Whisk together powdered sugar, vanilla and heavy cream.
- Thin the glaze with water (or milk) until the glaze easily falls in a stream off your spoon.
- Glaze the cooled hand pies by drizzling the glaze off your spoon onto the slightly warm pies.
- Let the hand pie set until the filling is thick and the glaze hardens.
Some the of the success of these pies is personal to you. If you want a really well set up filling increase the cornstarch a little. (a teaspoon or so)
For the best results on the glaze allow the hand pies to cool until SLIGHTLY warm. That way the glaze will melt over them as they cool completely but will not run off the pies.
Serving Size1 hand pie
Amount Per Serving Calories 125Total Fat 2gSaturated Fat 1gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 1gCholesterol 2mgSodium 42mgCarbohydrates 27gFiber 1gSugar 22gProtein 1g
The nutrition here is for the filling and glaze and any generic pie crust. It is not accurate since amounts and calories will change depending on which pie crust you choose.
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Sunday 28th of March 2021
Have you made savory hand pies?
Sunday 28th of March 2021
Hi Julie, I have not.I think they would be wonderful though. I make hand pies mostly for my husbands lunch. He works on construction sites with no power or access to microwaves most of the time. So I focus on fillings like this one that do not require reheating. If you have a good savory filling I think it would be great in these hand pies. Happy Baking!
Thursday 5th of November 2020
Can you make pies but not bake them but freeze them to bake later? If so, how would you do it?
Friday 6th of November 2020
Hi Ronda, You can freeze them without baking them first. But if you put them in the oven frozen they will take a long time to bake. I would loosely cover them with foil on a baking sheet and then bake. They will need 10 to 15 minutes extra to bake through. They are done when the filling bubbles through the crust holes. (like any pie). When you cool them after baking glaze then.
I bake them first, freeze them baked and wrapped. When I remove them (unglazed) they can be put in lunches frozen and allowed to thaw in the lunch box for eating cold (or microwave at work). I hope this helps!
Sunday 13th of September 2020
Hi there! This seems interesting - could I make it with jam/jelly for the filling? If so, what would be the quantity?
Sunday 13th of September 2020
Hi Rachel, You'll need about 2 Tablespoons filling /hand pie. For 16 hand pies you will need about 2 cups of jam or preserves. I'd be careful about using a jelly. It will probably go liquid as it bakes. You need some fruit in there to hold it together. Either preserves or a thick jam would work pretty well. Have a great day.
Tuesday 14th of July 2020
If the berries are frozen, does the filling need more cornstarch?
Tuesday 14th of July 2020
Hi Kirsten, Welcome to Homemade Food Junkie. Here's how I work with frozen berries. Measure them out frozen. Let them defrost and drain the extra juices out. Then they will work fine with the amount of cornstarch called for. If you want to keep that extra juice then I would double the cornstarch. Hope this helps. Please let us know how they turn out for you. Have a great day.
Thursday 18th of June 2020
It says 2 Tbs. water with cornstarch then says 4 Tbs. water with cornstarch Also says glaze cooled pies then says glaze warm pies. Trying to make them. Just wondering
Thursday 18th of June 2020
Hi Curious, I've updated the post and recipe card for you. Thanks so much for bringing this to our attention. Please let us know how they turn out for you.