Hot summer has exhausted her intent
To the last rose and roundelay and seed.
No leaf has changed, and yet these leaves now read
Like a love-letter that's no longer meant.
~ Richard Wilbur, from section I of "Two Quatrains for First Frost," in New and Collected Poems (Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1988)
As I made my way down the seemingly endless dusty driveway this morning, trying to shake off the remnants of sleep, I stumbled upon a lone red leaf from one of the maple trees. My first though was 'oh, how lovely!' It took a moment for my un-caffeinated mind to catch up to my happy-go-lucky eyes. I plucked up the little red harbinger and tucked it away into a never-used pocket of my cardigan - you know, one of those wee pockets with buttons that were never meant to be unbuttoned...
I returned to the house with a pile of junk mail and a semi-bad mood - thankfully I had two hand pies waiting for me, as well as a much needed cup of strong, creamy coffee. These hand pies are nectarous! The filling bursts with the sweet flavour of ruptured blueberries and the ever-so-subtle tang of goat cheese. I used rosemary in the crust and filling - because when you combine blueberries with rosemary, it's epic. Things happen. Moods lift, early red leaves are forgotten, and blithe August reasserts herself through wild, overgrown fields - & hot, sleepless nights.
blueberry, goat cheese and rosemary hand pies
makes 9-12 pies
for the crust
3 Tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 Tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped
1/2 Tablespoon grated lemon zest (about 1 medium lemon)
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup (that's 2 sticks) unsalted butter, cold + cut into bits
1/4 cup cold buttermilk (or half & half cream)
for the filling
1 pint (about 2 cups) fresh blueberries
1/4 cup goat cheese
1/4 cup buttermilk
3 Tablespoons honey
1 Tablespoon fresh rosemary, finely chopped
2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
for brushing and sprinkling
1 Tablespoon cream
Superfine sugar (granulated is okay too)
Prepare the crust: In a stand mixer bowl, combine the sugar, rosemary, and lemon zest. Use your fingers to rub the rosemary and lemon into the sugar until it's moist and aromatic. Add 1 cup of flour and, using the paddle attachment, beat on low speed for about 30 seconds. Keep the mixer on low and begin adding the cold bits of butter - one small handful at a time - until completely incorporated. Add the remaining 1 cup of flour and beat on low until just blended. Add the cold buttermilk and beat on low until incorporated and the dough comes together.
Gather the dough into a ball and divide it in half. Form each half into a disc and wrap in plastic. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours, or overnight (preferably).
Preheat the oven to 400 F. Line two large baking sheets with parchment.
Prepare the filling: In a large bowl combine the blueberries, goat cheese, buttermilk, honey, rosemary, and flour. Gently fold/stir the ingredients together. Refrigerate until ready to use.
In a small bowl, whisk together the egg and cream; Set aside.
Rolling the dough: Generously flour a work surface and rolling pin. Grab one disc of dough from the fridge - if it's too stiff to roll, allow the disc to rest at room temperature for a few minutes. Roll the disc out into a circle that's 1/8-inch thick (don't worry if it's not a perfect circle because you're going to be cutting out smaller circles). Use a floured 4-inch biscuit or cookie cutter to stamp out an even number of circles - re-roll any leftover scraps. Place half the circles onto one of the prepared baking sheets and place a small spoonful of blueberry filling onto the center of each one. Brush edges with the egg/cream mixture and top with the remaining (bare) circles of dough. Use a lightly floured fork to seal-crimp the edges together. Brush the top of each pie with egg wash and use a sharp pairing knife to make a small 'x' shaped vent. Sprinkle with superfine (or regular) sugar. Place the baking sheet into fridge as you repeat the process with the other dough disc.
Bake the sheet that's been in the refrigerator the longest first. Bake 20-23 minutes or until the pies are golden brown.
Remove the sheets from the oven and place onto a cooling rack. Cool completely before enjoying.
adapted from local milk, and Hungry Girl por Vida