These hand pies which are most definitely and excruciatingly an eye sore to look at, are but a small glimpse of the unspeakable contentment I've been able to nurture and experience in the past week or so.
I'm not sure if my upbringing has something to do with it or if my congenital self-critical personality is fully to blame, or maybe it's both, but I've always been so hard on myself that it's become apparent to others around me. So tough, in fact, that pointing out the astonishing brilliance in others has proven to be a much easier task than seeing even the faintest trail of worth, talent, or beauty that is buried within myself. It feels cumbersome and almost artificial. Quite an exhausting process if I were to be completely honest. But lately, I've been surprised by the ability God has given me to fully embrace myself. There is a certain remarkable contentment that I can't quite put into words, a contentment that dwells somewhere in between...in between the comforting acknowledgement of where I am now and know myself to be, rather than where I think I should be.
My morning routine has been slow and full of life. Being a self-acclaimed morning person much to Sarah's, Alanna's, and husband's chagrin, I'm finally re-building a much needed habit to start mornings in solitude. The dreary morning light peeking through the cracks brings utter satisfaction, and I somehow feel like the world has stopped momentarily. It is like the picture perfect scenario that's been painted in my mind, of what I would imagine one feels like upon the waking hours somewhere in the country side of Italy. Thanks to the biological clock I've acquired as of late, I'm able to wake up slowly and peacefully. Immediately placing my thoughts on what is good and lovely, on what I know for a fact makes God smile from ear to ear, and it has never proven to be more rewarding.
On my last post I gave off the impression that my soul was heavy--and indeed it was heavy to some degree--but after building a habit of caring for myself spiritually upon the waking hours for roughly two to three weeks, I've come to terms with obtaining inner peace no matter the situation. They say that children are hyper sensitive to the emotions of adults and whether my new inner peace has anything to do with Selah's seemingly better behavior, or whether it is just me having an insurmountable amount of patience, one thing is sure. And it is the fact that I can embrace myself and every situation thrown at me just a tiny bit more than before.
The fact that I'm comparing myself less to elusive ideologies brings a sense of reassurance that indeed, "it is well with my soul". And here's where blueberry hand pies come in! Without a care that they're not nearly as aesthetically pleasing as a Hot Pocket straight out of the microwave, or that somebody out there reading this post might question my validity as a food blogger, I've decided to go ahead and share the recipe anyway. Who cares, right? After all, this recipe is good and I'm quite proud of it.
The flaws certainly show in the execution but really? Some days are just hard to squeeze in a recipe! For the pie crust method, I highly suggest refrigerating the dough for at least an hour and no less than that. Not following that step is kind of like not using eggs in an omelette, so to speak. The cold temperature of the ingredients in the prepared dough is what rends a pie with a crispy, flaky, yet tender quality. What also helps in my opinion--and just now, much to my delight, this simple method has been validated by Lily's wonderful recipe which I wasn't even aware of until right before I typed this post--is to add sour cream to the dough.
The last suggestion I have for this recipe is to please make them prettier than I managed to of course, but to also try to fold in the sides downward so the hand pies look more boxy than fish-tailed like I "successfully"made them look. To do this, I recommend aiming for four hand pies instead of six. Simply roll out the dough into thicker and larger squares, fold all sides downward and tuck them underneath.
Blueberry Cheddar Hand Pies
Makes four || with help from Relish
Tools: large mixing bowl, cold flat surface (preferable than not-cold), box grater or pastry cutter, parchment paper, baking sheet, pastry brush for egg wash
Ingredients for pie crust
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp salt
8 tbsp cold unsalted butter
3 tbsp full fat sour cream
2 tbsp ice water
Ingredients for filling
2 1/2 cups blueberries
1/3 cup granulated sugar
zest of 1 lemon
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp flour
1/3 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg for egg wash
coarse sugar for sprinkling (optional)
Starting with the dough, make sure to keep all your non-dry ingredients cold. Mix flour and salt in a large mixing bowl. Grate butter into the mixture through a box grater on its largest setting. Add sour cream and water and use your hands to knead the dough into a uniform round shape. Make sure not to knead more than is needed though. This will help you get a crispy yet tender crust. Wrap the dough with plastic film and refrigerate for at least an hour.
Preheat the oven to 375 F. For the filling, gently toss all the ingredients except for the egg and sprinkling sugar in a large bowl. When the dough is ready to be used, lightly flour a cold flat surface and roll it out into a square that is roughly 11x11 inches. Cut out four squares and fill them with about 1/4-1/3 cup of the blueberry cheddar mixture.
Gingerly fold two opposing sides of the dough and pinch them together. Repeat with the remaining opposing sides so as to form a square type shape. Invert the hand pies with the seams facing downward and make a small slit at the top. Transfer them to a lined baking sheet. Scramble one egg and brush it over each hand pie, finishing it off with sprinkles of coarse sugar (optional). Bake for approximately 35-40 minutes, or until everything is slightly golden.