Lemon Thyme and Blackberry Hand Pies

Lemon Thyme and Blackberry Hand Pies

For Nashville, Tennessee pastry chef Lisa Donovan’s blackberry hand pies, jammy blackberries are simmered in lemon and thyme-scented syrup for an herbal, bright flavor. This recipe uses Lisa’s Hand Pie Dough

Lemon Thyme and Blackberry Hand Pies
Makes 15
  • Hand Pie Dough, rested and chilled
  • 1 large egg (50 grams)
  • 1 tablespoon (15 grams) water
  • Lemon Thyme and Blackberry Filling, chilled (recipe follows)
  • Garnish: coarse sugar
  1. Divide Hand Pie Dough in half, and roll each half to ⅛-inch thickness. Using a 4½-inch round cutter, cut dough, rerolling scraps once. Place rounds between sheets of parchment paper, and refrigerate for 5 to 7 minutes.
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together egg and 1 tablespoon (15 grams) water. Brush edges of dough with egg wash. Place 1½ tablespoons Lemon Thyme and Blackberry Filling in center of each round. Fold dough over filling, and press edges to seal. Trim edges with a fluted pastry cutter. Place on prepared pan, and freeze.
  4. Preheat oven to 450°F (230°C).
  5. Brush frozen hand pies with egg wash, and garnish with coarse sugar, if desired. Make 3 small vents in top of dough to release steam.
  6. Bake until golden brown, 15 to 18 minutes; serve warm.

Lemon Thyme and Blackberry Filling
Makes about 1½ cups
  • 4 cups (680 grams) fresh blackberries
  • 1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup (60 grams) water
  • 1½ teaspoons lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons (30 grams) fresh lemon juice
  • 2 lemon thyme sprigs, leaves lightly chopped
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1½ tablespoons (12 grams) cornstarch
  1. In a large stockpot, bring blackberries, sugar, ¼ cup (60 grams) water, lemon zest and juice, lemon thyme, and salt to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, and let simmer. Remove 1 cup hot liquid, and whisk in cornstarch. Slowly add cornstarch mixture back into simmering mixture, stirring constantly.
  2. Continue cooking until blackberries have softened and sauce has reduced enough to become thick when chilled. Refrigerate before using.



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  1. One of my pet peeves is when the quantity of a fresh herb, like thyme is so very imprecise. I grow thyme that depending on how I cut it maybe 5-7 inches long; some springs are multi-stemmed some or single. So exactly what quantity of thyme was used to achieve the desired flavoring ratio? Then of course in the question of potency .. .

    • Hello RBJ,

      Thank you for your question!

      This recipe calls for a specific kind of thyme (lemon thyme), so potency shouldn’t vary too much. Unfortunately, because the leaves themselves are so light, it’s hard to give an exact weight measurement, but about 1/2 teaspoon of fresh, lightly chopped lemon thyme should be a sufficient amount. In the future, it would probably be safe to assume that recipes calling for a certain number of sprigs are calling for single-stemmed sprigs that are 5-7 inches in length (as you mentioned). We apologize for any confusion, as this recipe is submitted rather than developed in house, and different developers and bakers will use different measurements.

      Happy Baking!


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