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
- 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
- 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.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- 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.
- Preheat oven to 450°F (230°C).
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- Continue cooking until blackberries have softened and sauce has reduced enough to become thick when chilled. Refrigerate before using.
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 .. .
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.