Recipe Review

These Blueberry Hand Pies Are Even Better than Pop-Tarts (You Won’t Believe the Flaky Layers)

published Feb 3, 2021
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Credit: Jesse Szewczyk

When I was growing up I would eat a Pop-Tart almost every morning for breakfast, and to this day I’m a sucker for any treat involving flaky pastry and a warm, jam-like filling. So when I saw one of my favorite bakeries post a recipe for homemade hand pies, you already know I had to try it.

Fox in the Snow Cafe is a popular bakery and coffee shop in Columbus, Ohio, that serves an array of baked goods out of three different locations. A few months ago I tested their chocolate chip cookie recipe and absolutely loved it — so I was incredibly eager to give their hand pie recipe a try.

Get the recipe: Blueberry Hand Pies

Credit: Jesse Szewczyk

How To Make Fox in the Snow’s Blueberry Hand Pies

These hand pies are a bit of a project, but you can easily break the recipe into steps to make the process easier. You’ll start by making a homemade blueberry jam for the filling. (This step is optional — you can use a store-bought jam to save time.) Combine frozen blueberries, sugar, lemon juice, and cornstarch in a saucepan and cook over medium heat until thick and the blueberries burst. Let the mixture cool while you make the dough.

To make the dough, pulse flour, salt, baking powder, sour cream, and a generous amount of butter together in a food processor until a dough forms. Dump the dough onto a clean work surface, press it into a cohesive mass, then wrap it in plastic and chill for at least an hour. Once chilled, roll the dough out into a rectangle and begin laminating the dough. This process is similar to making croissants, and it’s what makes the pastry dough so flaky. You’ll perform a series of folds (which are detailed in the recipe) that help create defined layers once baked — kind of like the folds of a book.

When you’re done, cut the dough into rectangles, top half of them with the filling, and place the remaining dough rectangles on top. Crimp the edges with a fork, brush with egg wash, sprinkle the tops with coarse or sanding sugar, and bake.

Credit: Jesse Szewczyk

My Honest Review of Fox in the Snow’s Blueberry Hand Pies

These hand pies were absolutely delicious — the best homemade Pop-Tarts I’ve ever encountered. The crust was buttery, crisp, and incredibly flaky (it reminded me of puff pastry), and the defined layers were gorgeous. The sugar topping gave it a beautiful sparkle and pleasant crunchy texture that was a nice contrast against the tender pastry. The filling was also tasty and not too sweet. It had a bright blueberry flavor with just enough sugar to balance the tartness. Needless to say, my roommate and I devoured them.

I would definitely make these pies again. They are delicious with a cup of coffee and make a wonderful breakfast for a lazy Sunday. The next time I make them I would freeze half and bake them off another time. They’re definitely best served warm, and having a stash in the freezer would make throwing together a special breakfast a breeze.

Credit: Jesse Szewczyk

4 Tips for Making Fox in the Snow’s Blueberry Hand Pies

Before you head into the kitchen to make these hand pies, a few tips.

  1. Use whatever filling you have on hand. If you want to save time, skip the homemade jam and use a store-bought preserve. Blueberry, strawberry, peach, or grape would all be delicious.
  2. But don’t use store-bought pie dough. The thing that makes these pies so delicious is the sour cream crust, so don’t swap it out for a store-bought dough.
  3. Chill the assembled hand pies before baking them. If you watch the video above the recipe, Chef Culley suggests chilling the hand pies before baking them to help the pastry dough bake up perfectly. I froze mine for an hour and it worked like a charm.
  4. Go heavy on the sugar topping. The crunchy sugar topping was one of my favorite parts of these pies, so make sure to sprinkle them with a generous amount before baking.

Have you ever made Fox in the Snow’s hand pies? Tell us in the comments below.