Strawberry season may be winding down, but blueberries are ripening on the bushes! Farms all over New England are beginning to welcome blueberry lovers and their appetites for these sweet, blue gems. One good way to get your fix is by going to a festival, such as Vermont’s week long Blueberry Fest, or Blueberry Day on August 8th in East Sandwich MA.
Festivals aren’t the only way to get your hands on the good stuff; the pick-your-own season for Massachusetts’ farms begins at the start of July and ends mid-August. Grab a bucket and head to the nearest berry farm. Picking your own keeps the cost low, the quality high and it’s a LOT of fun.
If you pick too many “by accident,” look no further than Karen Covey’s The Coastal Table: Recipes Inspired by the Farmlands and Seaside of Southern New England. She is adept at bringing in-season produce to the table in simple and elegant ways. Her petite hand pies are the perfect way to put those blueberries to use and please a crowd at the same time. This recipe is great for bakers of all ages, so grab the kids, get picking, and enjoy!
*Scroll to the bottom of this page below the recipe for a list of Massachusetts’ pick-your-own blueberry farms. Here’s a list of where you can pick in Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Rhode Island, and Connecticut!
Petite Blueberry Hand Pies
Recipe from The Coastal Table by Karen J. Covey
Makes 16-18 Pies
3-Inch cookie cutter recommended, but pies can be cut to any size.
½ pint (1 cup) blueberries, washed, dried, and picked over
2-3 tablespoons sugar (*see cook’s note)
2 teaspoons cornstarch
Zest from ½ lemon
2 cups flour, plus extra for dusting
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 stick unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces and chilled
6 tablespoons (or more) ice water
1 egg, beaten
2-4 teaspoons turbinado sugar, for sprinkling
- Make filling. In a medium saucepan, add blueberries, sugar, cornstarch, and lemon zest. Place pan over medium heat and cook for about 5-10 minutes, stirring with a heat-proof spatula to prevent blueberries from sticking. While mixture cooks, gently mash blueberries with your spatula, allowing them to release their juices. Reduce heat to low to keep mixture from
bubbling and getting too hot. Once mixture has thickened, transfer to a bowl and allow it to cool to room temperature. Place bowl in refrigerator ad chill until cold, about 1 hour.
- Make crust in a food processor. Combine flour, sugar, and salt. Add butter and process until coarse crumbs form, about 10 seconds. With machine running, slowly add 1/4 cup ice water in a steady stream through feed tube. Pulse until dough holds together, no more than 10 seconds. If still crumbly, add more ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time. Dough should not be wet or sticky. Test finished dough by squeezing a small amount together to see if it holds its shape.
- Wrap dough in plastic and refrigerate for about 1 hour.
- Preheat oven to 425°F
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside
- Remove blueberries from refrigerator and set aside.
- Lightly flour work surface, rolling pin, and hands. Make a small, thin pile of flour off to one side for dipping cookie cutter in as you cut out circles. Roll out dough into a large rectangle, about 1/8-inch thick, keeping enough flour under it to keep it from sticking. (Dust dough with flour if it begins to stick.) Dip a 3-inch cookie cutter in flour and cut out rounds. Roll out excess dough and continue cutting out rounds until all of dough is used.
- Using a teaspoon, place a small amount of filling in center of one round. Loosely fold top of dough over filling to enclose, forming a half moon, without sealing it completely. If it closes easily, encasing all of filling, you know how much filling to use for remaining rounds (use this as your guide for remaining rounds).
- Once filling has been placed in center of each round, lightly brush outside edge with egg. Fold top of rounds over filling to enclose, forming half moons. Gently press edges together with your fingers to seal. Using a fork, crimp sealed edges, taking care not to pierce completely through dough (dough should be tightly sealed). Brush top of each with egg and sprinkle with sugar.
- Transfer pies to prepared baking sheet. Bake until golden brown, about 12-14 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool slightly before serving. Hand pies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature up to 3 days.
*Cook’s note: If your blueberries are fresh, in season, and sweet, use only 2 tablespoons of sugar in the filling, otherwise use all 3 tablespoons.
The Coastal Table author Karen Covey is currently hard at work on new projects that celebrate the coast. Take a look at her exciting new magazine here! The Coastal Table is available in your local Barnes & Noble and independent bookstores across New England. You can also purchase the book through our website, Amazon, and BN.com.
Where to Pick Your Own Blueberries in Massachusetts
Brooksby Farm: Call for blueberry picking conditions/availability. 978-531-7456.
38 Felton St, Peabody, MA 01960
Cider Hill Farm: Check website for latest picking conditions.
45 Fern Ave, Amesbury, MA 01913
Connors Farm: Call for latest picking conditions. 978-777-1245.
30 Valley Rd, Danvers, MA 01923
Parlee Farms: Check website for latest picking conditions.
95 Farwell Road, Tyngsboro MA, 01879
Turkey Hill Farm: Check website for latest picking conditions.
380 Middle Rd, Haverhill, MA 01830
Ward’s Berry Farm: Check website for latest picking conditions.
614 South Main Street, Sharon, MA 02067
Carlson Orchards: Call for latest picking conditions. 800.286.3916
115 Oak Hill Rd, Harvard, MA 01451
Charlton Orchards Farm & Winery: Check website for latest picking conditions.
44 Old Worcester Rd, Charlton, MA 01507
Clearview Farm: Call for latest picking conditions. 978-422-6442
4 Kendall Hill Rd, Sterling, MA 01564
Derrick Farms: Call for latest picking conditions. 508-882-5591
301 Sanders Rd, Oakham, MA 01068
Blueberry Hill Farm: Call for latest picking conditions. 413- 528-1479
100 East Street, Mt. Washington, MA 01258
Royal Meadow Farm: Call for latest picking conditions. 413-443-7645
131 Churchill Street, Pittsfield, Massachusetts, 01201
South Hadley Farm: Call for latest picking conditions 413- 313-2586
10 Pearl Lane, South Hadley, MA 01075