I guess I went a little crazy the last time I bought frozen berries because when I looked in the freezer yesterday, I still had half a bag of blueberries. And this is after making the Blueberry Pancakes and the Blueberry Breakfast Bars! Not only that, I have 2 bags of frozen raspberries! I guess I’d better start looking for some good raspberry recipes.
Since the bag of blueberries was already open I decided I’d better find a way to use those up first. My other freezer discovery yesterday was some pie pastry that I had cut into small circles a while back for some apple pocket pies. So, I had 5 little pastry circles, some blueberries, and some granny smith apples that I found in the fridge. I decided to put them all together and see what happened.
When I made the pie pastry, it was just a basic double crust pie recipe but I used all butter instead of shortening. I rolled it out to normal pie crust thickness then cut it into 4-inch circles (I used a large can that had both ends removed). I managed to get nine little circles out the pie crust but next time I would make them a little thicker and settle for eight. Originally, I had filled these little pastry circles with homemade applesauce after my husband had remarked that my applesauce tasted good enough to be a pie filling. Those were good but I had frozen the remaining circles so that I could try another filling later.
So, while my pastry was defrosting, I started on the new filling. I peeled and chopped two apples and put them in a bowl. I added a handful of frozen blueberries, the juice of half a lemon, a tiny dash of almond extract (less than 1/8 teaspoon), about a tablespoon of flour, some brown sugar and lots of fresh grated nutmeg. I mixed it all together, tasted it, and added more sugar (the apples and blueberries were pretty tart).
When the pastry was defrosted (in the fridge), I rolled each one out on a floured board (rolling from the center of the pastry out to the edges, turning frequently) to increase the diameter as much as I could while keeping the shape of the circle and not breaking the pastry. They probably ended up being about 6 inches in diameter by the time I was through. The size doesn’t really matter but it can’t be too thin or it will break when you fill them.
As I finished rolling each one, I put a spoonful of filling in the middle, folded one side of the pastry over and crimped the edges with a fork. You might want to dip a finger in water and wet the edge of the pastry before folding it over to get a good seal. My filling was pretty runny at that point so the pastry was already wet enough to seal. I placed them on a baking sheet and pricked the tops with a fork.
I baked the little pies in a 400 degree oven for about 20 minutes (I just kept an eye on them and took them out when they looked golden brown). After letting them cool (and photographing them of course!), I tried one and decided that this recipe is a keeper! In fact, I don’t think I’ll change a single thing about the filling, all the flavors went really well together. The idea for the almond extract came from the Blueberry Breakfast Bars recipe and as long as you don’t use too much, it really adds something special. It goes really well with the nutmeg also.
I had about half of the filling left over so I poured it into a saucepan and cooked it over medium-low heat until the apples were just tender. I added a couple of tablespoons of water while they were cooking because it started to thicken quickly. I also added some cinnamon because I wanted it to be a topping for my cinnamon swirl French toast the next morning. The cinnamon made it taste even better! After letting it cool, I stored it in the fridge.
This morning, I did make some cinnamon swirl French toast and the Blueberry Apple Topping was perfect on it. It would be a great topping for any type of French toast, waffles or pancakes!
I will be writing regular recipes for the pocket pies and the fruit topping and they will appear in a separate post, probably in a few days. But you are more than welcome to follow my directions and see what you can come up with in the meantime.
So, there you go. Two more ways with blueberries!