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When I was selected as a DaVinci Storyteller and invited on a trip to visit Italy, I answered the call with a firm SI, GRAZIE!! When life hands you Italy, you drop everything and go. The week I spent in the Tuscan hillside was unbelievable, I learned so much and was treated like a Renaissance queen. It's one of my happiest memories -- this voyaggio with its strong laughs, convivial meals, heart-breaking views and wine lessons I still love to day dream upon. I'm so sentimental, just writing this makes me a little teary.
Anyway, this year, there are 4 new lucky participants who've just finished the same harvest trip. In one of life's great twists, I have a friend, Celeste, on this journey -- I've drooled after her every post. To see more about how it all went this year, click here.
To recreate a bit of magic, inspired by the jam crostata we were served each morning at the Casale di Valle, I developed this easy berry and wine stuffed hand pie (AKA pop tart!)
BLUEBERRY & DAVINCI CHIANTI HAND PIES
makes about 8, 3-inch wide hand pies
for the crust:
1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, chilled and cut into cubes
1 egg beaten + 1 egg yolk, divided
4-6 tablespoons cold water
2 tablespoons turbinado sugar
for the filling:
3 cups blueberries
1/4 cup Chianti wine
1/4 cup blueberry jam
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch of salt
In a food processor, combine the flour, sugar and salt by pulsing a few times. Add the butter and egg yolk, pulse about 5 times for 2 seconds. Add the water in, 1 tablespoon at a time, pulsing as you go until a shaggy dough is formed. When dough is sort of coming together, pour contents out onto a floured surface and shape into 6 inch disc, wrap in saran wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, up until 24 hours.
When ready to bake, preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment. Make the jam filling by combining the blueberries, wine, jam, vanilla and pinch of salt in a medium sauce pot on medium heat. Cook down for about 5 minutes, when things are smelling good and jammy. Remove from heat and pour into another bowl.
Roll out dough, trimming into 16 playing card sized rectangles. Place about 3 tablespoons of filling into 8 of the rectangles, spread evenly, leaving about 1/2 inch border on each. Close each bottom with a top piece of dough, crimping the sides shut with the back of a fork. Place the hand pies onto the parchment-lined baking pans. Brush tops with beaten egg mixture, sprinkle with turbinado sugar. Bake for about 30-40 minutes, until tops are a deep, golden brown. Allow to cool on a rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.
styling: Joya Rose
model: Laura Wiedland