The wonderful folks at Kuhn Rikon sent me this fun Pocket Maker Set to play with. So, I took the set on vacation with me, up to the great state of Washington where we picked wild blackberries for the pies. I love picking wild blackberries! I always come back with fingers stained dark purple from all the berries! And, it’s such a fun (technology-less) activity that I think is so nostalgic!
These Hand Pies (or Pockets) are really fun, not only to make, but also to eat! I admit that I was a little worried that I wouldn’t be able to make the pockets, that they would fall apart. But, these little pocket makers worked like a charm! The only thing you need to make sure to do is let your pie crust come to room temp, so that the crust doesn’t break as you roll it out (oopsie, this tip is from experience!). And, I found that the thin spatula was really helpful in getting the pies from the cutting area to the cookie sheet. Other than those tips, these Pocket Makers were really easy to use!
And, a hand pie or hand pocket would be great in your child’s lunch box for back to school! I’ll be making some pockets with savory filling in the future to send with my husband in his lunches. (And these pockets are great for portion control!)
My husband and cousin were coming up with all kinds of filling ideas: pizza pockets, Shepard’s pie, Philly cheese steak, portabello mushroom/brie in wine sauce, Thai chicken, Vietnamese bahn mi pocket, hot wings and bleu cheese, Shrimp pesto, banana Nutella, satay/nasi goring. The Pocket Maker Set comes with a recipe book (and detailed photo instructions) so you can follow along with their inspiring recipes or make up your own!
For the crust, I’ve used pie crust for these Blackberry Hand Pies with Nutella, but you can use biscuit dough, pizza dough, crescent roll dough, or bread (think PB&Js with no crust!). The ideas are nearly endless, what with all the different fillings and crust combinations.
If you’re vegetarian make sure to read the ingredient label if you buy pre-made pie crusts. Many of them have lard in them, which is animal fat, so avoid those. I also like to make sure that there’s no hydrogenated fats in the pie crust, as those are trans fats.
After making 8 hand pies I used the leftover pie crust scraps and berry mixture to make a larger “pie”. I poured the leftover berry filling into an oven-proof bowl, rolled the pie crust scraps into a large round, about the same size as the bowl, and topped the berries with the crust. Then, I baked the pie until the crust was golden brown, along with the hand pies so we had a larger pie to snack on from the scraps.
- 1 package 2 pie crusts
- 3 cups blackberries
- 1 teaspoon tapioca starch
- 2-3 teaspoons sugar depending on how tart your berries are
- 8 tablespoons Nutella
- Brown sugar for sprinkling
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Allow pie crust to come to room temperature according to package directions, so it doesn’t crack and break. Mix blackberries, tapioca starch, and sugar together in a large bowl, and set aside.
- On a floured surface, unroll one pie crust. Gently press the pocket maker to make marks for 6 pockets. Place about 1 tablespoon of Nutella on each pocket, being careful not to fill too close to the edge. Top Nutella with about 1 tablespoon of blackberries, again being careful not to fill too close to the edge.
- Roll out the second dough so it’s slightly larger than the first, and place on top of the first dough. Gently press down around the filling so you can see the shape. Place pocket maker on top, and press down firmly to seal the pocket. Remove excess dough. Place pocket on a cookie sheet using a thin spatula.
- Sprinkle the top of each pocket with a pinch of brown sugar. Bake at 450 degrees for 15-20 minutes, until golden brown.