These are a bit of work, but are totally worth it and will be the hit of your party.
Start to Finish: 2 hours PT2H0M
2 8-ounce packages Cascadian Farm frozen blueberries, thawed
1/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 lemon, zest only
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Coarse sugar, garnish
ALL-BUTTER PIE CRUST:
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup unsalted butter, cold and cubed
1/4 cup chilled vodka*
1/4 cup ice water
1 large egg
1 tablespoon water
1. To start the filling, let the berries thaw slowly in a colander over the sink. Once they are mostly thawed, toss berries with sugar, flour, cornstarch, salt, zest, and lemon juice. Let sit for 15 minutes to drain more.
2. Meanwhile, for the crust, stir together flour, salt, and sugar in a medium bowl. Then cube the cold butter and use your fingers to work the butter into the flour mixture until it is in pea-sized pieces.
3. Stir vodka and ice water into the flour mixture and stir until it forms a dough ball. Knead the dough a few times just to bring it together.
*NOTE: The vodka isn’t essential but it makes the dough easier to work with and evaporates in the oven to leave a very flakey crust. If you leave it out, you will need a few extra tablespoons of ice.
4. Split the dough into two balls: one that is 2/3 of the total and a smaller 1/3-sized ball. Wrap both dough balls with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
5. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Take the larger dough ball and roll it out on a lightly floured surface. Work slowly so the dough doesn’t crack a lot. Roll the dough out until it’s at least 14 inches in diameter and then start cutting out 5-inch rounds from the dough. You should have enough dough for eight rounds, but you’ll probably have to reroll the dough once.
6. Carefully transfer each round to a muffin tin. Slowly work the dough into the corners of the muffin tin.
7. Fill each pie crust with berry filling until it’s slightly above the level of the tin. The filling won’t expand so you can really fill them full. Stick the mini pies in the fridge while you roll out the pie topping.
8. Remove smaller ball from the dough and roll it out on a lightly floured surface. Once the dough is rolled out, cut it into 1/4-inch strips that are about 4 inches long.
9. Remove pies from fridge and interweave four strips on each pie.
10. Once all pies are covered, crimp the edges of each pie so the strips are secure.
11. Brush the pies with egg wash and sprinkle them generously with coarse sugar.
12. Bake the pies at 375 degrees F. for 25-30 minutes total until the crusts are golden brown.
13. Let pies cool for a few minutes in the tin. To remove, carefully slide a butter knife around the edges of each pie and lift each pie out. They should come out pretty easily.