Sometimes, you just want pie. And some of those sometimes, you want pie that fits in your hand. Enter: these White Chocolate Blueberry Star Shaped Hand Pies.
A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to go to Kroger’s headquarters in Cincinnati, Ohio, for their annual Think Tank. I, along with 15 other bloggers, spent the day learning about new Kroger initiatives, products coming out this year, and some awesome new technology Kroger is beginning to use in their stores (things like easy online ordering, a ship-to-home service, and voice order technology!).
One of my favorite things was seeing how this national retailer is taking huge steps in terms of being socially, environmentally, and healthfully conscious. One fantastic example is how Kroger has started an initiative called Zero Hunger Zero Waste, a two-pronged approach aimed at both community-driven hunger relief for low-income Americans, as well as a massive company-wide waste diversion from landfills.
In terms of waste, they’ve diverted 77% of their waste from landfills through programs that recycle food waste through animal feeding and composting. And now, 34 out of 36 Kroger manufacturing plants are zero waste. And in terms of hunger relief, Kroger has donated 325 million meals to food insecure families in their communities. 99% of Kroger stores have participated in directing 91.2 million pounds of food to local food banks from their stores.
–Honestly I just need to pause and say how talking about this sort of stuff gets me so hard in the feels. Like Kroger didn’t ask me to talk about their initiatives, I just feel so incredibly proud of the work they’re doing and feel urged to share it with you guys. Nearly 40% of all food in America goes to waste, and yet 12% of Americans struggle with food insecurity. So the fact that Kroger has not only recognized this, but is taking giant steps towards eliminating both issues, is truly fantastic, and speaks to what an awesome company they are.–
Later in the day, us bloggers got to cook in the Kroger corporate kitchen for 50 people. Having worked in restaurants for 8 years, I was SO STOKED ABOUT THIS. We each got to pick ahead of time what we wanted our dish to be.
Naturally, I chose dessert, and with the theme being 4th of July picnic-esque, I chose to make these White Chocolate Blueberry Star Shaped Hand Pies. I used pre-made Kroger brand pie dough, and opted to do a homemade blueberry jam center, to make them slightly homemade but also easy enough to throw together in an afternoon.
Before sitting down to dinner, Kroger had their executives do a Chopped-style judging contest. They sampled each dish, rated it on a score card, and voted for a winner from each of four categories: appetizers, sides, mains, and desserts.
When it came time to judge the desserts, I was like lol these hand pies shouldn’t even be judged they’re good but just so simple. So I just kept sipping on my kombucha cocktail and stuffed my face with the amazing food blogger spread. And then the judges were like “The winner is… the White Chocolate Blueberry Star Shaped Hand Pies!” I actually chortled a little bit, and was like omg really? I then composed myself, thanked the judges, and a little gig in my seat.
So in actuality, these Blueberry Star Shaped Hand Pies are award-winning. They would be perfect for a summertime picnic, outdoor barbecue, or any place where you want to brag that you made award-winning hand pies.
In all seriousness, it was such a pleasure going down to visit the Kroger family of brands. I left feeling even more connected to Kroger, and blown away by everything they’re doing to be an even better company each and every day. And if you’re interested, you can find out more about Kroger’s Zero Hunger Zero Waste initiative here.
for the homemade blueberry jam
- 1 pint fresh blueberries
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- zest of 1 lemon
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- pinch salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup gelatin
for the star-shaped hand pies
- 4-inch star shaped cookie cutter
- 2 packages Simple Truth Organic Unroll & Bake 9-inch pie dough
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon water
- 2 oz white chocolate, chopped
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, cook the blueberries, sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, and salt until boiling. Once boiling, turn heat to low and simmer for 15-20 minutes, until the blueberries break down and the mixture thickens.
Remove from heat and strain out the majority of the jam's liquid through a fine mesh strainer. Don't push the jam through the mixture, just let the majority of the liquid drip out on its own.
Place strained jam into a bowl, add in vanilla extract and gelatin, and stir to combine. Place in fridge to cool to room temperature.
Preheat oven to 425°F. Line 2 large cookie sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.
Lightly flour a work surface. Mix together egg and water in a small bowl.
Roll out pie dough and use star-shaped cutter to cut dough into stars. Place onto cookie sheet, then lightly brush egg mixture over dough. Spoon 2 teaspoons jam onto each star, then top with an additional star. Press each corner down slightly, then use a fork to create indentations around the edge of the stars.
Brush the tops of the stars with the remaining egg mixture, then poke a fork hole into each star to allow air to escape.
Bake for 13-15 minutes, until golden brown.
While the pies are baking, melt your white chocolate in a microwave in 15 second intervals, stirring in between each heating.
Once pies come out of oven, allow to cool for 10 minutes before drizzling tops with white chocolate!
This post is sponsored by Kroger. All text and opinions are 100% my own. Thank you for continuing to support the brands who help make Broma possible!