July 10, 2012

Recipe: Mini Strawberry Pies



When I close my eyes and imagine "summer," visions of picnics, watermelon and pie dance in my head.  I recall the family reunions of my childhood, crickets humming as the hot sun finally began to sink and a cool night's breeze making its way through the trees.  I remember the tiredness that would overcome me after a full day of swimming, riding my bike and jumping on the trampoline.  Good times.

In order to re-create a little summer magic, I decided to make miniature strawberry pies--imagine a slice of your favorite summer dessert in a single serving portable portion!

Ingredients:

2 1/4 c. all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 1/4 tsp. salt
1 stick cold, unsalted butter
2 eggs (1 yolk, 1 whole egg)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3/4 pound strawberries, cut into small pieces
1 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
3 T. strawberry jam


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Step 1: Dough
Combine the flour, baking powder, 1 tsp. salt. 
Cut the cold butter into small pieces. 
Use a pastry blender to mix the cold butter and dry ingredients together well. 
Add the egg yolk, 1/2 c. chilled water (I put filtered water in the freezer for 10 minutes prior), and 1/2 tsp. vanilla and combine well.
Transfer dough to a smooth surface and knead until it comes together.
Refrigerate in covered bowl for 15 minutes.

Step 2: Filling
Combine the strawberries, 1/2 c. confectioner's sugar, jam, 1/2 tsp vanilla, 1/4 tsp. salt.
Set aside.

Step 3: Roll the dough and cut
Roll the dough out on a floured surface and use a 3 inch cookie cutter for rounds.
Tip: Once you cut the rounds, roll the dough again--you want the crust as thin as possible.

Step 4: Fill pies and crimp edges
Spoon the filling onto the bottom dough round.
Place another dough round on top, use a fork to meld the two pieces of dough together, encasing the filling inside (see photo above in collage)

Put pies into the oven for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown.

Step 5: Egg Wash and Finishing Glaze
Prepare an egg glaze with the remaining whole egg.
After 15 minutes of cooking, remove the pies and spread the egg wash over each one (see photo below)
Prepare a finishing glaze by combining 1 C. confectioners' sugar and 5 tsp. of water (more if needed) until the desired consistency is reached.  Set aside.

Once removed from the oven, let cool for 15 minutes and coat each mini pie with the sweet glaze.

Enjoy with your hands--no fork needed!

Prep Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes
Yield: 10 mini pies

To create the ideal egg wash, "scramble" an egg and spread it evenly over the pies.



*This recipe was inspired by and adapted from the July issue of Country Living and tweaked by me!*

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