Thursday, October 3, 2013

Petite Pies

Move over cake balls.  I've created Petite Pies, a new mini dessert that I'm anxious to share with you.

When I first made the berry-filled treats for my family earlier this week, they went absolutely bonkers for them. The next day, my daughter shared a few with her friends, causing one of them to tell her, "that's the best thing I've ever put in my mouth!"

Petite Pies came about because I'm making treats for the October 25th performance of my friend Sharon Whitney's acclaimed play, "Eleanor Roosevelt-Across a Barrier of Fear." Eleanor's favorite dessert was pie so I wanted to make a pie treat that would be small and easy to eat without a fork or napkin.

The secret to making them is a really good berry filling that is precooked so that the juices don't run all over and make a mess as you are assembling them.

The crust is just my favorite shortening pie crust that I rolled and cut with a 3-inch round cookie cutter. After baking the pies, I drizzled them with a glaze.

I'm anxious to experiment with other fillings. When a pie is this small of a size, you can enjoy more than three before even coming close to eating the equivalent of a slice of pie.

Following is the recipe if you'd like to try making them. Or, you can have a taste if you attend the Friday night performance of "Eleanor Roosevelt-Across a Barrier of Fear."

Here are the details to reserve a seat:

Trinitarian Sharon Whitney's acclaimed play, "Eleanor Roosevelt-Across a Barrier of Fear," starring Jane Van Boskirk, is scheduled for two performances, Friday, October 25 at 7:00 p.m. and Saturday, October 26 at 1:00 p.m. in Kempton Hall. To reserve a seat, visit Seating is limited. A $10 donation at the door is suggested. This is an offering from the Cathedral Arts Committee.  

Petite Pies
(makes approximately 36 to 40)

Berry Filling:
1 16 ounce bag frozen mixed berries
2/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup heavy cream

In a medium-sized saucepan combine the berries, sugar, vanilla and cinnamon. Over medium-high heat, bring the mixture to a simmer, stirring frequently and breaking apart the berries.

In a small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and cream. Add this to the simmering berry mixture and continue cooking, whisking constantly until the mixture thickens. Remove from the heat and let cool completely before using.

Pie Crust:
4 cups flour
1 1/3 cup vegetable shortening
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
A glass of cold water

In a large bowl combine the flour, sugar and salt. Add the shortening and using your fingers break it into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs.

This is what the flour and shortening mixture should look like before adding the water.
Add the water, about 1/4 cup at a time until a soft dough can be formed. Be sure to use enough water since a moist pie dough is much easier to roll out than a dry one. A moist dough is also more malleable and you'll appreciate this when it comes to forming the pies.

Divide the dough in half and roll out each half on a well-floured surface until it is 1/4 inch thick. Cut 3-inch rounds using a cutter or glass. Place the rounds on parchment-lined sheetpans. Continue rolling until you've  used all the dough.
Keep cutting rounds until you've used all the dough.

To assemble and bake:
 Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Place a teaspoon of the filling in the center of each round. Using your fingers, pull the dough up over the sides of the filling and pinch it together.
Filling on the dough.

The pies after shaping.

Bake the Petite Pies for 5 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees and continue baking for another 20 to 25 minutes or until the pies are golden brown.

To Glaze:
As soon as the pies are out of the oven, make a glaze by mixing 1/2 cup of powdered sugar with 4 teaspoons of milk. Whisk the glaze until it is smooth and drizzle it over the pies. The glaze will set as the pies cool.
Just glazed Petite Pies. The glaze will harden as the pies cool.

No comments:

Post a Comment