Life of Pi(es)

I’ve got a back log of recipes to share since I’ve decided to coordinate our new blog website.  So now it’s time to play catch up!

Last week, after contemplating as to when I was going to finally try some of the new kitchen gadgets I have laying around the house, I opted for the birthday present that I received last June.  My cousin gave me a Mini Pie Maker by Bella (not a plug-in for the brand, but wanted to simply let you know that this particular one worked great.)  Since I live in an area where there are an abundance of farm-fresh produce and fruits around, I decided on blueberries and cherries–two of the top favorite fruits at home.

Sweet Pie Pastry

Makes 13 oz; 15 minutes prep; 30 minutes rest
-1/2 cup butter (cut into cubes and place on your pasty board)
-2 cups all-purpose flour (1/2 c. extra for dusting)
-2 tbsp water
-1/1/2 tbsp sugar
-1/2 tsp salt
-1 egg
1. Rub butter into 1 1/2 cup of flour until mixture resembles breadcrumbs.  Make a well in the center.  Pour water, sugar, salt, and egg.
2. Dissolve sugar and salt using your finger tips.  Work the flour mixture into the liquid in the center; dough will be fairly wet.
3. Bring in all remaining flour and squeeze it with both hands.  Form a ball but not overworking it.  Flatten it into a slab to help speed up the chilling time then cover with plastic wrap.
4. Refrigerate dough for at least 30 minutes before rolling it out with a rolling pin.

Mini Cherry Pies

My 9-year old son made a special request for cherries + in a pie, so here it is…After pitting the fresh cherries by hand (oh the joy!), I placed them in a small sauce pan, adding the following:
-1 tbsp of sugar
-squeeze of fresh lemon (I used half)
Let it boil for 10 minutes or so on medium low until they are soft and can be squish with a fork.  Then add:
-1/2 tbsp of cornstarch
-1tbsp of water until the cherry mixture begins to thicken.
Take it off the heat to let it cool.  Once they are cool, you can begin to fill in your mini pie maker with about 1/4 cup of the cherry filling.  Follow the pie maker’s baking time as instructed on the manual.  If you don’t have a mini pie maker, you can use a muffin tin, then bake between 350-375 degrees for 30 minutes or until the pastry is crispy and browned.

Mini Blueberry Pies

So now for my favorite type of fruit pie!  I love blueberries anything, and these were a delight.  You’ll need the following:
-1 package fresh blueberries
-1/3 cup sugar
-2 tbsp flour
-dash cinnamon
-dash nutmeg (freshly ground, if available)
With the sweet pastry dough, line the bottom of the mini pie maker, or muffin tin with crust.  In a separate bowl, combine the blueberries, sugar, flour, cinnamon and nutmeg until berries are well coated. Spoon the 1/4 cup mixture into pie maker. In top crust, use a cookie cutter or knife to vent, the place on top of pie.  Follow the pie maker’s baking time as instructed on the manual.  If you don’t have a mini pie maker, you can use a muffin tin, then bake between 350-375 degrees for 30 minutes or until the pastry is crispy and browned.  When the mini blueberry pies have cooled down (for about a minute or so) add any remaining fresh blueberries on top and sprinkle with powered sugar (optional). Enjoy!gcc

Playing with Phyllo!

I had another package of fresh blueberries left in the fridge and just last week I bought some Phyllo dough on a whim.  So what to do but to find myself in the kitchen for play time…
Using the same recipe for my blueberries above, I took out my mini pie maker to make this quick and refreshing, afternoon snack!  If you don’t have a pie maker, use a muffin tin and bake for approximately 5 minutes or until phyllo is a golden brown.  Add fresh blueberries on top and sprinkle with confectionery sugar!  Bon Appétit!–gcc

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