August 18, 2011

The Art of the Pie!

Everything comes down to this! Whatever you choose to do, take it on with purpose, do it well and with your heart! For what I lack in professional baking credentials, I try to make up for in each handmade pie, a proud example of what I learned from my mother and grandmother!

A Maine House Mosaic

My new kitchen gadget.....Pocket Pie Molds! Now this is just plain fun!

I discovered these wonderful pie molds recently and found two at
 Williams-Sonoma and one on Amazon from Norpro!

Not only are these pies easy to make, there are a wealth of ideas in which to use them. Holiday parties, Back-to-School lunchboxes, after school snacks, potlucks, picnics...just use your imagination and have a great time baking these beautiful little pies for your family! These little mini pies can be filled with your favorite sweet and savory fillings – from fresh fruit to meats, cheeses and vegetables.

Perfect Pie Crust
2 sticks/16 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold, cut into 1 tablespoon chunks
2 ½ cups flour
2 tablespoons sugar
½ teaspoon salt
¼ - ½ cup ice water

Wild Maine Blueberry Pie Filling
6 cups wild blueberries, rinsed, stems removed
3/4 cup sugar
1 t. Vanilla
¼ cup cornstarch
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon salt
juice of one lemon
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, cut into bits
1-2 tablespoons whole milk
turbinado sugar for sanding the top of the pie crust

Make the crust: whisk together flour, sugar, and salt. Using a fork, pastry cutter, or your hands, cut the butter into the flour mix until incorporated in small, pea-sized bits. Slowly add the water, tossing with a fork after each tablespoon addition and adding just enough for the dough to adhere. Divide into two equal balls, pat each into a disc, and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least half an hour. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Make filling: Stir together sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Add to blueberries and stir gently, then add lemon juice. Roll out the pie dough. Add blueberry mix to the lower crust and cover with the top crust (using lattice strips if you want or a plain top if you don’t). Brush the top crust with the milk, then generously sprinkle sugar atop. Bake for 50-60 minutes, using a tinfoil ring to prevent the outer edge of the pie crust from burning.


Sour Cherry Pie Filling
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 T. cornstarch
Dash of Salt
2 cups fresh or frozen sour cherries, pits removed
1 t. Vanilla

In a saucepan, whisk together 1/2 cup granulated sugar, the 1 1/2 T. cornstarch and pinch of salt, then add the cherries (2 cups fresh or frozen pitted sour cherries, thawed and drained if frozen) and 1 t. vanilla. Set over medium-high heat and cook until slightly thickened, about 15 minutes. Let the filling cool.

Summer Fruit Pie Filling
1-2/3 cups each sliced peeled peaches, nectarines and apricots
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon butter

In a large bowl, combine the peaches, nectarines, apricots and lemon juice. Combine the brown sugar, ginger and cinnamon; sprinkle over fruit and toss gently to coat. Place 3 T. of fruit filling in pocket pastry and dot with butter.

Mini Meat Pie Stuffing
1 T. Olive Oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 lb. ground beef or ground turkey
1 (8 oz.) can Mixed Vegetables
1 package of gravy mix
2 T. Worchestershire Sauce

Heat oil in skillet. Add onion and chopped garlic cloves and saute until clear. Add ground beef and cook until browned. Drain and return to skillet. Add the can of mixed vegetables and mix gently. Add gravy mix per package instructions and simmer until most of liquid is reduced. Add Worchestershire Sauce and fill pie pockets, continuing with mini pie mold instructions. Bake at 375 degrees F. for 25-30 minutes.

Whether you choose to bake or deep-fry your creations,
you’ll end up with a tasty snack to enjoy at home or on the go.
I made little lattice apple pies for Darling yesterday.
He said, "These look great! Don't think they are gonna last the night!
Are these on our diet?"
"Of course," I replied......"They are baked, not fried!"
Bless his little heart!

1 comment:

  1. More pies made from the heart! Yay!
    Kate McDermott
    Art of the Pie, Seattle


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