If you’ve been following this blog, you know that pies are nothing to be afraid of. Easy as pie might refer to eating one (in most people’s minds), but not in Feisty’s world. Mixing together a pie crust – easy! Making the filling – usually, even easier! Going mini, well…that’s just the next step in food domination, isn’t it? I like to think that every new thing I learn how to do will someday serve me well should I end up in a Chopped-like situation, having only 30 minutes to combine who knows what into a delightful dessert.
And these pies scream summer to me. Strawberries are bright, sweet, and refreshing, everything you want in a summer treat. I can just picture a few lazy kids sitting in the sun, drinking watered-down white wine & gorging on their own single serving strawberry pie.
The mini pies travel and share well; I can attest to this since they were my “dish to share” for my girl, Jessica’s Memorial weekend party in Culpeper. I will say, though, that it seems the warmer they get, the more they fall apart. I personally preferred them more cool than warm, and the pie crust definitely tastes better after a few days.
MINI STRAWBERRY PIES
Makes 9 pies
1 c. cake flour
1 c. regular flour
3/4 c. cold butter, cut into 1/2″ cubes
Mix both cups of flour together in bowl. Add butter and mix with paddle attachment on Low for 1 minute.
I do not have a paddle attachment, so I ended up treating this like biscuit dough and cutting the butter through the flour with a fork. Just make sure you get the butter mashed up pretty good.
Add 2 lightly beaten eggs & mix on Medium Low until dough forms cohesive mass. Put dough into disc, wrap in plastic wrap and place in fridge.
Once mixed, the dough did not come together as described so I used my hands to form it together. You can tell when the dough is ready for this; it will hold together easily and stay formed into a ball.
1/2 c. regular flour
1 T. cornstarch
1/2 c. UNPACKED brown sugar
1/4 c. white sugar
1 dash cinnamon
1 dash nutmeg
4 c. halved strawberries (you will need slightly more than 1-16 oz container)
1 T. vanilla extract
In a clean bowl (I use same bowl after washing it out), mix together flour, cornstarch, both sugars, cinnamon, and nutmeg. In different bowl, toss strawberries with vanilla extract, then toss into the dry ingredients. One suggestion: cut strawberries into uniform shapes. I halved all strawberries the same, big and small, and as a result I had a harder time fitting those bigger ones into my cups.
Now for the hard part…:)
Place your cupcake pan in freezer. On a clean surface HEAVILY FLOURED, roll out 3/4 of dough until 1/8″ thick. Return remaining 1/4 of dough to fridge. Cut out circles 3″ in diameter for 9 total circles. In my opinion, larger circles wouldn’t hurt! Lightly grease pan with butter. Gently press dough into cups, leaving small rim of dough at top. Important: That rim is needed to attach top lattice crust. Make sure its big enough to be used effectively. Use dough from fridge to patch any holes.
Overfill each cup with mixture (will shrink). Don’t make my mistake and push filling down into it or it will not shrink so much. Roll out remaining dough and slice into 1/4″ to 1/3″ strips. Lay strips across each pie in crisscross pattern, pinching seams into rim as you go along. Place cupcake pan on baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees for 30-40 minutes. If crust starts browning too fast, cover with aluminum foil and continue to bake. Let pies cool in pan for 30 minutes, then remove and cool on wire rack. They are easy to remove; I just used a cereal (soup?) spoon.
My only edit would be that these pies needed some sweetness. Yes, they were filled with sweet strawberries, but with the brown sugar and regular sugar in it as well, I thought it would be sweeter. I am pretty sure that the lack of sweetness was detected from the pie crust, because it has no sugar in it. You might want to add sugar if you like really sweet desserts. I drizzled honey over my pies, but you couldn’t really taste it.