Monday, September 22, 2014

Cutie Pies

Making a pie crust from scratch can be pretty intimidating.  I was lucky enough to learn when I was a freshman in high school.  My home ec class learned to make a pie crust, then we got to choose what kind of pie to make with it.  I chose to make this weird jello pie with strawberries, bananas and whipped cream.  (What was I thinking?  I couldn't tell ya).

Anyway, making a crust can be a little tricky. Getting the right amount of fat to flour.  Adding in just enough cold water but not too much.  Usually, it's just easier to buy one of those prepared refrigerated pie crusts in a box.  But, I recently came across a recipe that seemed so easy and almost foolproof.  I tried it and it came out great!  It's made with a combo of butter and cream cheese.  It's very forgiving.  You don't have to worry about it not coming together.  It really does work every time!  Plus, I almost always have butter and cream cheese in my fridge so when I get a hankering for pie I can just throw this together.  No trips to the grocery store.  Here's the recipe for the crust and how to make the cutie pies with it.


1 stick butter, softened
4 oz cream cheese, softened
1 cup all purpose flour

Mix butter and cream cheese together in a mixer (or a food processor) until smooth.

Add flour and mix just until incorporated.  Place the dough into a zip bag and chill for 30 minutes in the fridge.

Once chilled, roll it out on a a floured surface (put some flour on your rolling pin, too.  If you don't have one, use a smooth glass).

Roll it out to about 1/4 inch thick.  Using a biscuit cutter (or circle cookie cutter or even that glass), cut out circles.

Lay half of the circles onto a cookie sheet.  Spoon some pie filling (not too much or it will explode) onto the center of each.  I used canned cherry pie filling that I doctored up with a little pure vanilla extract.

Place the other half of the dough circles on top of each.  Seal the edges by pinching (or just use a fork to crimp the edges).  I have a Cut-n-Seal gadget from Pampered Chef.  It cuts the circle then seals it when you press down on the plunger.  I love kitchen gadgets.  It's a problem.  Trust me a fork works just as well.

Using a sharp knife, cut a slit or two in the top.  This will let the steam escape and keep the pie from exploding in the oven.

Next, brush a little egg wash on each.  Egg wash is just an egg and a little bit of water whisked together.  This helps the top brown and look shiny.

Sprinkle a little sugar on top of each.

Bake at 375 degrees for about 15 minutes or until golden brown.

These are cute (hence the name) little handheld pies.  Perfect for any filling.  Try pumpkin spiced with vanilla, cinnamon, ginger and cloves.  Apple cinnamon is always a favorite (just add some cinnamon to canned apple pie filling).  You could even use Nutella as a filling.  

This crust works for sweet or savory pies.  It would be great for a chicken pot pie, crawfish pie or even a quiche.  It's so easy you just have to give it a try!  Your friends and family will be so impressed when you tell them you made it from scratch.  If they only knew just how simple it was.  (I won't tell if you don't).

No comments:

Post a Comment