mini strawberry pies

I have a weakness for delicious food, miniaturized. Tartlets, finger sandwiches, mini marshmallows; all foods improved by their tiny stature. So when I had the urge to make pie with a huge flat of strawberries I had just purchased, I knew that I had to go small. Big is soooo 2009.

Although these pies are personal-sized, don’t underestimate their flavor. The crust is crisp and buttery, the filling is fresh, chunky and light (not jelly-like, as most grocery store pies are). And most importantly, they’re really dang cute. Also, you don’t need any special equipment—no tart pans, no ramekins. Just a good old fashioned cupcake pan. So you can make them with me.

Ready? Let’s start with the crust.

You’ll need flour, cake flour, salt, lightly beaten eggs and cold cubed butter.

And starting now I’d like you to ignore the rumors that good pie crust is difficult to make. That is a vicious lie started by the pie companies to keep you buying their inferior pies. I know, they’re evil, right? There is only one rule when making crust: keep the butter cold and keep the dough cold. As long as you do that, you’re golden. And your crust will be, too.

I amaze myself at my own level of cheesiness sometimes.

Mix the flours and salt together in the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the cold butter cubes and mix on low for 1 minute, then add the eggs and mix on medium low until the dough forms a cohesive mass. It may clump together right away or it may separate into tiny pieces before clumping together—every batch of dough has a mind of it’s own. Don’t ask me why.

Pat the dough into a disc, wrap in cellophane and place in the fridge while you prepare your other ingredients.

Now is also a good time to preheat your oven to 400F and place your cupcake pan in the freezer. Because the fish sticks need company.

You’ll need strawberries. I was delighted when these hit the stores this spring. The real ones—not the fake rubbery-tasting look-a-likes that pass for strawberries in the winter months.

Their little strawberry faces make me smile.

After you’ve washed, dried and de-stemmed them, remove any mushy or un-ripe parts and chop each berry in half. Quarters if they’re huge.

Next, in a small bowl mix together some flour, granulated sugar, brown sugar, cornstarch and a dash each of cinnamon and nutmeg.

Toss the strawberries in a little vanilla extract (or a Grand Marnier if you’re feeling naughty)…

…and coat them in the flour/sugar mixture.

Remove your dough from the fridge.

On a clean surface, roll out 3/4 of your pie dough until it is about 1/8″ thick. Return the remaining 1/4 of the dough to the fridge.

Cut circles in the dough using a round that is approximately 3″ in diameter. None of my cookie cutters were quite the right size, so I used this gorgeous coffee cup that my dear Ma-in-law gave me. It worked perfectly.

Cut a total of 9 circles. If at any point the dough is no longer cold (you’ll know—it will begin to stick to your work surface), place it in the fridge or freezer for a few minutes and then continue. It will be a pain in the butt to work with if it gets warm.

Remove the cupcake pan from the freezer (the cold temperature will make shaping the dough easier) and lightly grease the cups with butter. Press and stretch each round into the cup, making sure that there are no holes in the dough. If you find a hole that you can’t seem to fix, pinch a small piece from the remaining dough in the fridge and use it to patch the hole. Then overfill the pies with the strawberry mixture—the berries will shrink down while cooking. I used my fingers to arrange the berries to ensure the maximum amount of berry goodness in each little pie.

Roll out the remaining dough to 1/8″ thickness. Use a pizza cutter to slice strips that are 1/4″ to 1/3″ in width.

Jeez, I’m giving a lot of annoying measurements in this recipe. I apologize. Don’t listen to me—just go with your gut.

Lay three or four strips across the pie in one direction, pinching the ends off as you go. Press each seam together so they adhere.

You could make a true woven lattice crust here if you have more patience than the Dali Lama and incredibly dextrous fingers. Which I do not. You know who would be remarkably good at making these pies? John Cusack’s character in Being John Malkovich.

While we’re discussing pop culture, let’s play Where’s Waldo with the photo below. Can you spy the pie that I tried to weave into a lattice crust? My attempt lasted all of five seconds. And then I threw in the towel and chucked Waldo against the wall.

Place your cupcake pan on top of a baking sheet to catch any drips. Bake for 30-40 minutes. If at anytime the crust is becoming too brown, cover with foil and continue baking.

And when they’re done? Masterpieces, my friends. Masterpieces. Although (and I hate to tell you this now, after you’ve done all this work) you have to give them an hour or two to cool before eating. Otherwise you’ll have a gooey red mess that is very un-pretty.

But once they’re ready to eat? Oh, baby. Get ready for some strawberry lovin’.

I’m not even going to say anything else for a few and let you enjoy these photos:

For me, this is as close to perfect as pie can get. The crust is crisp but not hard. The filling showcases the flavor of the strawberries—it doesn’t mask it in a barrage of goo. They’re not overly sweet. The crust has a buttery richness that is nicely complimented by the flavor of the berries. The….

Okay, once again, shutting up.

I can’t seem to say enough about these little beauties, so I’ll leave you with one last thing: you need these in your life. Like, yesterday.

Happy hump day!

-RDG

Mini Strawberry Pies

For the crust: (Inspired by a basic crust recipe in James Peterson’s Baking)

  • 1 cup cake flour
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup cold butter, cut into 1/2″ cubes
  • 2 lightly beaten eggs

Mix the flours and salt together in the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the cold butter cubes and mix on low for 1 minute, then add the eggs and mix on medium low until the dough forms a cohesive mass. Pat the dough into a disc, wrap in cellophane and place in the fridge.

For the filling:

  • 1 1/2 lbs fresh strawberries, to yield about 4 cups halved strawberries
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar (not packed)
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 dash cinnamon
  • 1 dash nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

In a small bowl mix together the dry ingredients. In a larger bowl, toss the strawberries with the vanilla extract and then toss with the dry ingredients.

To assemble the pies:

Preheat oven to 400F. Place a cupcake pan in the freezer.

On a clean surface, roll out 3/4 of your pie dough until it is about 1/8″ thick. Return the remaining 1/4 of the dough to the fridge.

Cut circles in the rolled-out dough using a round that is approximately 3″ in diameter to make a total of 9 circles. Remove cupcake pan from fridge and lightly grease 9 of the cups with butter. Gently press each dough round into greased cups, coming all the way up the edges and leaving a small rim of dough at the top. Patch any holes with a pinch of extra dough from the refrigerator. If at any time you’re working with the dough and it becomes sticky, wrap and place in the fridge or freezer for a few minutes before continuing.

Overfill each pie with strawberry mixture. Roll out remaining dough and slice into 1/4″ to 1/3″ strips. Lay strips of dough across each pie in a criss-cross pattern, pinching each seam together as you go along. Place cupcake pan on top of baking sheet and bake for 30-40 minutes. If the crust is ever becoming too brown, cover pies with aluminum foil and continue baking. Let cool in pan for 30 minutes, then remove and let pies cool completely on a wire rack before serving. Makes 9 pies.

Comments

  1. Yes, you are right. They are so cute!
    I would love to do them, but I need to wait 2 months for strawberries season here in Poland 🙁

  2. These are ADORABLE! Must, must try for my next dinner party. Way to go, Jenny!

  3. Such a pretty picture! I love your little heart. Adorable. Keep the good work going!

  4. Very cute, so funny we made mini strawberry pies almost the same day!
    http://www.honeyandbutter.com/?p=1285
    Happy to see someone as excited about strawberries as I am! Yay!

  5. These look delicious!

  6. Oh my goodness, these are so cute! I bet they are wonderful with a dallop of real whipped cream.

  7. Wow…these are about the cutest things I’ve seen in a long time. Super cute.

  8. Trying to make these guys now….how come you didn’t have to flour your rolling surface?? The dough is sticking like crazy for me. It’s in the fridge for round #3 of firming back up….yargh!

    • Oh no! As long as the butter was very cold to start and you’ve kept it cold the whole time, it should be fine. That being said, each batch of dough has a mind of it’s own! And there’s nothing wrong with using a little flour on your worksurface. For this particular batch I didn’t need any, but it won’t hurt the dough if you need to use some to keep your sanity 🙂

  9. First local strawberries from yesterday’s farmers market. Finally I can try this!

  10. wow! i saw these on the weekend and knew right away i had to make them– you make it look so easy!

    so today i broke out my apron and made them… success! your recipe, coupled with the post and pictures, made this the easiest recipe to follow EVER. any errors are my own! they taste great and are cute (and will get cuter the more i make them, my nails were too long to do good pinching or lining up of the lines). the only ingredient i had to buy was cake flour (mine went missing when i moved a couple weeks ago), otherwise it was all stuff i had on hand. such a great baking day.

    only thing is: i used all the dough for the 9 pies, but I only used half the strawberries! not the worst dilemma, since it means i will make more tomorrow night, and take them to work with me.

    thanks so much for sharing! 😀

  11. Elizabeth says:

    I found these via Pinterest and I think I’m going to try to make them (to celebrate Pi day!) I’ve got a pre-made pie crust, I hope it works! Thanks for the recipe! 🙂

  12. Wow, these look incredible! Really nice photos too.

    We thought you and your readers might enjoy the “simple strawberry pie” recipe that’s part of the Eat Interesting blogger/recipe contest on the Mission FB page. You can check it out here:
    http://bit.ly/MissionEnterToWin

    Have a great day.
    —Mission Outreach Team

  13. Your such an Inspiration 🙂 i love all your recipes

  14. Jessica says:

    I am making these for a wedding shower and wanted to know if they could be made the day before and then left on the counter or should I put them in the fridge? Also I found a similar recipe on another website and the filling is exactly the same except they call for 1 teaspoon of vanilla instead of 1 tablespoon, how much should I add? Thanks so much for posting this recipe!

  15. Made these in mini cupcake tins so they were extra adorable :). Easily the best dessert I have ever made! Thank you so much for sharing this!

  16. Do you have any video of that? I’d care to find out more details.

Trackbacks

  1. […] saw them over at Rainy Day Gal’s site, and fell in love with their […]

  2. […] saw them over at Rainy Day Gal’s site, and fell in love with their […]

  3. […] pictures of some delicious pies (and the original recipe), I strongly suggest checking it out here. Thanks, […]

  4. […] this Friday with what are going to be some delicious, adorrrrable mini strawberry pies, courtesy of this and this! LikeBe the first to like this […]

  5. […] in two weeks. I’m addicted. I got excited about this cooking blog post. I clicked. (You can too, here.) It was beautiful. I knew right away I had to make the pies. Three days later, and I was cutting […]

  6. […] filling-nya sendiri terinspirasi dari sini. Tapi seperti biasa, resep-resepnya saya modifikasi […]

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