Category Archives: Pies and Tarts

Banana Cream Pie

Banana Cream Pie Print

I have to admit that I rarely eat bananas straight from the peel; by themselves they just aren’t my fruit of choice, but put them in a bread or a cake or a cream pie and suddenly I’m all about the banana. This Banana Cream Pie is a perfect blend of creamy vanilla custard, banana, flaky crust, and of course, whipped cream to top it all off. This is such a classic pie and everyone has their favorite, go-to recipe, but I thought I’d bring you this maple-syrup sweetened version of Mel’s Kitchen Cafe’s Old Fashioned Banana Cream Pie. It’s best eaten the day it’s made or the bananas will brown and not look so appetising, but as good as this yummy pie is that shouldn’t be a problem.

Ingredients

Pie Crust:
  • Marie Callender’s or any 9-inch pie crust you prefer
  • Banana Cream Filling:
  • 1/3 cup real maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup half-and-half or heavy cream
  • 5 large egg yolks, lightly beaten
  • 1 2/3 cups milk (2% or whole)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 medium bananas
  • Whipped Cream Topping:
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

    Preheat oven to 400ºF

    For the crust:
  1. Remove from the fridge and let sit for half an hour to soften.
  2. Carefully transfer crust from the pie tin it came into a 9-inch glass pie. (See Note) If it cracks, lightly moisten your fingers and press it back together.
  3. Prick all over the bottom and sides of the crust with a fork, then place in the fridge for an hour to chill.
  4. Line the chilled pie shell with a layer of aluminum foil, covering the edges so they don’t burn, and fill with pie weights, dried beans, or rice. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Remove the weights and foil and continue to bake the crust until golden brown, about 5-10 minutes more. Set aside to cool completely.
  5. For the filling:
  6. Whisk the cornstarch and salt together in a medium saucepan, pour in maple syrup and stir to blend. Whisk in the half-and-half or heavy cream, followed by the egg yolks and the milk until the mixture is smooth.
  7. Bring to a simmer over medium-low heat, whisking constantly, until the mixture thickens. The resulting texture and thickness should be that of an almost set pudding. Remove pan from heat and let the mixture cool until warm.
  8. Pour one-third to one half of the warm filling into the pre-baked pie shell.
  9. Peel the bananas and slice on top of the filling, then cover with remaining filling. Lay a sheet of plastic wrap over filling surface. Refrigerate pie until it is completely chilled, at least 3 hours.
  10. For the topping:
  11. Whip the cream, syrup and vanilla together until soft peaks form. Spread the whipped cream over the top of the pie (if you are going to pipe the whipped cream, you’ll need to whip the cream to stiff peaks) Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Serves: 6-8
Barely adapted from: Mel’s Kitchen Cafe

 

Note: You can certainly leave the crust in the original tin pan, if you prefer; it just makes a “prettier” presentation in a glass pie pan.
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Summer Fruit Tart

Summer Fruit Tart Print

Okay, so I might be pushing it a bit making a summer fruit tart in mid-May, but truth is, you could make this tart pretty much any time of the year if cost isn’t a factor for you. (Out of season fruit can be a little on the pricey side depending on where you live….) But that, my friends is the only possible drawback to this oh so pretty tart, that will garner many oohs and aahs when served at your next gathering. I used strawberries, blueberries, kiwis, and raspberries, but blackberries and/or mandarin oranges are a couple of other options that would be tasty – and pretty, as well. If you are short of time, you can easily make the crust and cream filling a day or two in advance; putting the fruit topping on the day you’ll be serving the tart. I hope you’ll try this delicious and easy tart, whatever the season!

Ingredients

    For the crust:
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup pecans, very finely chopped
  • 1 1/4 sticks unsalted butter, softened and cubed
  • For the filling:
  • 1 8-ounce package light cream cheese, softened
  • 4 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup whipping cream, whipped to soft peaks
  • For the fruit topping:
  • Fresh strawberries, kiwi slices (cut in half), blueberries, raspberries
  • For the glaze:
  • 1/2 cup of orange marmalade

Directions

    Preheat oven to 350⁰F

    For the crust:
  1. In a food processor, combine the flour, butter, nuts, and maple syrup and process until the mixture forms a sticky ball.
  2. With your fingers, press the dough into the bottom and up the sides of a 12-inch removable-bottom tart pan (You may need to dip your fingers into some flour to keep the dough from sticking to them as you press it into the pan). Bake for 12-14 minutes, until lightly browned. Set aside to cool completely.
  3. For the cream filling:
  4. Beat the cream cheese, maple syrup, and vanilla together until smooth. Fold in the whipped cream until completely incorporated. Spread over the cooled crust.
  5. For the fruit topping:
  6. Cut the strawberries into 1/4-inch slices and arrange around the edge of the crust in a double layer. For the next circle, use 1/4-inch kiwi slices (cut in half). Add a circle of blueberries, then a circle of raspberries in the middle, or just mound raspberries in the circle of blueberries. (See photos).
  7. For the glaze:
  8. Strain orange marmalade into a small bowl, using a fine mesh strainer. Microwave the resulting jelly on high for 15-20 seconds, just to warm it. Using a soft brush, gently brush the jelly over the fruit until completely covered. (There may be a little jelly left over)
  9. Keep the tart in the refrigerator. Remove about 15 minutes before serving. Serve with whipped cream.
Serves: 8

Adapted from: The Food Network
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Blackberry Almond Tart Print

After the rich, sometimes decadent, possibly indulgent (I seem to use that word a lot here…), desserts and sweet treats of the holidays, I thought maybe something fruitful and more healthful-leaning might be in order. Enter Blackberry Almond Tart! Now, this purple jewel of a tart isn’t entirely without sin – all of those blackberries sit inside a nut shortbread crust. In the crust’s defense, however, the butter was reduced by half, without losing any tenderness or flavor. Honest. Fresh blackberries are available in the stores at this time of the year, but I mostly used frozen berries to keep costs down; if you don’t mind the expense, fresh is always best. The next time you’re looking for an easy fruit tart, I hope you’ll try this Blackberry Almond Tart.

Blackberry almond tart

Blackberry almond tart

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup blanched almonds, finely ground
  • 2 tablespoon maple sugar
  • 4 tablespoons cold butter, cut in small cubes
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/8 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup maple sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 4 cups frozen blackberries, thawed
  • 1 cup fresh blackberries
  • 3 tablespoons slivered almonds, lightly toasted

Directions

Preheat oven to 375ºF

  1. Place oven rack in lowest position. Have an 8-inch tart pan with removable bottom or a 8-inch springform pan ready. I used a 14×5-inch rectangular tart pan. You can find them here.
  2. To make crust in food processor: Process 2/3 cup flour, 1/4 cup ground blanched almonds, 2 tablespoons maple sugar and the butter, pulsing until pea-sized crumbs form. With motor running, add lemon juice and almond extract. Process until dough leaves sides of bowl. (If you don’t have a food processor, by hand: Mix 2/3 cup flour, ground blanched almonds and 2 tablespoons maple sugar in a medium-size bowl. Cut in butter with pastry blender or 2 knives until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle with lemon juice and almond extract until combined.) Pour dough into the tart or springform pan.
  3. Lightly flour fingers and press dough about 1/4 inch thick over bottom and up the sides of the tart pan about 1/2 inch high in spring-form pan.
  4. Mix remaining 2 tablespoons flour, 1/2 cup maple sugar and the cinnamon in a large bowl. Add 4 cups blueberries and stir to mix and coat. Spread evenly in crust.
  5. Place tart on a rimmed cookie sheet lined with foil and bake 40 to 50 minutes until crust is well browned and the filling bubbles.
  6. Remove from oven, place on wire rack. Sprinkle with the 1 cup fresh blackberries and toasted, slivered almonds. Cool completely. Remove pan sides and place tart on serving plate.
Serves 6-8
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apple dumplings with maple cinnamon sauce

Apple Dumplings with Maple Cinnamon Sauce Print

It’s apple season! Right now my house smells like an apple orchard tinged with cinnamon and it just makes me happy! A friend gave me a huge amount of apples from the crazy productive apple tree in her backyard and I’ve been busy making apple sauce, apple pie filling, and these oh-so-wonderful Apple Dumplings with Maple Cinnamon Sauce. Which aroma do you prefer wafting through your home? Freshly baked bread or apple cinnamon anything? It’s a toss up for me, but at the moment…apple cinnamon is winning the contest. You won’t be even a little bit sorry if you try these Apple Dumplings with Maple Cinnamon Sauce. Happy Fall everyone!

apple dumplings with maple cinnamon sauce

Ingredients

    Sauce Ingredients
  • 1 cup maple syrup
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • Dough Ingredients
  • 2 cups unbleached white flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup cold shortening (place in freezer for an hour or so)
  • 2/3 cup cold butter, divided
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 6 small MacIntosh or Jonathon Apples, peeled and cored
  • Maple sugar and cinnamon for sprinkling

Directions

Preheat oven to 375⁰F

    For the sauce:
  1. Combine all of the sauce ingredients in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil for a couple of minutes so it thickens slightly.
  2. For the dough:
  3. Measure the flour, baking powder and salt into a large bowl. Cut the shortening and ⅓ cup butter (save remaining butter for the center of the apples) into the flour mixture with a pastry blender (stop blending when the shortening and butter are approximately pea-sized). Add milk and stir until the dough just forms a ball. Place in the refrigerator.
  4. Peel and core the apples.
  5. Divide the dough into six equal portions and roll them out, one at a time, on a lightly floured surface.
  6. Place an apple on a dough round, fill the center with butter, sprinkle approximately 1 tablespoon maple sugar and 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon over the top.
  7. Mold the dough around the apple, sealing it well so the filling doesn’t come out when baking. Continue with the rest of the apples.
  8. Place the apples in a 13×9 inch baking pan, spacing them about an inch apart. Pour the sauce over the dumplings, then sprinkle with maple sugar. Bake for 35 minutes. Spoon the sauce in the bottom of the pan over the apple dumplings when they are removed from the oven.
Serves: 6

NOTE: If you don’t have maple syrup and maple sugar or would prefer to use granulated sugar, you can use equal amounts in this recipe.

Adapted from: Bunny’s Warm Oven
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mixed berry cobbler

Mixed Berry Cobbler Print

Berries, any kind of berries, are gobbled at my house, so you can imagine the enthusiasm with which a juicy cobbler filled with berries is received. This mixed berry cobbler has a lemon-y scone topping that pairs perfectly with the sweet-tart berry combination. Cobblers are wonderful because they’re so easy, especially when compared to a pie. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m all about a good pie, but sometimes you just want a fruit pie with less fuss and the cobbler is the perfect solution. I hope you’ll try this mixed berry cobbler; with or without a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream, it’s divine.

mixed-berry-cobbler

Ingredients

    For the berry mixture:
  • 6 cups fresh or frozen (thawed) strawberries, blackberries and blueberries
  • ⅓ cup maple sugar
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • For the scones:
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 cup maple sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
  • 6 tablespoons cold butter, cubed
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2/3 cup sour cream

Directions

    Preheat oven to 425⁰F

    For the berry filling:
  1. In a large bowl, add the berries.
  2. Combine sugar and cornstarch in a small bowl and add to berries; gently stir to coat the berries.
  3. Pour the berry mixture into a 8×8 baking dish or 6-8 individual ramekins. Set aside.
  4. For the scone topping:
  5. Combine dry ingredients (through salt) in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse a few times until blended. Add in cubes of butter and pulse until butter looks like small pebbles in the flour mixture, about 30 seconds.
  6. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk sour cream, lemon rind, egg, and lemon juice together until thoroughly combined. Pour this mixture in a steady stream into the flour-butter mix in the processor; stop when the dough begins to come away from the sides of the processor.
  7. Crumble dough over the berry mixture. Try to cover as much of the berries as you can.
  8. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until berries are bubbling and topping is golden brown. Let cool at least 10 minutes before serving.
Serves: 6-8
NOTE: You can substitute granulated sugar for the maple sugar if you prefer.
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Sour Cherry Hand Pies Print

When it comes to fruits and veggies, summer is truly the season of plenty and while its here I devour all it has to offer. A favorite summer fruit of mine are cherries, sweet or sour, they’re all good! And no one has to ask me twice to make any kind of hand pie, soooo…hello, Sour Cherry Hand Pies! I short-cut this recipe by using store-bought pie crust (love the Marie Callender’s!), but you can use this whole wheat crust recipe from my Apple Pie post if you have some extra time. Tart, juicy, sour cherry filling is surrounded by tender, flaky crust. Mmmm, good! Just like Summer, they won’t last long…better enjoy some Sour Cherry Hand Pies while you can!

Sour Cherry Hand Pies

Sour Cherry Hand Pies

Ingredients

  • 2 packages Marie Callender’s pie crust (2 rolled crusts per package)
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup*
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 1/2 cups pitted, sour cherries, cut in half
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 tablespoons of cold water
  • Directions

    Preheat oven to 375°F

    1. In a small bowl, mix together the cornstarch, ground cinnamon, and pinch of salt. Slowly pour in maple syrup, whisking until thoroughly blended.
    2. In a medium saucepan, cook cherries with maple syrup mixture over medium heat for 15 minutes or until cherries are softened. Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice.
    3. Combine egg yolk and water to create egg wash. Set aside
    4. On a lightly floured counter top or board, unroll one of the pie crusts. Cut 5-inch diameter rounds from each pie crust. (I used a plastic storage bowl as my cutter).
    5. Fill the center of each crust round with 1 ½ -2 tablespoons of the cherry mixture; brush the edges of the crust with egg wash, then fold the crust in half and press the tines of a fork down on the edge to seal in the fruit.
    6. Chill hand pies for a half hour in the refrigerator before baking.
    7. Remove hand pies from the refrigerator and brush the tops of each pie with remaining egg wash. Cut a couple of small slits on the top of the hand pies for the steam to escape during baking.
    8. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until hand pies have turned golden brown.
    9. Cool hand pies for 10 minutes before serving.
    10. Serves: 8

      *NOTE: If you don’t have maple syrup on hand or you’d rather use granulated sugar, just substitute 1/2 cup granulated sugar for the maple syrup.
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Key Lime Pie Print

I have never made a Key Lime pie. Crazy, right?!! I’ve wanted to make one for a while now but the idea of changing the granulated sugar that’s normally used in the recipe to maple syrup or honey was more of a challenge than I was up for. Then in a surge of energy and because I’ve been on a serious citrus kick lately, I decided to take the challenge on. And now with the task complete, I’m so glad I took the time and effort to make it happen. The custard turned out creamy, with an almost curd-like texture and with the not-to-sweet, bright lime flavor you’d expect. Keeping the pie free of refined sugar, the graham cracker crust was made using honey and molasses sweetened graham crackers; you can usually find them in your local health food grocery store. If you’re a long-time fan of Key Lime pie or have just been wanting to give it a try, I hope you’ll try this naturally sweetened version!

Key Lime Pie

Ingredients

    For the crust:
  • 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (I used Mi-Del brand)
  • 1/4 cup maple sugar*
  • 7 tablespoons butter, melted
  • For the custard:
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup maple syrup*
  • 3 eggs, separated
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/3 cup key lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons grated lime zest
  • For the meringue:
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 4 tablespoons powdered maple sugar*
    • Directions

      Preheat oven to 375°F

        For the crust:
      1. In a medium bowl combine graham cracker crumbs, maple sugar and melted butter, mixing with a fork to combine.
      2. Pour crumb mixture into an 8″ spring-form pan, patting firmly into the pan with your fingers.
      3. Bake at 375°F for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely.
      4. For the custard:
      5. Separate the eggs. Beat the egg yolks in a large bowl. Set the whites aside (they should be room temperature before whipping).
      6. Combine the flour, cornstarch and salt in a saucepan. Gradually stir in the water, whisking briskly to ensure you don’t have any lumps, then stir in maple syrup. Cook over medium heat until thickened. Cool for 10 minutes.
      7. Gradually stir the cooled, cooked syrup mixture into the beaten egg yolks, beating constantly. Return the mixture to low heat and cook, stirring constantly, for 4-5 minutes. Stir in the butter, lime juice and lime zest. When done, the consistency should be similar to pudding or a fruit curd.
      8. For the meringue:
      9. Beat egg whites until light and frothy. Add the cream of tartar and continue beating until stiff peaks form. Beat in the maple sugar 1 tablespoon at a time, beating until the meringue is stiff and glossy.
      10. Pour the lime filling into the prepared crumb crust. Then pile the meringue on top, spreading it to the edges. Use the back of a spoon to swirl peaks into the merigue. On the middle rack of the oven, bake pie at 325°F for 10 – 12 minutes or until meringue top is golden brown.
        1. *NOTE: If you don’t have a problem with consuming cane sugar, just substitute equal amounts of granulated white sugar for the maple syrup and maple sugars (In the “For the custard” section of Ingredients, add an additional 1 cup of water to compensate for the liquid that’s in the maple syrup).
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Mini Blueberry Crostatas Print

I love pretty food. Who doesn’t? We eat with our eyes first, and no doubt the “prettiness” of desserts was a major factor in my decision to start a dessert blog (it’s so much easier to create a beautiful image of a luscious tart or delectable layer cake than say…a pot roast or steamed kale…). That said, there are times when my energy is failing or time is running short, and I’m all too happy to go for just “tastes really good”. And that brings me to these Mini Blueberry Crostatas. No, these little free-form pies won’t exactly win a dessert beauty contest, but they have a rustic, homey beauty and like I said earlier, they’re really tasty. The crust won’t have the nutty goodness of the recipe I’ve shared here, but if you want to make this dessert ridiculously easy, just substitute the home-made pie crust for store-bought pie crust. I love Marie Callender’s. It’s what I use when I’m feelin’ lazy or haven’t planned ahead. Give these little blueberries pies a try!
Mini Blueberry Crostatas -M2

Mini Blueberry Crostatas

Ingredients

      For the Crust:
    • 1/2 cup pecans, toasted and cooled
    • 3 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 12 tablespoons (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
    • 3 tablespoons vodka, chilled
    • 3 tablespoons ice water, more if needed
    • For the Filling:
    • 3 Cups Fresh Blueberries (if using frozen, thaw before use)
    • 3 tablespoons flour
    • ⅛ teaspoon cinnamon
    • 1/4 cup maple syrup or maple sugar
    • 2 teaspoons orange zest
    • 2 tablespoons orange juice
    • Pinch of salt
    • For Egg Wash:
    • 1 egg
    • 1 tablespoon water
    • Sugar for sprinkling, optional
      • Preheat oven to 425ºF

        Directions

        1. Stir together blueberries, maple syrup or maple sugar, flour, orange zest, orange juice, and salt in a bowl. Set aside.
        2. To make the crust, place toasted pecans in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until finely ground. Add flour and salt and pulse to combine. (Alternatively, you can stir together ground nuts, flour and salt in a medium bowl.) Add cold butter and pulse in the food processor (or cut butter in using a pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse crumbs). Add vodka and ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until dough just comes together. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured counter, pat into a disc, cut disc in two, cover each with plastic wrap, and chill at least 30 minutes.
        3. Remove from frig, roll dough out on a lightly floured surface into a 13-inch circle.
        4. Use a 5” diameter cutter or a bowl edge of the same width to cut as many rounds of pastry from each rolled out disc as it will allow (usually 3). Reroll the scraps and cut 1-2 more. Place them on 2 baking sheets lined with parchment (4 rounds to a pan). Evenly distribute the blueberry mixture between the eight discs (2 – 3 tablespoons per round).
        5. Fold over the edges of each crust, folding the dough in on itself to create a small rim of crust.
        6. Make an egg wash by beating together the egg and water. Brush edges of each pie with the egg wash and, if using, sprinkle the crust lightly with sugar.
        7. Bake for 15 minutes until the juices are bubbling and the crust is golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow pies to sit on the pan for 5 minutes.
          1. Serves: 8

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Apple Pie Print

When the cooler fall temperatures arrive, my instinct is to fill the house with warmth from my oven and the irresistible scents of pumpkin, cinnamon and apples, especially apples. Is there anything that says “Fall” more than the smell of baking apples? This recipe for Apple pie is about as all-American as they come, the only deviation from the norm is that this version is sweetened with maple sugar and the crust has a wee bit of whole wheat flour to give it a healthful crunch. Happy Autumn everyone!

Apple Pie

Apple Pie

Ingredients

  • 5 large Jonagold, McIntosh, or any tart-sweet apple, peeled, cored, and sliced ½” thick
  • 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons maple sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons butter, diced
  • 1 recipe double whole wheat pie crust (see below)
  • Preheat Oven to 450 degrees.

    Directions

    1. Put foil-lined, rimmed baking sheet in the oven for 5 minutes just before you are ready to pop your pie into the oven.
    2. Place sliced apples into a large, glass mixing bowl, sprinkle with lemon juice. Microwave on high for 5 minutes to soften the apples. Cool until just warm.
    3. In a small bowl, combine the flour, maple sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Pour this mixture over the apple slices and stir gently with a rubber spatula until the apples are thoroughly coated. Set aside.
    4. Roll out the double pie crust on a floured surface then place the bottom crust in the pie pan.
    5. Pour the apples onto the unbaked bottom crust. Sprinkle the diced butter over the apples.
    6. Lay the top crust over the apples, then seal and crimp the edges of the crust. Cut 5-6 vent holes in the top of the pie crust.
    7. Carefully place the pie on the hot baking sheet in the oven. Bake at 450 degrees for 15-20 minutes (the top should be light golden brown). Turn the temperature down to 375 degrees. Bake another 30-35 minutes, until the top crust is a medium golden brown and the apple juices are bubbling in the center of the pie. This classic is delicious warm or cold.
Double whole wheat pie crust:
  • 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) very cold unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup very cold vegetable shortening
  • 2 ¼ cups all purpose flour
  • ¾ cup white whole wheat flour
  • 1 cold egg, well beaten
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon maple sugar
  • 8-10 tablespoons ice water (a little over 1/2 cup)

  1. Cut the butter and shortening into a ½” dice, then place them in the freezer while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
  2. Place the all purpose flour, whole wheat pastry flour, salt, and maple sugar in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade; pulse a few times to combine. Scatter the butter and shortening pieces over the top. Pulse 8 to 12 times. Some of the butter pieces will be small and others will be larger.
  3. With the machine running, add 5 tablespoons ice water to feed tube. Add the remaining water one tablespoon at a time, just until the dough is moist enough to hold together with a small portion is pinched between your fingers. Pulse the machine until the dough forms a rough ball.
  4. Place the dough on a floured board and pat into a disk. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
  5. When chilled, divide the dough in two. Use both immediately or wrap and refrigerate for up to two days or freeze for up to two months.
Whole wheat pie crust adapted from: Well Plated

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Peach Mini Pies Print

With the last peaches of the season I baked some delicious Peach Mini Pies. Somehow eating an individual pie seems a wee bit more special than eating “just” a piece of pie; plus I confess I’m less tempted to go back for a tiny sliver more when I’ve had my very own little pie. Weird, I know; but it’s one of those “psych” things some of us with less than iron will power do to keep from over indulging. This is my second offering using the natural sweetener maple syrup, and I have to say that I really can’t tell a difference from regular cane sugar. And I’m not just saying that, either. The pie crust recipe I used here has a white flour/white whole wheat flour blend and is nearly as flaky as my standard, all white flour crust recipe. I barely adapted it from Well Plated’s wonderful whole-wheat pie crust recipe. Of course, with this crust you don’t enjoy the easy-peasiness of a refrigerated pie crust, but the taste and healthfulness make it worth the extra effort. I hope you enjoy these little gems. They’re especially yummy warm with a dollop of sugar-free whipped cream on top. Just sayin’….

Peach Mini Pies

Peaches in Colander

Ingredients

  • Recipe for double whole wheat pie crust (below)
  • 3 ripe peaches, peeled and cut into ½” thick slices
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons flour
  • 1/3 cup natural maple syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 3 teaspoons butter

    Directions

    Preheat Oven to 450º
  1. Roll out pastry dough to 1/8” thickness and cut six 5-inch circles and six 3-inch circles. (You will use both disks of pie dough)
  2. Line a muffin tin with the larger circles. Place 3-4 peach slices in each bottom.
  3. Combine the flour, cinnamon, and salt.
  4. Sprinkle flour mixture evenly over each peach half.
  5. Drizzle 1 tablespoon of natural maple syrup over the peach slices of each pie.
  6. Dot each pie with 1/2 teaspoon of butter.
  7. Place the smaller circles of pie dough on top and seal the edges. Pierce the top of each crust with a sharp knife.
  8. Bake at 450º for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 350º and cook for andother 25- 30 minutes.
  9. Cool slightly in the muffin pan before running a knife around each pie to loosen.
  10. Serve warm with sugar-free ice cream.
For the Double Whole Wheat Pie Crust:
    Ingredients:
  • 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) very cold unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup very cold vegetable shortening
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour
  • 1 cold egg, well beaten
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon maple sugar
  • 8-10 tablespoons ice water (a little over 1/2 cup)
Directions:
  1. Cut the butter and shortening into 1/2” dice, then place them in the freezer while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
  2. Place the all purpose flour, white whole wheat flour, salt, and maple sugar in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade; pulse a few times to combine. Scatter the butter and shortening pieces over the top. Pulse 8 to 12 times, until the butter is thumbnail-sized. The butter pieces will be both small and large in size.
  3. With the machine running, add 5 tablespoons ice water to feed tube. Add the remaining water one tablespoon at a time, just until the dough is moist enough to hold together when pinched between your fingers. Pulse the machine until the dough forms a rough ball.
  4. Place the dough on a floured board and pat into a disk. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
  5. When chilled, divide the dough in two. Use both immediately or wrap and refrigerate for up to two days or freeze for up to two months.
Notes:
*If the crust on the pies start to get too brown, cover loosely with foil.
*The keys to success with this and most pie crusts is to handle it gently and as little as possible, and to keep your wet ingredients as cold as possible. It doesn’t hurt to chill your rolling pin too.
*You can also use canned peach slices, if fresh peaches aren’t available.
*If you aren’t worried about your carb consumption, and you’re crunched for time, refrigerated pie crusts can also be used.

Serves: 6
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