Introducing: Mini Berry Pies! These are the perfect treat for July, filled with juicy summer berries. Yes, that means turning on your oven in this heat, but we swear it is 110% worth it.
Also, I do believe this is the first recipe we've done with fresh fruit baked in. Wow... who'da thought this day would come? Not that it's healthy, mind. We're not that crazy yet.
As we made our way through the recipe, pulled the berry pies out of the oven, and sat down to write up the recipe, we came across a very profound realization:
As shall be explained further into this post, we skipped a few steps. We didn't mark aforementioned steps as optional, but just know that if you skip them, don't sweat it. At least for us, the pies still turned out delicious.
your ingredients, and off we go!
Cube some butter. Stick it in the freezer along with the lard / shortening.
Flour + salt into the food processor. Pulse. Add the butter. Pulse. Add the shortening. Pulse.
It should look like coarse crumbs. Don't overmix! As we've said before, overmixing is evil. And it will make you cry.
Sprinkle some cold water over the mixture. Pulse. Do this until a dough forms. Roll the dough into a ball and stick it into a ziploc bag and into the fridge.
And then--this is important!--do this process all over again with the other half of the flour, butter, shortening, water. This dough doesn't double well. Your other option is to halve the filling and only make one batch of dough, making 8 mini pies instead of 16.
Meanwhile, let's make the filling. Put your berries in a bowl. Aren't they cute? And so patriotic.
Add your zest, sugar, spice, and everything nice. Hehe...sorry. Couldn't help it.
We should also mention that we forgot to add the flour. The filling turned out lovely, but the flour will thicken it a bit. It depends on your preference for the consistency of the fruit filling.
And now...let's make those pies! Which I guess is what we've been doing all along. Whatever, you know what we mean.
Roll out the dough. Cut out 3-inch circles.
Stick 'em into some greased muffin tins.
Fill the crusts! Don't overfill them, or else it'll overflow and the pie might stick to the tin. Which would make all of us cry.
Somethin' like this.
Roll out your remaining dough. Cut it into strips. Then, make a lattice crust. Well, we did a kind-of lattice, but feel free to do an actual in-and-out weave. Press down the edges of the lattice into the bottom crust. According to the recipe, you're supposed the put a bit of water around the edge of the bottom crust to help the lattice stick, but it turned out okay if you just pressed the edges of the strips into the crust.
Now, put the pies in the refridgerator for 30 minutes. If you didn't (ahem), the pies will still be fine, but the cold probably helps with making it flakey. Brush the tops of the pie with milk and sprinkle with sugar, then stick them into the oven. Let cool, and eat!
Ah, what is the meaning of life?
I think we've found it.
Happy Independence Day!
Monica & Caroline
Mini Berry Pies
Sweet and tart, mini berry pies
Yields: 16 mini pies
Time: 2 hours
For the crust
-- all divided in half
12 tbsp butter, chilled
4 tbsp lard (or shortening), chilled
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
½ cup ice water
For the filling
1 cup blueberry
1 cup raspberry
1 cup blackberry
¼ teaspoon zest lemon (or orange)
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
½ cup sugar
½ tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp ginger
1. For the crust: cut butter and lard into small pieces; freeze for 15 minutes. Evenly divide the butter and lard in half and freeze in 2 separate bowls. (6 tbsps butter, 2 tbsp lard in each.)
2. Put 1 cup flour and ½ tsp salt in food processor; pulse briefly (2-3 seconds) 2-3 times.
3. Add butter; pulse 3-4 times. DO NOT OVERMIX!
4. Add lard; pulse 3-4 times.
5. Sprinkle some of the water; pulse. Continue doing this until dough forms.(Somewhat less than ¼ cup; you may not end up using all the water.)
6. Place in a ziploc bag; refrigerate for 30 minutes.
7. Repeat with remaining half of the flour, salt, butter, lard, and water.
8. Butter and flour the muffin wells.
9. For the filling: Toss ingredients for filling in the bowl.
10. For assembly: Roll the dough on a floured surface until about ⅛ inch thick. Use 3-inch round cutter (we used a cup) to make circles.
11. Place 16 circles into the muffin wells.
12. Fill the pies ¾ of the way full.
13. Wet fingers in cold water and run around the edge of the pie crusts.
14. Re-roll the remaining dough; cut into ¼ inch strips. (A pizza cutter helps).
15. Place the strips on top of the pies to make a lattice crust. Press ends of the strips into the crust.
16.Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Brush the top of the strips with milk; dust with sugar.
17. Place in refrigerator for 30 minutes.
18. Place in oven for 20 minutes.
19. Let cool and serve!
For other Fourth of July recipes
(Two Peas and Their Pod)