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Monday, July 19, 2010

Everything is sweeter when small

These are cutie pies. Pies are pretty much my favorite thing. Small things also rank pretty high on the list of favorites.

I'll share some Joey Tribiani logic with you,
Pie = butter + flour + sugar = delicious
Small = handheld + portable + more fun - plates = cute

Small + pies = cutie pies = good

I didn't always get in "A" in Math class, but I am pretty confident with that equation.

So the key to any good pie is good dough.  I told you I preferred to make my own dough, so I am glad I was able to share this with you on such a cute, summer, recipe.  I learned this recipe at Smitten Kitchen.
Pie Dough - makes two doughs or approximately 10 cutie pies with lattice tops.
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 sticks (8 ounces, 16 tablespoons or 1 cup) unsalted butter, very cold
*With a naturally sweet filling like peaches I might add just a touch more salt.


So, you could make this dough with a food processor, but then you can't really control the texture, or with a pastry cutter, but I can't find mine, or with two butter knives, or forks...

Then I put my hands in there and really work it through.  If I remember I take my rings off first - I rarely remember - that's a good thing.  I shaped it into a nice, big, buttery ball.

The magic with pie dough is all in keeping the butter cold so that when it's rolled and then baked the crust is rich, flaky and amazing.  Now that the dough is a pretty smooth ball I divided it and wrapped in plastic (or parchment/wax paper) and stored it in the refrigerator for at least an hour.

For the filling I followed my intuition - that often seems to work.  
Peach Filling for 6 Cutie Pies:
5 Peaches
1.5 tbsps granulated sugar
2 - 3 shakes of cinnamon
1/2 tsp of corn starch
**I probably ate a peaches worth of cut up peaches after making the pies...

To remove the fuzzy skin - I boiled a small pot of water and dunked the peaches in the boiling water on the stove for about 15 seconds.  After their spa experience they all get dunked in a bowl of ice cold water so that they don't continue cooking.  At this point the skin peels right off.

For Cutie Pies I like the fruit pieces to be a bit on the smaller side, since the container is smaller too. Once everything is chopped I sprinkled in the sugar/cinnamon/corn starch and just let it hang out for a little while.  The fruit loves the sugar - it doesn't need much but, when they're together they make some really delicious things happen. 


Time to get rolling...
So, you caught me.  I don't own a rolling pin.  I love pie and I don't own a rolling pin.  We used to live in a considerably smaller home, with a significantly smaller kitchen and therefore I have grown accustomed to using a Chopan Vodka Martini mixing bottle as a rolling pin.   It's a bit silly, but it works.

Anyway, throw down some flour on the work surface and keep some handy for the bottle/can/rolling pin/whatever.

I use a muffin tin as the pie pan and a juice glass to cut out the circles.  The pan doesn't need any additional grease as the dough is already pretty deliciously buttery. 

I put in generous servings of fruit - it makes it more fun to get a sweet bite of peach in every, single, juicy bite.

With the excess dough I cut out little strips and made a mini lattice for the tops.  With my fingers I rubbed a bit of skim milk, but you could use an egg wash or water in a pinch, and sprinkled some raw sugar on top. 

I forgot to mention... you'll want to bake these at 350 for about 20 minutes.  Due to the small size, and the sensitivity of different ovens - keep an eye on these babies.  Also, if you're not into cleaning ovens, (and really who is?) try layering the muffin tin on a cookie sheet so that any extra bubbly juices land on the sheet and not the oven or racks.


And then it's time to eat.  And eat we did! 

4 comments:

  1. Mmm these look beyond delicious. and the name! I love.

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  2. Aren't cup-pies the best? I don't think I've made a pie in a regular tin for ages now, as these are the perfect serving size.

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  3. Elle, I totally agree - I like to think I can stop with just one - where as with a big pie, it's just too tempting! Thank you for commenting :)

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  4. I am attempting this today for dessert. I am making it with margarine instead of butter. Also using frozen peaches since fresh are not in season anymore :( Let's hope the crust comes out good still.

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