Pop Tarts and Mini Pies

This week, I’m doing more savory things than dessert-y things, so bear with me.  It’s not my fault, though!  It was teacher appreciation week at school, which meant that I had waaaaaaaay too many doughnuts, candy bars, and pizza.  Not that I’m complaining (the pizza in particular [from Oregano’s] was divine); I have no regrets!  But my waistline begs to differ.  So this week, I’m focusing on vegetables and more savory things to try and give my poor little system a break.

But that starts tomorrow.

Today is the day of too much pie crust.

It all started when I decided I really wanted some Pop Tarts about two weeks ago, but I can’t justify buying store-bought ones anymore.  They have just too many calories that I can see right there on the package.  Plus, a bit like cardboard.  I saw that Smitten Kitchen had a recipe and so I decided that that was going to be my project for this weekend.

Here’s the recipe:  http://smittenkitchen.com/blog/2010/04/homemade-pop-tarts/

Looks pretty easy, right?  Sigh.  Easy if you’re a pie crust expert.  I, however, definitely am still a pie crust novice.  Today went a lot better!  But there was a moment when I almost started crying because I couldn’t get my dough to stop sticking to the board.  Oh so much flour has been given to the great Butcher Board God in order to get the little bits and pieces to stay.  In the end, my little pop tarts are a tad small, but that meant I had a lot of leftover pie crust dough.  What to do with leftover pie crust dough?  MAKE MINI PIES IN RAMEKINS, OF COURSE.

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Please note the purple ruler.  Because eyeballing things is not my friend.

Up this week: adventures in spiraling!  I adore pasta but not the carbs and calories it brings with it, so this week I’m trying out my new Spiralizer (as seen on TV!) and seeing what kinds of exciting concoctions I can come up with.  I’m going to try and blog about every dinner we make this week, so stay tuned!

Mini Pies

  • Servings: not enough, i.e. 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Use leftover aforementioned pie crust

2 cups flour
1 tbs. sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks), cut into pats
1 egg
2 tbs. milk

Filling:

Berries of your choice (about 3/4 of a cup or so, enough to fill your little pie crust but not too high!)
1/4 tsp. lemon zest
A squirt of lemon juice (opt. — it did make them kind of acidic, but I liked that)
1-2 tsp. sugar (I just pinched until it looked right)

Whisk your dry ingredients together in a large mixing bowl.  You could do this in a food processor or a stand mixer, but I do not have one so I’m operating with my hands only.  And, obviously, other kitchen utensils that aren’t a food processor or a stand mixer.  Like a whisk.  But I did use my hands to bring the dough together!  Add the butter and incorporate it into the dry ingredients.  I used a pastry cutter but I’m sure other things work as well.  Your hands, again, but be careful to let your butter not be too melty.  You will know it’s done when you can pinch the dough and it stays together a little — just enough of the shape of your pinch.

In a separate bowl, whisk your egg and milk, then incorporate into dough.  Mine was a little dry so I splooshed a little extra milk in there.  With this dough, you can roll it out immediately if you want, but mine was kind of sticky (I think that was my own fault — see milk comment) so I refrigerated it for, say, five minutes or so.  Make those pop tarts according to the recipe, you are only using the leftovers.  I sincerely recommend the jam filling with a corresponding homemade berry glaze.

With leftover dough, roll out about a fist-sized ball into a nice big circle.  Fit the circle over your ramekin and trim the edges.  Do for the second ramekin.

Add your fillings.  I made my husband’s pie out of just straight blueberries but mine was a blueberry/blackberry mix.  Add a little lemon zest and don’t skimp on the sugar.  If you like, add a little pinch of salt, but there’s plenty of salt in the crust.

Now, it you don’t have enough dough to make a top crust, don’t worry.  Crumble tops are delicious and easy (mix 1/2 cup of flour with about 1/4 cup of brown sugar and a 1/4 cup of butter or so.  Maybe also some cinnamon.  Sprinkle liberally on top.). If you do have enough dough, repeat the same process but for the top.  Make sure to egg wash the outer rim of your bottom layer before adding the top layer so that they stick together.  Egg wash the top, too, and poke a couple cute holes in the top (for letting out steam).  I baked ours at 350° for about a half an hour.

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Yum.  And here’s how the pop tarts turned out:

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This picture doesn’t quite capture it, but that glaze is gorgeous.  Notice the sad patchwork I had to do because dough novice.  😦  Ah well, as to taste. . .

THEY WERE AMAZING.  WHAT HAVE I BEEN DOING WITH STORE-BOUGHT MY WHOLE LIFE WHEN THESE WERE OUT THERE.

Sorry for the shouting.

But you need to make these.  Like, now.

 

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