This week I wanted to use the blueberries I had, but try something a little different, so I added peaches. I sprinkled the fruit mix with a little sugar and cinnamon to start. The fruit looked so gorgeous in the bowl with the flecks of cinnamon!
I had some really good frozen pie dough from Trader Joe's and I was able to make 13 little blueberry-peach pies with it. (Actually there were 14 - I had to eat one. You know - take the new filling for a test drive.) This is how they looked right out of the oven:
Next up: strawberry. I'd run out of frozen dough, so I got brave and made my own. Surprisingly, it wasn't hard to do at all. I've always been so intimidated by pastry dough that I've just bought the frozen kind, but no more - unless I want to take it easy on myself. While the dough was chillin' in the fridge, I chopped up the strawberries into small pieces so they'd fit in the smaller hand pies. This pie is so easy because all you do after you cut the pastry rounds is put a dollop of strawberry jam (any kind) in the middle of the round and then top it with some strawberry pieces. Brush the dough on the edges with an egg wash, fold it over into a half-round shape, and crimp it with a fork. So easy for something that is sooo good.
Once I got both kinds of pies all baked, I put one of each on a plate and took their picture. Help.
And now they'll have to wait to be eaten until tomorrow. I'm taking them to a friend who is here on vacation with her family - which is why I needed to make so many! They're such a good little treat - they taste like summer with all the fresh berry goodness inside, and they'll be easy to serve and eat. You can just hold them in your hand if you want. Does anyone remember eating those Hostess Pies when you were a kid? These are like those - only a million times more fresh and delicious.
It was a fun day. I love to bake, but I can't bake without having somewhere to send all the deliciousness. So my friend gave me the perfect opportunity to do something fun for her in return for all of the nice things she's done for me, and to enjoy the heck out of myself while I was doing it. Williams Sonoma sells a new cookbook for these mini pies. The description in their catalog even mentioned a s'more one. I've been thinking about how that one would be done. I may have to break down and buy the book.
I did have some blueberries and strawberries left over after making the pies. When I was watching the Today Show, Giada di Laurentis was on and gave a recipe for a Mixed Berry and Thyme jam. I'm here to say it's one of the best things I've ever tasted. Only, instead of jam, I think we'll spoon it over vanilla ice cream. It's beautiful to look at, and the slight undertone of thyme gives it the most interesting flavor. Even better, it keeps for a month in the fridge - plenty of time to use it up!
I love having a baking day. I'm learning a lot about making my little pies, and the biggest problem I'll have is to keep myself from sneaking down to the kitchen in the middle of the night to have a little secret snack. Take my word for it - these little treats are fun to make, and are so good that you really do need to plan on giving them away before you begin to think of them as yours. Otherwise your jeans will get very tight.