Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Sasha's Kitchen: Strawberry Rhubarb Mini Pies

I made these delicious strawberry rhubarb mini pies a couple of weeks ago, just in the height of late spring strawberry and rhubarb season.  They're really a cross between a pie and a cupcake, and they were made in cupcake molds.  These were a delicious recipe from Martha Stewart's Pies & Tarts cookbook, which adds some orange zing to a traditional spring strawberry rhubarb pie.  They're just perfect in this bite size manifestation - just enough pie to savor the flavors of fresh strawberry season.  I love the combination of strawberry and rhubarb and I haven't been able to get enough of the two this spring, after making six jars of strawberry rhubarb jam.

Strawberry Rhubarb Mini Pies
(adapted from Martha Stewart)
3 cups all purpose flour
3 T granulated sugar
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup cold vegetable shortening
1 1/2 sticks of cold, unsalted butter cut into small pieces
1/2 cup plus 2 T ice water
2 large eggs for egg wash
fine sanding sugar for sprinkling

12 oz (about two cups) fresh strawberries, hulled and cut into a tiny dice
5 stalks rhubarb, trimmed and cut into a tiny dice
1 T finely grated orange zest
1/4 cup orange juice
1/2 tsp orange extract (instead of grand marnier, which the original recipe called for 1/4 cup)
1 cup granulated sugar (original recipe called for 1 1/2 cups)

First, make the crust.  Pulse the flour, sugar, salt, vegetable shortening and butter to a coarse meal in your stand mixer.  Add the ice water, one tablespoon at a time and pulse until dough just comes together.  Flatten into two discs and chill for one hour.

Combine the ingredients for the filling and allow to sit.  Preheat the oven to 350.  Take out two silicone muffin tin trays and line with paper muffin liners.  Roll out dough 1/4 inch thick and cut out 24 rounds using a 3 1/2 inch round cutter or the top of a glass.  Press the circles into the cups.  Reroll scraps and cut out four small straps for the top of each mini pie using a knife or pastry wheel cutter.  Refrigerate shells and straps until firm, about 30 minutes.

Strain the liquid from the fruit mixture and place about 2 T in each cup.  Top with woven lattice using the straps and pinch to seal.  Use the eggs to coat with an egg wash using a pastry brush and sprinkle on the sanding sugar.  Trim away any excess dough.  Chill for another 30 minutes or until firm.  Bake until golden brown at 350 for about 60-70 minutes.


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