Mini Berry Pies

MINI BERRY PIES

I feel like I always can find an excuse to make something into a miniature form. And, berry pie, is no exception to that. Now, while I don’t have a specialized mini tin that can house mini pies, I do have a normal cupcake tin. I found that this utensil is still a perfect size to make a packed mini pie filled to the brim with a variety of berries.

Now, I will admit that these require more time and patience to make; however, they are a perfect treat to bring to a get-together or just to have around the house for a small treat. I’d recommend using the same pie process of other pies (just repeated twelve times in a cupcake tin) and I’d also suggest using the crust from this previous blog post and the berry pie filling from this recipe.

Here are a few other tips for mini berry pies:

1. Grease Each Tin Generously: Make sure to grease each tin with extra butter so that each berry pie can easily slide out of the tin after they are baked.

2. Use Plenty of Berries: My personal favorite berry combination is a mixture of blueberries, raspberries and blackberries. Don’t skimp on putting berries into each pastry cup – the more, the better!

3. Add Lemon Juice & Lemon Zest: Make sure to have a fresh lemon on hand to use for the filling. Plus, add a little bit of zest for some extra fragrance at the end.

Have you ever made mini berry pies before?

Cheers!

MINI BERRY PIES

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Pie Lollipops


All right, all right… so I’m totally aware that I posted a few weeks ago about how I was semi-bored with pies and wanted to try something different for dessert. And, in all fairness, I was totally in the mood to try something unique, outrageous or something that required a trip to some specialty shops to acquire ingredients. But, this idea became quickly obsolete once I stumbled upon the idea of Cherry Hand Pies.

These Cherry Hand Pies looked absolutely delicious; however, I wanted to make this dessert in a smaller format so I figured that something like pie lollipops would be ideal. Again, even though I’ve made too many pies in the past year, I figured that a new and different format would make it totally worth it!

Step 1: Make Dough


Step 2: Prepare Pie Filling


Step 3: Cut Out Pie Shapes


Step 4: Brush Edges With Egg Wash;
Spoon Filling Onto Dough; Crimp and Press
Other Side Together; Put Stick into Dough

Step 5: Bake and Enjoy!


These pie lollipops remind of the current trend of cake pops. But, in my opinion, these are easier to make and a little bit more rewarding for the sheer fact that they actually resemble a mini pie in appearance. These are a perfect treat that can be taken to barbecues, dinner parties or exactly whatever you are feeling like at the time. Plus, there isn’t that much of a learning curve since they aren’t that different from a normal pie!

Cheers!

Happy July Fourth!


Happy July 4th! I hope everyone had a safe and fun day with friends and family (and with plenty of delicious food, of course!). This cake is from Better Homes and Gardens Festive Fourth of July Desserts. I didn’t put the jam on it; however, I think it still turned out well. Just a simple cake with plenty of fresh berries and frosting!

What did you make for July 4th?

Cheers!

Blackberry-Peach Crumble

Since warmer days of summer are winding down to an end, I wanted one last fruit-inspired dessert to remind me of summer barbecues with cotton dresses and the wafting smell of fresh flowers before Fall sets in and we all settle into rain boots and jeans. As I started to ponder various fruits, I realized that I had not yet made a single dessert with peaches within the past few months. I had settled upon using peaches, but I also wanted to make something with blackberries. Luckily for me, my once thought dilemma turned into a blessing because I decided to combine the two fruits into a Peach Blueberry Crumble (and just substituted blackberries instead). Voila!

Step 1: Take (Very Ripe) Peaches and
Boil in Water for One Minute


Step 2: Place Peaches in Cold Water; Slide
Sides Off; Cut Peaches; Zest Lemon and Juice

Step 3: Add Peaches and Blackberries to
Lemon Zest, Sugar and Lemon Juice


Step 4: Mix Cut Butter With Sugars,
Flour, and Other Ingredients;
Place Onto Fruit; Bake for 40-45 Minutes

Sometimes I just love when desserts look pretty. Crumbles look… well… crumbly… and not exactly aesthetically pleasing or pretty. But, I totally bypassed this notion because the result was delicious. And, a scoop of vanilla ice cream always makes desserts just that much better!

Cheers!

Strawberry-Almond-Cream-Tart

So, continuing with this past weekend’s trend of using almonds, I found a recipe for a Strawberry-Almond Cream Tart during a recent shopping excursion at the local grocery store. After looking through recipe after recipe in the grocery store magazine aisle, I finally settled upon this one. But, I’m not going to lie, at first glance, I solely wanted to try this recipe because it looked “pretty” and it contained almonds. It wasn’t until after my impulse buy and I was in the car already on the way home that I realized that this would be a perfect dessert for a dinner party: light, summery, and the strawberries I had chosen were actually ripe!

Step 1: Crush Graham Crackers (You
Can Use a Food Processor — I Just Chose
to Smash Them in Bags!)


Step 2: Combine Crushed Graham Cracker
Crumbs With Butter and Sugar 


Step 3: Spray Pan With Cooking Spray;
Press Graham Cracker Crumbs Into Pan 


Step 4: Mix Cream Cheese With Almond
and Vanilla Extracts Plus Sugar 


Step 5: Cut Fresh Strawberries


Step 6: Add Strawberries and
Almonds to Top; Bake and Enjoy! 


Although I altered a few things from the original recipe, I’m happy with how it turned out. I really liked implementing nuts into this dessert because I often don’t ever think to add them to desserts. The key for the best flavor is to toast the almonds and the key to the best construction of this dessert is to use enough cooking spray (I didn’t and had some architectural failure when taking it out of the spring form pan). Anyway, all in all, this is a flavorful dessert that is light and doesn’t leave you feeling too full which is just perfect for summertime!

Cheers!

Lemon Cheesecake Squares with Fresh Berries

Even though my hips and arms would like me to nix sugar, I simply can’t resist. But, lately my taste buds have become bored of all of the indulgent and extremely rich winter themed desserts. Instead of alleviating my sweet tooth with a heavy dessert, I opted for something lighter and fresh: Lemon Cheesecake Squares with Fresh Berries. I wanted to make it for a pleasant surprise even though it is completely a summer dessert!

Step 1: Create Crust by Smashing Graham
Cracker Cookies and Combining with Butter


Step 2: Cream Sugar and Cream Cheese Together;
Beat in Egg, Sour Cream, Lemon Juice & Peel, and Vanilla


Step 3: Bake, Cool, and Serve with Berries!

Eating this dessert definitely reminded me of summer. Although I enjoy certain aspects of winter, I do miss the warm sunshine and season of colorful, flowing dresses. Do you think that the dreary and desolate days of winter will pass by more quickly if I continue to make summer themed desserts? That is probably a long shot, but the thought is nice!

Cheers!

Christmas Dinner

This year, I wanted to experiment with a few new and non-traditional recipes (for example: berry pie instead of pumpkin pie). The following highlights some interesting recipes I made from Real Simple and Epicurious.

Caramelized Onion Tart With Apples: I chose to make this because I liked the fact that this recipe was a mix of a savory and sweet flavors. Specifically, caramelized onions add a perfect flair to any recipe. Plus, this recipe called for Pastry Sheets which means I didn’t have to make the dough! Simple, easy, few ingredients, and delicious! What’s not to love?

Step 1: Chop Onions and Apples

Step 2: Caramelize Onions;
Add Apples and Other Spices

Step 3: Thaw Pastry Sheets, Add
Sour Cream, Apples and
Caramelized Onions, Bake!

Mustard-Crusted Pork Roasted With Shallots and Wine Sauce: This recipe just LOOKED amazing from it’s picture so I decided on a whim to make it. Good thing I wasn’t dissappointed! The addition of mustard made the pork juicy and very flavorful.

Step 1: Toss Shallots in Olive Oil

Step 2: Mix Mustards and Chopped
Sage; Add to Pork

Step 3: Bake at 400 Degrees for 95
Minutes, Cut, Serve!

Now, this next concoction was a mix of two recipes: Classic Sour Cherry Pie With Lattice Crust (crust) and Mixed Berry Pie With Ginger, Orange, and Almond Streusel (filling). Every time I make pie, I always end up with too many leftovers that do not get eaten in time. So, this time, I opted to make individualized berry pies. Plus, I found a super good deal at Kitchen Kaboodle ($2.95 each for Ramekins!).

Step 1: Make Dough With Flour, Butter,
and Other Ingredients; Chill Slightly

Step 2: Use Rolling Pin to Roll Out
Dough, Spread onto Ramekins,
Cut Off Border

Step 3: Use Pastry Wheel to Cut Lattices

Step 4: Stir Filling with Berries,
Sugar, Cornstarch, and Lemon Juice

Step 5: Fill Dough, Place Lattices, Bake!

The dessert definitely took the longest hands-on time to make, but it was definitely worth it. I hope your Christmas was fabulous!

Cheers!