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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Raspberry Grapefruit Popsicles

Raspberry Grapefruit Popsicles

Some of the most common and complex inventions as well as food concoctions have been created “by accident”. One of these accidental concoctions includes the popsicle. Basically, a man named Frank Epperson left a drink with a string in it outside of his house overnight. The next morning he returned to outside to find that his drink was actually frozen. He then pried the remnants out by using the straw as a handle. In turn, this prompted the idea for the modern-day popsicle.

Fun facts aside, I had been craving a fruit-flavored popsicle for quite some time, especially since the Summer and warmer temperatures have arrived. For my first homemade popsicle I wanted to use a few different flavor combinations. This resulted in grapefruits for a tangy flavor and raspberries for a sweet taste. I literally only used three ingredients – fresh squeezed grapefruit juice, raspberries and just a touch of sugar – for these Raspberry Grapefruit Popsicles. 

Step 1: Cut and Juice Grapefruit

Cutting and juicing grapefruit for popsicles

Step 2: Blend Raspberries and
Grapefruit 
Juice Together

Blend raspberries and grapefruit juice together for popsicles

Step 3: Taste and Add Sugar (if needed)
or Adjust by Adding More Grapefruit
Juice to Make it Tangier 

Blended raspberries and grapefruit juice for popsicles

Step 4: Pour Juice into Molds and Freeze

Popsicle molds for grapefruit and raspberry popsicles

Step 5: Pop the Popsicles Out of
the Molds and Enjoy!

Raspberry Grapefruit Popsicles

The fun part about making these popsicles is that I had to wing most of the process so I found myself tasting the blended juice a few times and changing my ratio of grapefruit juice to raspberries quite a bit until I was settled with an optimal taste. All in all, I was definitely a fan of this flavor combination and the fact that I primarily only used fresh fruit (instead of most store-bought popsicles with larger amounts of added sugar). However, next time I will definitely enjoy experimenting with being more creative and perhaps trying a layering effect with whole fruit within the popsicles.

Popsicles are a fun dessert to have at home, they taste delicious and they don’t require many ingredients to make a great outcome! What type of popsicle combinations have you tried making?

Cheers!

Raspberry Grapefruit Popsicles

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!

Nectarine Raspberry Pie

Let’s face it – a pie is a pie. All right, that sounded like an incredibly silly statement, but I promise it’s true. Just hear me out. I will attest that a homemade, totally-from-scratch-pie does take a lot of time and effort and if done well is totally worth it. But, really, it’s all about what is actually in the pie a.k.a the delicious filling. I’ve made too many apple, blackberry or blueberry pies to last a lifetime (okay, not really, but you get the point). So, like I said, the key to the pie is the filling!

This past weekend I wanted to make a pie. So, when I saw a recipe for Nectarine Raspberry Pie, I got a little excited. I do realize that this isn’t the most unique pie; however, it is definitely different than the norm so I figured I needed to go for it. Plus, I’m always in the mood for experimenting with new recipes!

Step 1: Make Pie Dough


Step 2: Put Filling in and Bake


Step 3: Slice and Eat


I normally like making a pie with intricate latices, but I totally embraced the opportunity to make this pie more rustic with a full-fledged cover. The edges on this pie browned a little bit more quickly than I expected, but in the end, the pie still cooked well and the flavors from the fruit developed well.

This is definitely a great pie if you’re in the mood for something different than the standard apple or cherry pie.

Cheers!

Brown Butter Raspberry Tart

How I ended up picking this recipe was strikingly similar to how I decide to purchase something when I’m shopping for clothes. How? Well, sometimes when I have shopped, I have purchased something that “I thought I liked” on the spot. Unfortunately, some of these impulse buys have resulted in disappointment after a few weeks because what “I thought I liked” I didn’t actually like at all. So, in order to nix buyer’s remorse, I’ve eliminated impulse buys and instead try to wait a few days or weeks before purchasing something “I think I like”. My rule is that if I still like the item in a few days or weeks, I’ll consider buying based on need, budget, etc.!

Choosing this recipe was no different. I had been eyeing this Brown Butter Raspberry Tart for quite some time. So, yesterday, after thinking about it some more, I realized that I’ve thought about it enough – I had read all of the positive reviews and it looked amazing so I just needed to do it!

And, I’m glad I did.

Step 1: Make Crust and Bake (Let Cool);
Mix Together Eggs, Sugar and Salt 


Step 2: Brown Butter in Pan

Step 3: Mix Egg Mixture and
Browned Butter Together 


Step 4: Arrange Raspberries “Pointy”
Side Up on Bottom of Cooled Crust;
Carefully Pour Liquid Mixture Over; Bake 


Step 5: Cut a Slice and Enjoy!

I absolutely love the rustic feel of this tart. In my opinion, I think the tartness of the raspberry offsets the sweet filling nicely. I’m glad I chose wisely with the recipe, but perhaps I shouldn’t have taken so long. Oh well, at least I picked a good recipe that I’ll have plenty of opportunities to replicate in the future.

Perhaps I’ll start using my “shopping” techniques more often with my selection of recipes from now on!

Cheers!

Weekend in Seattle

The Space Needle, Pike’s Place Market, the birthplace of “Grunge”, and the destination for corporate giants such as Microsoft, Starbucks, and Nordstrom are a few characteristics that describe the city of Seattle. In addition, Seattle is home to many different culinary tastes ranging with everything from classic American food to Seafood to the authentic flavors of the International District. Since I’m a natural “foodie” at heart, I couldn’t help but document a few culinary adventures I had while visiting Seattle this past weekend.

GaudiLately, I’ve been trending towards eating smaller and lighter meals (essentially tapas, as mentioned in a prior post here). We choose to go to Gaudi which is a Spanish inspired restaurant in the Roosevelt neighborhood. We enjoyed a bevy of items from the menu including Papas Bravas (potatoes with spicy sauce), Bavas (Spanish meatballs), Jitanitos (dates wrapped in bacon), Mojama (fresh cured tuna), and a few other items. But, our favorite part about Gaudi was the dessert we shared: a sponge cake filled with apricots and cream and topped with a raspberry glaze. Besides the fact that it just LOOKED pretty, it also tasted wonderful too.

Apricot and Cream Filled Sponge Cake
With Raspberry Glaze


Homegrown
Sandwich shops have a hard task to accomplish: to develop sandwiches that are fresh, flavorful, and cannot be easily replicated by any random Joe. To be perfectly honest, what differentiates the turkey sandwich made at an independent sandwich shop from the sandwich made at home or from a nationally recognized sandwich franchise? The key differentiator resides in ingenuity of ingredients. That being said, after glancing at the menu of Homegrown, I noticed a multitude of unusual and unique components within the sandwiches. After much contemplation, I settled upon the Roast Pork sandwich (Stumptown Coffee and cayenne rubbed pork loin, pickled red onion, apple butter, mixed greens, and sage aioli served over whole grain bread). After first bite, savory (pork and sage aioli), sweet (apple butter) and tangy (pickled red onions) flavors simultaneously combined to create a medley of enticing flavors. So, unlike the standard and ordinary sandwich shop, Homegrown mastered the art of combining diverse ingredients and creativity to make delicious sandwiches.

Roasted Pork Sandwich and Lentil Soup

High 5 Pie — I absolutely love and adore pies. Not only do I love combining fruit into desserts, but I enjoy making non-traditional fruit desserts or putting a different spin on a classic pie. That being said, High 5 Pie in Capitol Hill in Seattle serves pies that definitely match this description. The selection at High 5 Pie consists of “Pie Jar” (pies in a jar), Flipside (hand-held pie turnovers), Cutie Pie (mini pies), 7″ Deep Dish (classic pie), and Pie Pop (literally, a mini pie on a stick). Flaky crusts, pie fillings bursting with flavor, and a hip venue unite to make this a pleasant stop for a weekend afternoon. Plus, where else can you purchase pie on a stick?

Classic Caramel Pecan Pie


Pie Pop — Cherry Almond
& Cutie Pie — Berry

Good times and good eats this past weekend in Seattle. All in all, I definitely enjoyed these places and hope to visit again sometime soon!

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!