Monday, July 1, 2013

Red, White and Blue Mini Pies





Nothing is more American than a pie! That's why we decided to make these festive mini pies filled with pastry cream for this year's fourth of July celebrations. You can make these any time of the year, but we thought it would be fun to decorate these with bright red and blue berries. 


Ingredients for pie crust:
1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 tbsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
3 tbsp. ice cold water


Kitchen Essentials:
Stand mixer with paddle attachment (or food processor with dough blade)
Measuring cups and spoons
Plastic wrap
Refrigerator 

Rolling pin
Small tart pans (we bought ours in Paris, but they can be found in kitchen stores)
Round cookie cutters a little bit larger than the size of the tart pans
Ceramic pie weights (or dry beans)
Fork
Oven
Cookie sheet
Parchment paper

Prep:

Cut the butter lengthwise in half. Then cut the halves lengthwise again. You should have 4 long pieces. Next cut each piece into eight small squares. Return the cut butter to the fridge.

Fill a cup with ice and water. Keep to the side, so that the water gets really cold. This is the water you will measure and add later.

Directions for pie crust:



Stir together the flour, sugar and salt in the mixer bowl. Add the cut-up butter and toss with a fork to coat with the flour mixture. Mix on medium-low speed until the texture resembles coarse cornmeal. At this point, add the cold water and mix on low speed just until the dough pulls together.




Pat the flour into a ball and flatten into a disk. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. This is a good time to make the cream filling. 



After 30 minutes, preheat the oven 425 degrees. Lightly flour a work surface and a rolling pin. Take the pie dough out of the refrigerator, unwrap and place on the work space. Dust the top of the dough with flour. Begin to flatten out the dough with the rolling pin and continue to roll out into a large circle. If it sticks to anything, add more flour. 



Using the cookie cutter, cut circles of pie crust that are about 1/2 inch larger than the pans and place in the tart pans. 



Poke the bottom of the pie crust a few times with a fork and place the ceramic pie weights on top. Place the tart pans on a cookie sheet and place in the oven. Bake for 12 minutes.


Ingredients for cream filling:
3 cups milk
10 egg yolks
1 1/2 cups of sugar
4 tablespoons sifted cornstarch
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
2 tsp. Cognac (optional)
2 tbsp. unsalted butter
1 tablespoon heavy cream

Kitchen Essentials:
Stove
Medium pot
Stand mixer or bowl with hand mixer

Measuring cups and spoons

Sieve
Rubber spatula

Large bowl
Whisk
Plastic wrap


Prep:
Separate the egg yolks from the egg whites. We like to save the egg whites to make meringues.

Directions for cream filling:
Heat the milk over medium heat until it is about to boil. Remove from the heat and set aside. Beat the egg yolks and sugar for 5-7 minutes until the mixture is pale yellow and thick. Turn off the mixer and sift in the cornstarch. Mix on medium-low speed until combined, scraping down the bowl with a rubber spatula.

With the mixer on low speed, slowly pour the hot milk mixture into the egg mixture. To make it easier, we like to pour the milk into a pitcher or a measuring cup with a spout. Once combined, pour the mixture back into the pan. Cook over low heat, whisk constantly, until the mixture thickens. It will take about 10 minutes. Make sure to keep an eye on it. It doesn't need to be really thick because it will continue to thicken up in the refrigerator.

Pour the mixture through a sieve into a large bowl. Stir in the vanilla, Cognac, butter, and heavy cream. Place plastic wrap directly on the custard and refrigerate until cold. This will be the filling for the tarts.


Pie Assembly:
Once the pie crust cools, remove them from the pans. Place on a platter. Fill the pie crusts with about a tablespoon of the thick, cold pastry cream. Decorate with raspberries, blueberries and powered sugar. 






41 comments:

  1. These look fantastic, wow wish I could eat one now.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Sophia.. they are wonderful!!!

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  2. Those are adorable and look super yummy!

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  3. Love these! Just perfect for the 4th!

    xxx
    Jaclyn
    http://www.loveandbellinis.com

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  4. These are great for the 4th! I was just thinking about making some little pies for Thursday.

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  5. Those pies are so gorgeous! Bet they are a big hit too! looks amazing!

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  6. Gorgeous colors from the berries. Happy 4th of July to you all!

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  7. These tartlets look fabulous, Mrs.P. You did an excellent job to create these gorgeous treats.

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  8. These are so cute and patriotic and also look DELICIOUS. Pinned onto my 4th of July board.

    Yum.Yum.

    xx Kait | ChickadeeSays | Food Should Taste Good Rafflecopter Giveaway!

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  9. These are absolutely gorgeous! LOVE them!!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Sophia.. Goes great with you iced tea!

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  10. These are so perfect for the 4th! Love it!

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  11. These pies look delicious! Great job on them!

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  12. Not only are your mini pies so cute and festive, they sound/look delicious!
    Your trip to Paris looks fabulous! It's still on my bucket list:)

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  13. Oh wow, these are SO adorable and I bet so delicious! Love your photos! Super festive little treats for the Fourth. Great job!

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  14. These pies are so cute, very American indeed! Can't be more apt for the event, Happy 4th of July!

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  15. These sound wonderful. I love the filling.
    They are also so festive looking. They will be a hit for the fourth of July celebration. Blessings, Catherine xo

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  16. These are so pretty! I love the pops of color, and that crust! Pinned!

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  17. Adorable mini-pies! Perfect for the 4th!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you Liz. Looking at them brings a smile to someones face...

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  18. Awww I love your mini pies!!!!! I'd love to have this for July 4th!

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  19. These mini pies are so cute with their little flags and gorgeous colors.
    Happy 4th of July!

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  20. These mini pies are so adorable and festive! Happy 4th, sweet friend :) xo

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Kiran have a great 4th as well

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  21. I used the same red and blue berries for my Fourth of July breakfast.

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