Monday, August 3, 2009

Lake Weekend

Posted by PicasaEnjoyed a lovely weekend at the lake via the gracious invitation of some friends. It was so wonderful to enjoy their special Texas hospitality, their company, and conversation. Against the natural beauty afforded us by His creation, it was an all around splendid time!
I wanted to help provide some special goodies for this occasion because, after all, delicious, diner- friendly eats are a big part of this kind of weekend, right? Also, one family was arriving with three boys enjoying their last summer before embarking on their college adventure, which meant joyous, healthy appetites and a refreshing abandon of the calorie counter. I prepared a brisket, potato salad and a marinated style cole slaw to take, but YaY!, this was an opportunity to take pie!
I've developed a method / recipe for a flakey pastry that's great for what is termed in Texas, "hand pies". Making pie pastry from scratch is a whole write-up in itself and probably requires me to be much more proficient in posting photos. Those pictured were made with scratch pastry, but very decent hand pies can be made with those Pillsbury "All-Ready" pie crusts. A big part of their success is using fresh fruit and making the icing from scratch. We'll deal with pie pastry later, but for now here's a recipe for

Quicker Yummy Fresh Fruit Hand Pies
For 16 little pies (8/crust)
Preheat the oven to 400F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil.
1 container of "All Ready" Pie Crusts (2 per container)
2 T. butter
2 c. soft fruit (I used fresh sweet cherries, pitted, but cut up peaches or apricots, or black/blueberries are good)
1-2 T. sugar, depending on how sweet the fruit is
1 T. cornstarch
1. Mix the cornstarch and sugar in a medium bowl.
2. Add the fruit and stir gently to coat evenly.
3. Remove one crust from the package and place on a floured tea towel. Use a rolling pin to flatten it a little thinner, about 1/2 as thick as it was.
4. Dot the surface with tiny bits of 1 T. butter.
5. Fold two opposite sides of the circle to meet in the middle. Fold the top and bottom sides to meet in the middle. This is what makes the pastry extra flakey. Turn the pastry over.
6. Roll out the pastry to a large rectangle, about 1/8-inch thickness. Trim the sides to be even.
7. Cut the pastry with a sharp knife into 8 smaller rectangles (or less if you want bigger pies).
8. Put a small mound of fruit a little off center on a pastry rectangle. Fold the pastry over and seal the edges by pressing all around the three sides with a fork.
Note: When you fold the pastry over, use your fingertips to lift up the lower pastry a little to "meet" the top one. That way they line up a little better so you can seal everything evenly.
9. Put the little pie on the parchment lined baking sheet and continue until you've used both crusts or just stop at one if you only want 8 little pies.
10. Bake for 12-15 minutes, until starting to brown a little at the edges. Filling might escape a little, but not much.
11. Remove the pies to a cooling rack. When they're completely cool, frost with
1 c. powdered sugar
1-2 T. milk (or so)
1/2 tsp. almond extract
Stir together to make a thin frosting. You can add more or less milk to make the kind of glaze you like. Use a pastry brush to paint the tops of the pies. Allow the frosting to dry, then wrap in waxed paper if you want that old-fashioned, homemade look!
These little pies are so cute and again, lend themselves to help in the kitchen. Invite someone to work along side you-- it's fun!


  1. I have had the pleasure of tasting these first-hand and they are SO incredibly good!!

  2. Charlie would like you to send him a cherry filled hand pie!!! He will be your official taster!