A Classic Affair

Ladylike suits with pencil skirts, a strand of pearls and opera length suede gloves.

Gin Gimlets and Manhattens.

The glamour of the 1950’s is a throwback to timeliness sophistication. A time when everything appeared classy. A vintage decade  where mature elegance and beauty were the ideal (the commando, bare-all celebutard unheard of). And playing against this aloof innocence was a sensual “femme fatale.” The pin-up girl. A little Betty…and a little Joan (Just threw that in. For all you Don Draper fans).

Parisian lace basques, stiletto heels and red lipstick. Oh swoon….

But who says you can’t have it both ways? Take a closer look at Ava Gardner: beautiful, elegant, classy…and a lot sexy. Nothing says you can’t be a stay-at-home woman a la the 50’s, who bakes up a mean pie, while under that apron (as we’ve previously discussed)…..

So channel your inner 1950’s heroine and go a little vintage… whether it be Parisian lace glamour  (I’m daydreaming of wearing this) or chic “housewife” (there is no reason we can’t be wearing a little lace under our refined attire) everyone at your next dinner party will be impressed with hand formed mini pies: Bettys, Joans, and Dons alike. Indeed, it will be a classic affair. The dinner that is….

Mini Fruit Pies

Inspired by Smitten Kitchen

Pie Crust:

  • 2 C flour
  • 1/4 C sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 C COLD butter
  • 8-10 Tbsp ice water
  • Whisk together the flour, sugar and salt. Chill in the fridge or freezer for at least half an hour.
  • Cut the butter into the flour mixture until chunks are pea sized. Slowly mix in the ice water. Do NOT overwork the dough. Form into two balls, wrap in plastic and chill in the fridge at least one hour or up to 24 hours.

Peach & Bourbon Filling:

  • 2 Lbs. fresh peaches cut into 1/2″ dice. Quite small pieces.
  • 1/4 C flour
  • 1/4 C sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 Tbsp Bourbon
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • Mix everything together. If peaches are not in season (I’ll admit it. I did not post this recipe in a timely manner) try which ever fruit is in season. This weekend I’m thinking I’ll try apples and a little dark rum. I’d omit the flour with apple pies. And exchange the vanilla with a bit of cinnamon.

Making the Mini Pies:

  • On a lightly floured surface roll out one ball of dough to about 1/8″ thickness. Using a round cutter ( I used a 4 1/2″ circle and a 6″ circle) cut out circles of dough. Transfer to a parchment lined baking sheet and chill while working on next ball of dough. Repeat until all the dough is used up.
  • Spoon about 2 Tbsp of filling, depending on the size of circle you cut, onto one half of each circle of dough. Using your finger, brush a little cold water around the circumference of the dough then fold it in half over the filling. Seal each hand pie pinching it together with your fingers so the filling can’t escape. Then make it look pretty by using a fork to create a decorative edge. Repeat the process for all the mini pies and place them back on the parchment paper. Put the pies back in the fridge to chill for at least 30 minutes.
  • Heat your oven to 375 degrees. Remove the pies from the fridge and cut a slit in the top of each pie and brush lightly with an egg yolk wash (Just an egg yolk lightly beaten. You can can add a splash of milk or cream if you want.). Sprinkle generously with sanding sugar then bake for about 20 minutes or until golden brown and the tops are just slightly crackled.
  • Remove from oven and let cool before serving with vanilla ice-cream.

Notes:

  • Pie crust is so easy. Please, please give it a try! There is no excuse for store bought.
  • Have fun with the recipe – try different fruit combinations like blueberry and lemon, raspberry and pear, basically whatever you can find that is in season.
  • These mini pies also freeze well. Once you’ve formed the pies, instead of placing them back in the fridge to chill, place them on the parchment lined sheet in your freezer. Once they are frozen, you can place them all in a zip lock bag for up to three months. To make, remove the desired number of mini pies from the freezer and place on parchment lined sheet. Instead of thawing on the counter, I place mine in the oven while it preheats. Once the oven reaches 350, bake them the recommended time. Don’t forget to cut a slit in the stop and sprinkle with sugar!
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