2/20/2010

#25 Pear and Brie Hand Pies

Posted by Chrisi

A few weeks ago I headed down the 5 freeway to San Diego to see one of my best chica friends. The car was loaded with produce just purchased from the Laguna Hills farmer’s market. Asparagus and cauliflower later played supporting roles in a marvelous vegetarian taco dinner. Pears, raspberry jam and brie were the stars in Homemade Hand Pies—my first audition in the miniature pie arena. How fitting that this debut occurred in a miniature kitchen. OK not miniature… but we were faced with a few pint-sized challenges. For one, we had no rolling pin. My friend had just moved into this cute 1940s California bungalow and most of her kitchen equipment was still in storage. Being the incredibly resourceful person that she is, she suggested that we use a wine bottle (label removed). Fortunately, we just happened to have an empty bottle of pinot noir (how did that happen?) and it worked great for these mini-pies. Once the pies were prepared, we realized that she didn’t have a baking sheet to cook them on. She walked to the nearest grocery and purchased an 11x17” cookie sheet… that was too wide to fit in her oven. Of course, we tried to make it work anyway and placed the pies at a precarious 45⁰ angle. As the pies warmed in the oven, they (not surprisingly) slid down the pan. We were alerted to the situation by the smoke alarm. Our comical adventure short film was about to become a horror flick. We jumped into action, rescued the pies and finished baking them on individual sheets of aluminum foil. Three survived with minor injury. The location of the forth pie is a mystery (we ate it to destroy the condemning evidence).

So why all the corny movie references? Because during this pie-making episode, I discovered FlipVideo. How could I not know about this? I consider myself to be fairly tech savvy. I set-up this blog. I Tweet. I Facebook. I use technology in my classroom, but I had never heard of FlipVideo! And it’s really ****ing cool! You can convert the video frames into jpegs. You can turn the entire film into a mini-series of step-by-step instructions. You can even stitch the mini-series into a short feature film (which is what we did). So without further adieu, I present (drum roll please) Naughty Pie’s movie debut. My friend and I are certain to win an Academy Award very soon.

Recipe makes four pies
Ingredients:
• 1 pear, peeled and thinly sliced
• Brie, thinly sliced
• Raspberry jam (optional, see note)
• 1 tablespoon flour
• 1 teaspoon of turbinado sugar

Crust: Single 9” pie crust made with 50:50 goat butter:Spectrum shortening, evenly divided into four flat disks; chilled.

Directions:
Mix the flour and sugar in a small bowl and set aside.

Remove one disk of dough from the refrigerator. On a sheet of wax paper, roll the dough into a thin 8” circle. If using jam, spread 1 teaspoon of raspberry jam in the center of the circle. On half of the circle, place a few pear and brie slices. Be to leave a 1” border along the edge so that there is dough exposed to seal the pie. Sprinkle a little of the flour and sugar mixture over the filling ingredients. Then use the wax paper to help fold the dough over the pears. To seal the pie, fold the bottom layer over the top and crimp the dough together as shown in the video. Place the pie on a cookie sheet, sprinkle the top with a little turbinado sugar and make steam vents by piercing the dough with a fork (be sure to make to twist the fork slightly when making the holes so they don’t close up during baking). Repeat these steps for the three remaining pies. Bake all four of the pies together at 375⁰ for ~20 minutes or until filling is bubbly and the crust is golden brown.

Note: I actually used more than a teaspoon of raspberry jam and it over-powered the flavor of the pears and brie. If I were to make these hand pies again, I would leave out the raspberry jam or use pear preserves to enhance the pear flavor





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