Apple, Blackberry Mini Pies

HP1B6152A few months ago my sister messaged me  in a bit of tizzy. She’d been assigned dessert to a party (again) and she wanted to do something different. She really wanted to make a tart, but like me pastry was not her friend. Perhaps its a family thing? Anyway, I was in love with Maggie Beer’s Sour Cream Pastry a the time and was effusive in my praise of it.

“You’ll love it!” I exclaimed, or wrote in my message with several exclamation marks. I’d used it in sweet and savoury recipes and even used it with Gluten Free flour with great success. I found it especially easy to roll.

My sister was convinced and set to making the pastry. Unfortunately a few hours later I received a picture of a wet sticky mess.

“This is the second batch” she wrote. So upset was she that even my mother complained to me on our Skype call later in the day.

I questioned her in detail. Was the butter cold? Was the flour accurately measured? Did you use the right kind of cream…Wait did you pour all the sour cream in at once?

And there it was, the problemo! My sister seemed perplexed, the recipe called for 125ml she said. So I explained to her the art of pastry. Or really, the deceptive nature of it. On hot days it behaves differently to cold, humidity puts it it in a tizzy . A dough that needs 1 cup of water on  rainy Monday, might need 1 and a 1/2 cups on sunnyTuesday. My dear sister seemed doubtful and deemed the recipe a flop.

Now a few months later she ran into Maggie herself at an industry event and, as you do, peppered her with questions about her pastry flop. Guess what Maggie told her? Add the sour cream a little at a time. So that’s what I’m going to advise you to do too.

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Ingredients

  • 200g cold butter chopped
  • 250 g flour
  • 125ml sour cream
  • 3 green apples peeled and chopped finely
  • 2 cup of berries (I used  blackberries but any berries, fresh or frozen will work)
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon

Preparation

In the bowl of your stand mixer or food processor add the butter and flour and mix until the mixture resembles fine bread crumbs. Add the sour cream, a little at a time until the dough starts coming together. Stop the mixer and knead the dough gently until it comes together into a nice ball. Wrap the ball in some cling wrap and place in the fridge for an hour.

For the filling mix together the apples, berries, brown sugar and cinnamon. Taste the mixture and adjust the spice and sweetness to your taste.

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Take the pastry out of the fridge and flour your bench liberally. Roll the pastry out until thin. I find it easier to halve the pastry and do this in two lots. Once rolled I used a 10cm (4 inch) cutter to cut the bottom of the pies. A small tea saucer or bowl will work just as well.

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Grease 2 muffin tins well. Use the large circles to line the base of the muffin tins.

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Fill each hole with filling, compressing the filling well so that it’s compacted. Use a small circle to cover the top of the pie. Press the edges of the top and the base together to seal the filling in.

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I did half this way and then finished the other half with a crumble topping

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Crumble Topping

  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2/3 cup flour (or 1/3 cup flour and 1/3 cup almond meal)
  • 1/4 cup butter, cold and cubed

Place all the above ingredients in a bowl and gently rub together using your fingertips. Keep doing this until the mixture resembles fine bread crumbs and no large pieces of butter remain. Press a generous table spoon of the mixture on top of the filling to cover.

Bake the pies in a 350F/180 C oven for 40-45 minutes until the pastry is golden and the filling is warm and oozing berry. Taking these puppies out of the oven can be a bit of a challenge, cool them well and then run a knife around the edge and gently lever them out. I lost two in my removal.

Best served warm with lots of ice cream.

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