When I think of pie, I immediately think of my dad. He loves pie, more so than the average person. I would even go out on a limb, and say he's a pie connoisseur. I didn't love pie growing up, but as I have matured (and become much, much smarter), I have come to have the kind of pie appreciation that all pies deserve.
I'll admit, I hadn't ever made homemade pie crust until making these, due to the fear that seems to be instilled in all of us. That fear, my friends, is a mushy pie crust. I recall seeing multiple Martha Stewart posts and articles dedicated to the perfect crust. Many pins exposing the secret of all secrets of the perfect crust, even episodes on the Food Network solely dedicated to the ultimate crust.
All of these crusty secrets just seemed too much for me, so I've always opted for Pillsbury. The non-intimidating Pillsbury guy never seemed to let me down, and whenever anyone asked me about my crust recipe (after complimenting it), I would simply reply with, "it's my mother-in-law's secret recipe, sorry!" It always got me off the hook.
That was my excuse until now. Now, after making homemade crust, I have no excuse. It is quite possibly one of the easiest things to make. Really, I don't know what all the fuss was about. So if you are like me, and have yet to dabble in the crust making business, do yourself a favor and just do the darn thing. I promise, it will taste better than Pillsbury.
Now down to the pie of the matter. These will make the perfect Valentine's Day breakfast for your loved ones, and won't take you long at all. This is the opportune time to use up some of your fall preserves. If you don't have any on hand, use store bought cherry jelly (or any jelly for that matter).
Easy Pie Crust
- 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 2 sticks of butter, cut up into small bits slightly smaller than sugar cubes, chilled
- 1/2 a cup very very cold water
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
Stir flour, salt, and sugar in a medium size bowl.
Add the butter into the flour mix, use your knuckles to coat the pieces with flour and break the chunks down into pea size bits. I guess this is where some people have trouble, the key is to not let the butter get warm. Your hands will inevitably warm the butter, but you want to keep this to a minimum, so work quickly.
Add in the water slowly, only using enough to incorporate the ingredients. Mix with your hands or a pastry blender until unified and crust like. Again, work quickly. As the fat starts to melt, so does your flakiness level.
Break the crust ball into two pieces, wrap with plastic, and refrigerate for at least two hours, up to a week.
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons cherry jelly (pick out any large chunks)
- A splash of milk
Mix ingredients in a small mixing bowl. Add more milk until you've reached a consistency you like.
Cherry Hand Pies
- 1 Jar of your favorite preserve (I used cherry)
- Pie Crust (from above)
- 1 Egg White (slightly beaten)
- Coarse Sugar
Preheat over to 350 F
On a floured surface, roll your crust
Once you've got your little pie crusts cut into whatever shape you settled on, place a spoonful of preserves in the center of a 'crust', then brush egg white along the seams and place another crust on top. The egg white will act as glue, and keep the preserves from seeping out while baking, so don't be afraid to use it liberally! For my pies, I used a single crust and then folded it in half, rather than using two crusts per pie.
Use a fork to close the seams of your crusts, then brush egg white onto the top and sprinkle with coarse sugar. Using a fork, poke holes in the top of the pies so they can breathe while they bake.
Pop them in the oven for about 20 minutes (until the tops are golden). Remove, and allow to cool slightly before drizzling the cherry glaze on top. Lastly, to prove you are a fun person, you might want to add sprinkles. Just