1 Apt. 2B Baking Co.: June 2012

Friday, June 29, 2012

Blueberry Buckwheat Tartlets with Greek Yogurt Cream

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The arrival of blueberries at the market (and the farm) signals the start of summer for me. I know they aren't the first fruit to show up to the party, but something about their patriotic hue screams picnics and bbqs, and hot, lazy nights. Where I live, blueberries are plentiful and cheap so I turn to them often for fun, summer treats like these tartlets. 

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I baked these little beauties last week on a 90+ degree day when, in a fit of heat induced crazy, I decided to crank up the oven and turn on the stovetop at the same time. What can I say, the blueberries in the fridge were calling and I had to answer despite my assertion that I would not turn the oven on during the heatwave...oops.

blueberry tart

I like the combination of fresh and barely-sweetened, cooked fruit here, but if you aren't feeling up to the task of cooking three different components just use fresh berries, any kind you like or maybe some sliced stone fruit. For something a bit sweeter I imagine a dollop of jam would make a fine topping too. I guess what I am saying is that when you have sweet summer fruit at your disposal, you pretty much can't go wrong.

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And can we talk about this Greek yogurt cream for a second? It is cool and smooth and just slightly tart which makes it a perfect foil for any fruit you have laying around and nearly impossible to resist eating straight from the fridge. I am already imagining making these little tarts again later this summer, topped with some bourbon spiked peaches.

Blueberry Buckwheat Tartlets with Greek Yogurt Cream

For the Buckwheat Tart Shells
adapted from Desserts for Breakfast
yield, 6 tartlets or 1, 9'' tart

5 1/2 ounces all purpose flour
3 1/2 ounces buckwheat flour
2 ounces sugar
pinch salt
1 egg yolk
4 ounces cold butter
2-3 ounces iced water

1. In a large bowl, stir together the flours, sugar and salt. Using a pastry cutter or two knives, cut in the butter until it is the size of small peas.
2. Add in the egg yolk and stir gently until it is evenly distributed, then slowly stream in the water until the dough will hold together when you press it with your fingers. Turn the dough out onto a piece of plastic wrap and press it into a disk. Refrigerate for one hour. (While the dough is chilling you can prepare the pastry cream, recipe below)
3. To bake the tart shells: Preheat oven to 425ºF and lightly butter 6 removable-bottom tartlet pans.
4. Remove the dough from the fridge and cut it into 6 pieces. Press the dough evenly into the prepared pans and prick the bottoms with a fork. If the dough has softened, refrigerate or freeze it for a few minutes or until it is firm again. Line each tartlet pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil and fill with pie weights or dried beans.
5. Bake the tart shells for 13-15 minutes or until the edges begin to brown. Remove the pie weights or beans and return to the oven to bake for 3-5 minutes more, or until the crust is completely golden brown. Let the shells cool completely before filling and serving.

Greek Yogurt Pastry Cream

8 ounces whole milk
3 egg yolks
1 3/4 ounces sugar
3/4 ounce cornstarch
1/2 vanilla bean, scraped or 1t vanilla extract
1 ounce cold butter
6 ounces plain greek yogurt (non-fat, low-fat or full-fat will all work)

1. Bring the milk to a simmer in a small saucepan with the scraped vanilla bean and pod
2. In another saucepan, whisk together the egg yolks, sugar, and cornstarch until well blended. While whisking, slowly stream in about 1/4c of the hot milk to temper the egg mixture. Continue whisking and pour in the remainder of the hot milk. Remove the vanilla bean pod and reserve for another use.
3. Put the pan over medium heat and whisk vigorously, making sure to get into the bottom and sides of the pan. Bring the mixture to a low simmer and cook until thick, about 1-2 minutes. If you are using vanilla extract, now's the time to whisk it in.
4. Add in the butter and whisk the cream until smooth, transfer to a bowl and press a layer of plastic wrap directly on the surface. Refrigerate until cold and set.
5. After the cream has thoroughly chilled, whisk in the greek yogurt until smooth and evenly combined. Store tightly covered in the refrigerator until ready to use.

Blueberry Filling

12 ounces blueberries, divided
2T honey
2T Gran Marnier (optional)
Zest and juice of 1/2 orange

1. Combine 1/2 of the blueberries, honey, Gran Marnier (if desired) and orange juice and zest in a medium skillet. Warm the berries on medium low heat until they begin to burst and release their juices. 2. Turn the heat up to medium and gently simmer the berries until they are thick and syrupy, about 3-5 minutes. Stir in the remaining fresh blueberries, reserving a few to garnish the tops of the tarts. Refrigerate the mixture until cold.

To Assemble

Divide the Greek Yogurt Pastry Cream between the tart shells, top with a heaping spoonful of the Blueberry Filling and top with additional fresh blueberries and a zip of orange zest of desired (not pictured).  Serve immediately for crisp tart shells. The assembled tarts can also be refrigerated for an hour or so before you serve them, but as they sit in the refrigerator the shells will soften.

The extra blueberry mixture can be enjoyed on the top of yogurt, ice cream, oatmeal, toast or on its own.

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Friday, June 22, 2012

Rhubarb Lime Granita

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Granitas are a favorite in my arsenal of summer treats because they are such a cinch to put together; take some fruit, add water and sweetener, spice it up if you feel like it, then throw it in the freezer. Done. This one does require you to turn on the stovetop, but only for a few minutes. I hope you don't mind. You will be rewarded with a frozen treat that is bright and tart and the prettiest share of pink and is absolutely delicious with a splash of prosecco on top or maybe with some tequila and a sprinkle of salt? I've heard rhubarbaritas are mighty fine.  

Rhubarb Lime Granita

12 ounces water
1 pound rhubarb stalks, chopped into 1/2'' pieces
3.75 ounces sugar
1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped
zest and juice of one lime
pinch salt

1. Add the water, rhubarb, sugar and vanilla bean seeds and pod to a medium saucepan. Cook over medium heat until the rhubarb is very soft and begins to fall apart.
2. Strain the mixture through a medium sieve into an 8x8 or 9x9 baking dish, pressing gently to extract as much juice as possible. Remove the vanilla bean and save for another use, save the rhubarb solids too. They are great over yogurt. Stir in the lime zest and juice and the salt. Taste the mixture and if you find it to be too tart, add in a bit more sugar and stir to dissolve. Cover the dish with plastic.
3. Slide the dish into the freezer and chill for 1hr. Remove the dish from the freezer and scrape the granita with a fork to break up the mixture, cover and place back in the freezer. Scrape the granita every 30min or so until it is frozen and crystals have formed. To serve: Spoon the granita into small dishes and top with a squeeze of lime and a splash of tequila, champagne, cava or prosecco if you are feeling festive.

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Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Blueberry Crumb Pie

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The East Coast is in for 3 days of 90+ degree weather which means I sure as heck won't be turning the oven on for a few days. I'm glad I baked this pie for the Pie Party yesterday, mostly because blueberry pie always tastes best when you eat it for breakfast the next day, don't you think? I'm also planning on lots green smoothies for breakfast and popsicles for lunch and dinner washed down cold brewed iced coffee to beat the heat. I probably should have filled up the ice trays last night, whoops. 

This pie features my favorite all-butter pie crust, filled with a generously spiced pile of fresh Jersey blueberries and topped with a crispy, nutty crumble. Feel free to substitute your favorite crust if you have one you are attached to. I think having a favorite pie crust is a kitchen milestone to be celebrated, just like summertime and pies.

Blueberry Almond Crumb Pie

For the Crust
makes 2 crusts (you'll only need one crust to make the pie)

This crust comes to you from the talented Brandi Henderson of I made that! and The Pantry at Delancey where she teaches a class called "How to be a Pie Ninja" (among others) and she is not messing around, her recipes are killer. For her crust, Brandi uses a technique called fraissage which creates long sheets of buttery flakes throughout the dough instead of little pockets of butter. Delightful!

12 ounces pastry flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 ounces cold, unsalted butter
4-6 ounces ice water
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

1. Mix the flour and salt together, then pour the whole lot on a large cutting board or countertop.
2. With a bench scraper, cut in half of the butter until it is the size of lima beans, then cut in the other half of the butter until it is the size of nickels. Mix the water and vinegar together.
3. Using your fingers, flick the water on to the butter flour mixture and gently fold it in with your bench scraper. You have added enough water when you can pick up a handful of the dough and squeeze it together without it falling apart.
4. Then, get this, you smear the butter into the dough. With the heel of your hand push a section of the dough down and away from you. Congratulations, you have just created a sheet of butter which is going to turn delicious flaky crust. Scrape the sheet off of the board and place it in a bowl to the side. Repeat until you have worked through all of the dough, pushing it down and away from you in sections. Once you've gone through all of the dough gently remove it from the bowl, press it together, then split it in half, and wrap each half in plastic wrap and form into a disk. Chill the dough for at least one hour before using. I have warm hands, so I always chill my dough overnight before I use it.

For the Filling

24 ounces blueberries
2-4 ounces sugar, depending on the sweetness of your berries
1 ounce cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
zest and juice from one small lemon
pinch salt

Pour all of the ingredients into a large bowl and stir gently to combine

For the Crumb


3 ounces all purpose flour
3 ounces brown sugar
4 ounces soft butter
pinch salt
2 ounces sliced almonds

Mix together the flour, sugar, butter and salt until it resembles large crumbs. Gently mix in the almonds being careful not to break them up.

To Assemble and Bake

Preheat oven to 375º and adjust a rack to the lower third of the oven.

1. On a lightly floured surface, roll out one piece of the dough into a 12'' circle about 1/8'' thick and place it into a 9'' pie pan and crimp the edges. Place in the fridge while you prepare the rest of the pie.
2. Pour the filling mixture into the prepared crust, then top with the prepared crumb topping.
3. Place the pie on a baking sheet and slide into the oven. Bake for 45-55 minutes or until the filling is bubbling and the topping is deep golden brown. Cool completely before serving.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Roasted Pineapple Ice Cream with Mascarpone and Black Pepper

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I don't know about you, but when I think of combining of dairy and pineapple the "diet plate" at my local diner comes to mind. Well, if I am being completely honest, I think of the aforementioned diet plate in the 1980's. I like to imagine women dressed in spandex and legwarmers gathering after their morning jazzercise classes to share a low-cal meal comprised of a little cup of cottage cheese with canned pineapple on top, an egg white or two and a slice of tomato, maybe a slice of dry wheat toast if they're lucky, but I digress, I'm sure you didn't click on this post in hopes of reading about ladies in leotards. Let's talk about ice cream made from sweet caramelized pineapple and rich mascarpone cheese instead, sound good?

pinapple

The base of this frozen treat is a cinch to put together, there is no cooking of custard, no waiting for it to chill before churning (no churning at all!), and when it comes time to add the black pepper you might be tempted to skip it but please give it a try. The small amount creates a gentle warmth which cuts through the richness of the caramelized pineapple and the ice cream base. If you want to torture your neighbors, leave your doors and windows open while you roast the pineapple because the scent is absolutely intoxicating.

Did I mention that you don't even need an ice cream machine to throw this together? The texture is unbelievably smooth and if your freezer is crappy like mine it will stay perfectly soft and scoopable even if it's been in there for a few days (good luck keeping it around that long). Maybe make it for your pops, I hear dads like bourbon.

Have a great weekend!

Roasted Pineapple Ice Cream with Mascarpone and Black Pepper

Roasted Pineapple Puree 
adapted from The Last Course by Claudia Fleming

This pineapple tastes great on it's own or on top of  store bought ice cream if you don't want to make your own.

1 cup sugar
1 medium pineapple, peeled, cored and cut into eight rings
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise, seeds scraped
pinch salt
1 tablespoon bourbon
1 ounce butter

Preheat oven to 375º

1. In a large skillet, combine the sugar and 1/4 cup water. Cook the sugar and water, swirling the pan occasionally until the mixture if a deep amber caramel 5-7 minutes.
2. Add the vanilla bean seeds and salt and stir gently to distribute them then add the pineapple slices and vanilla bean pod. Slide the pan into the oven and cook until the pineapple is tender and translucent, basting every 10 minutes.
3. When the pineapple is cooked, remove the slices from the liquid and set aside. Put the skillet full of juices over medium heat, add the bourbon and simmer gently until the mixture has reduced by half, then whisk in the butter off of the heat. Reserve the liquid for serving.
4. When the pineapple slices are cool enough to handle, take 5 of them and pulse in a blender or food processor until they are chopped into very small pieces, but not completely liquid. Cut the remaining 3 slices into chunks and reserve to serve with the finished ice cream.

Black Pepper Ice Cream Base (no churning required!)
adapted from Everyday Food

1 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
4 ounces mascarpone cheese
2 cups heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper

1. In a large bowl, whisk together the condensed milk, mascarpone, salt and pepper.
2. In a separate large bowl whip the heavy cream to stiff peaks. With a rubber spatula, gently fold the whipped cream into the condensed milk mixture.

To Assemble

You'll need a wide, shallow glass or metal pan, roughly 9x9 inches
Black Pepper Ice Cream Base
Roasted Pineapple Puree
freshly cracked black pepper

Pour 1/3 of the black pepper ice cream base into the baking dish and smooth to even it. Dollop heaping tablespoons of the roasted pineapple mixture on the surface, about 1'' apart. Top with 1/2 of the remaining ice cream base, dollop with roasted pineapple, then finally top with the remaining ice cream base. If you have a bit of extra pineapple puree, just eat it! It's delicious on it's own. Smooth the top to cover most of the pineapple, then using a knife or toothpick, gently swirl the pineapple and base together. Be careful not to mix too much, you just want to create pockets of pineapple in each scoop. Crack a bit of fresh black pepper over the surface and freeze at least 4 hours before serving. Serve with the reserved pineapple slices and gently warmed pineapple caramel.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Gingery Pickled Beets

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These beets serve as my opening ceremony to this year's canning season and the recipe comes from my original canning inspiration's new cookbook, Food in Jars. When a review copy of Marisa's beautiful book showed up in the mail I first squealed like a little school girl, then I got to work marking all of the recipes I couldn't wait to try. I started with this recipe for gorgeous ruby red beets in a gently spiced brine which temporarily stained my stovetop with bright magenta splatters (entirely my fault). Oh, and I totally jumped the gun on letting these guys rest. I opened a jar after only three days and topped my lunch salad with a few beets and they were just as bright and spicy from the sliced ginger as I'd hoped they would be. I'm sure they'll be even more delicious after a few more days in their vinegary bath.

Thank you Marisa for this gorgeous book, I can't wait to use it all summer long!

Gingery Pickled Beets
from Food in Jars by Marisa McClellan
yield, 3 finished pints of beets

The only changes I made to this beautiful recipe were to use wide mouth jars (my local hardware store only carries wide mouth jars, no idea why) and I sliced a jar worth of beets into rounds instead of wedges to pickle and give to my Aussie Burger loving pal. I also had a bit of extra brine that I tossed in a jar with some sugar snap peas I had laying around. 

2 lbs red beets
2 cups apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons pickling salt
1 cup sugar
1 cinnamon stick
1 2'' piece of fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced

Scrub the beets, removing the greens and long roots (save the greens, they're edible!). Place the beets in a pot and cover with water. Simmer over medium heat until the beets are just tender, about 30-45 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water. When the beets are cool enough to handle, rub the skins off with your fingers. (Wear plastic gloves or resealable plastic bags on your hands if you are averse to pink-stained skin.) Trim the unwieldy ends, cut the beets into wedges, and set aside.

Prepare a boiling water bath and sterilize 3 regular-mouth 1-pint jars. Place the lids in a small saucepan, cover them with water, and simmer over very low heat.

Combine vinegar, 2 cups of waer, salt, sugar, cinnamon stick and ginger slices in a pot and bring the brine to a boil.

Meanwhile, pack the beet wedges into the sterilized jars. Slowly pour the hot brine over the beets in each jar (making sure to include 2-3 ginger slices in each jar), leaving 1/2'' headspace. Gently tap the jars on a towel-lined countertop to help loosen any bubbles before using a wooden chopstick to dislodge any remaining bubbles. Check the headspace again and add more brine if necessary.

Wipe the rims, apply the lids and rings and process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes.

Let the pickles cure for at least 1 week before eating.

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Thursday, June 7, 2012

Whole Wheat Cheese Straws

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I've said it before and I'll say it again; I rarely turn down an invitation to dinner. For me, there is no better way to spend an evening than sitting around a table and chatting over food and a few cocktails. I especially love being able to give the host a hand by contributing something to the meal (when they ask!), but I have a few guidelines I like to stick to, to keep things easy on myself. Most of my rules stem from the fact that I travel pretty exclusively on public transportation (or on foot), but I think the general rules can apply to folks with cars too.

Yossy's Rules for Food-to-Go

1. Don't bring anything too heavy or hard to carry: no one wants you to show up to a party sweaty and red faced because you've been hauling around 3 bottles of wine and a cast iron skillet full of cornbread.
2. Don't bring anything that needs to be cooked on site. Your host is probably going to be using the oven and stove, so don't try to sneak in the dumplings that you just have to pan fry to order or use their stand mixer to mash your potatoes.
3. On that note, nothing messy or saucy. Take something liquid, add in a subway transfer and a few block walk and you've got distaster written on your forehead, and spilled on your party shoes.
4. Handheld treats rule them all! Cookies, brownies, little pies, spiced mixed nuts, freshly baked dinner rolls, any veggie side that can be served room temperature, a salad with the dressing sealed up in an a mason jar, a delicious piece of cheese and a loaf of bread, you get where I am going here.

*Bonus points if you can transport your dish in the container you are going to serve it in.
**Double points if you remember to bring the host a gift. I love to share my jam and preserves and they make great host gifts for folks who love food.

These cheesy straws were the other half of my party contribution last weekend and they are my new favorite snack to eat with cocktails, not to mention that they followed all of my Food-to-Go Rules. They were simple to put together, easy to eat and transport and a real crowd pleaser. The whole wheat flour made a perfect base for all peppery, cheesy, buttery flavor packed into these crackers and I knew they were going to be a hit after I "taste tested" most of the first batch that came out of the oven.

What are your favorite foods to bring to a party?

Whole Wheat Cheese Straws
yield, about 50 straws depending on how you slice them

4.5 ounces whole wheat flour
2.25 ounces all purpose flour
1/8 ounce salt
1/4 ounce aleppo pepper (or to taste)
1/8 ounce cracked black pepper
1/8 ounce cayenne pepper
3 ounces cold, unsalted butter cut into small pieces
1.5 ounces sour cream or creme fraiche
3 ounces finely grated parmesan cheese
6 ounces finely grated cheddar cheese (I used a sharp white cheddar)
flaky salt for sprinkling (optional)

1. In the bowl of a stand mixer combine the flours, salt and spices.
2. Add in the cold butter and mix until the mixture resembles coarse sand with a few chunks of butter. Add in the sour cream and mix until well combined.
3. Add in bowl cheeses and mix until just incorporated. The dough should hold together when you squeeze it together with your hands. If it doesn't just add some milk or water to the mixture one teaspoon at a time until it comes together. Turn the dough out onto a piece of plastic wrap and form into a disc. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes and up to overnight before rolling and baking the straws.
4. When you are ready to roll and bake the straws preheat your oven to 350º and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats. Split the chilled dough into two pieces. Working with one half of the dough at a time, on a lightly floured surface roll it into a rough rectangle about 1/8'' thick. If your kitchen is warm, you may find that rolling the dough between two sheets of parchment or waxed paper is easier.
5. Using a pastry wheel or pizza cutter, cut the dough into strips 1/4''-1/2'' wide. Gently place the strips onto the prepared baking sheets about 1/4'' apart and sprinkle with flaky salt (optional). They won't spread much width wise, but they will puff up a bit. The dough is pretty delicate from all of that cheese and butter, so don't worry if the strips crack or break when you move them. Repeat with the other half of the dough
6. Slide the cheese straws into the oven and bake for 12-15 minutes or until lightly golden. I baked mine for 14 minutes because I like them nice and crispy and caramelized, but you may like them less "done".

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Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Rhubarb and Strawberry Hand Pies and Pie Crust "Cookies"

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I was in the midst of a serious bout with self doubt when I snapped this quick photo. I took just the one frame in case I wanted to share these little pies, right before I ran out the door to meet up with some of my favorite bloggers. There was a lot of hand wringing and ho-humming going on in Apt 2B as I finished up my treats that day and I apparently couldn't seem to focus myself or my camera. Were the hand pies I made as good as I hoped they would be? Were they flaky enough, sweet enough, too sweet, was the glaze too much, can I think of anything else to fret about before I leave the house? Was I just being a Nervous Nellie because I was about to walk into a room full of people I didn't "know"? Yes.

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I was silly to doubt the power of a classic combination like rhubarb and strawberries. Especially when they are tucked into Brandi's magical pastry crust (that I have now adopted) with a healthy dose of citrus zest and a little fresh ginger for zip. So, I came to my senses, wrapped them up and hopped on a train to Long Island City where I had the pleasure of meeting and chatting with some super ladies over delicious food and beverages at Veronica's gorgeous rooftop oasis. The evening was full of great conversation and food and it was so nice to meet Kasey, Kathryn, Sarah, Elizabeth, Kimberley, Nicole, Diana, Laura, Kristin, Barb and Cathy in person. Thanks for a great evening, gals! Hope you enjoyed the pies.

Rhubarb and Strawberry Hand Pies
yield, 15-18 3'' pies
I have to admit, these were kind of a pain in the ass to make, but they ended up being a big hit. So make sure you make them for some folks who will appreciate your hard work.

For the Crust

This crust comes to you from the talented Brandi Henderson of I made that! and The Pantry at Delancey where she teaches a class called "How to be a Pie Ninja" (among others) and she is not messing around, her recipes are killer. For her crust, Brandi uses a technique called fraisage which creates long sheets of buttery flakes throughout the dough instead of little pockets of butter. Delightful!

18 ounces pastry flour
1 teaspoon salt
12 ounces cold, unsalted butter
6-8 ounces ice water
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar


1. Mix the flour and salt together, then pour the whole lot on a large cutting board or countertop.
2. With a bench scraper, cut in half of the butter until it is the size of lima beans, then cut in the other half of the butter until it is the size of nickels.
3. Using your fingers, flick the water on to the butter flour mixture and gently fold it in with your bench scraper. You have added enough water when you can pick up a handful of the dough and squeeze it together without it falling apart.
4. Then, get this, you smear the butter into the dough. With the heel of your hand push a section of the dough down and away from you. Congratulations, you have just created a sheet of butter which is going to turn delicious flaky crust. Scrape the sheet off of the board and place it in a bowl to the side. Repeat until you have worked through all of the dough, pushing it down and away from you in sections. Once you've gone through all of the dough gently remove it from the bowl, press it together, then split it in half, and wrap each half in plastic wrap and form into a disk. Chill the dough for at least one hour before using. I have warm hands, so I always chill my dough overnight before I use it.

If this sounds confusing, check out the link above for a really helpful photo tutorial.

For the Filling

4 ounces strawberries, cut into 1/4''-1/3'' cubes
5 ounces rhubarb, cut into 1/3'' cubes
1/2  ounce butter
2 ounces sugar
1/2 teaspoon orange zest
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
1/2 vanilla bean, scraped
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
1/2 ounce flour
pinch salt

1. In a medium skillet, combine the rhubarb, butter, sugar, vanilla bean seeds and the vanilla bean pod. Cook over medium low heat until the rhubarb begins to release it's juices, then turn the heat up to medium high. Cook the rhubarb until it is tender, but not falling apart about 5 minutes. Pour the rhubarb mixture along with it's juices to a bowl and refrigerate until cool.
2. When the rhubarb is cool, remove the vanilla bean pod from the mixture. Combine the cooked rhubarb with the strawberries, zests, ginger, salt and flour. Stir gently to combine.

To Assemble and Bake

Pie Crust
Rhubarb and Strawberry Filling
Granulated Sugar for Sprinkling
1 egg for egg wash
2 baking sheets lined with parchment paper

Preheat oven to 400º

1. Remove one disk of dough from the fridge. On a lightly floured surface, roll it out into a rough circle about 1/4'' thick. Using a 3'' biscuit cutter or drinking glass, cut the dough into as many rounds as you can. You should be able to get about 15 and each one will become a mini pie. Transfer the circles to the prepared baking sheets, leaving a few inches in between. Place the sheets in the fridge or freezer while you roll out the other half of the dough, reserve scraps. Roll and cut the other half of the dough.
2. Remove the cut circles from the refrigerator and brush the surfaces with egg wash. Top each circle with about 1 Tablespoon of the filling mixture, then top with one of the freshly rolled circles. If your filling seems really liquidy, focus on filling the pies with the solid fruit. If you have too much juice in the filling, your pies will be a mess and I speak from experience here. Carefully crimp the edges with a fork to seal completely and pop the pies back into the fridge or freezer for 30min to set.
3. Just before you are ready to bake the pies, brush the tops with egg wash, sprinkle them with a bit of granulated sugar and poke a hole or two in the top of each pie for ventilation. Slide the sheets into the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes or until the crust is a deep golden brown. Don't under bake your pie crust people, especially when it is filled with juicy fruit! Cool slightly and glaze if desired. See below for an idea of what to do with your pastry scraps.

For the Glaze

8 ounces confectioner's sugar, sifted
juice from 1/2 an orange
1/2 teaspoon orange zest
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated ginger

Whisk all of the ingredients together until smooth. The glaze should be thick but pourable, you may need to add a little more juice or confectioner's sugar for the perfect consistency. Drizzle the glaze over the cooled pies and let sit, undisturbed for 30 minutes to let the glaze harden slightly.

Pie Crust "Cookies"

Don't forget about your pie crust scraps! My mom used to bake up her pie crust scraps for me and my brother so we wouldn't whine about not being able to dig into whatever she was making before it was dessert time.

Take your reserved scraps, put them on a baking sheet, brush them with egg wash (or milk or water in a pinch), sprinkle with cinnamon sugar and bake until deep golden brown and crisp. They are a perfect little snack with tea or coffee and they are great with a bit of ice cream. Do it!

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