Welcome to the second year of #Baketogether!
I’m not one of those folks that gets into all the those “stats”and such. Truth told.. my brain is to small to really understand it all anyway so if you are looking forward to reading about which post was the most popular, exactly how many folks participated and where they are from, or, heaven forbid, which variation/post was my favorite, you can stop reading right now and go straight to June’s recipe below. What I can share with you is that we have baked together in kitchens all over the world and shared inspiring, creative, wonderful recipes along with personal stories, experiences and even a give-away or two with a like-minded, fellow bakers. It’s been wonderful for me to meet so many of you who share my passion for baking and my commitment to fostering a supportive, lively, creative online baking community. Do I wish I could meet and bake with you all in one humongous kitchen? Sure, I do. We’d have a blast learning, sharing and laughing with each other. But, until that day, I’m happy to #baketogether with you guys once a month, right here.
I’ll confess that I’m not just a bad “stats” person, I’m also horrible at the whole anniversary/birthday card thing.. I can never find a good one or a funny one or one with the proper sentiment. Of course this may or may not be because I don’t have any patience for the selection process but we will save that for another time (or not). That said, I did want to give you all a little something to mark the occasion. How about a #baketogether badge? It’s right there. On the right ——-> and up a bit. Cute, huh? Feel feel to click on the “Get The Badge” to celebrate Baketogether every day. Holler at me if you have any issues with this and I’ll ask #Baketogether CTO, Barb at Creative Culinary, to help sort this out (god bless you B!). Make sure to let me know when you’ve got it loaded up – I can’t wait to see how it looks on your site.
Now.. onto June’s recipe.
It’s berry season just about everywhere so it’s a no-brainer that June’s recipe must include summer’s finest. Check. The real dilema was how to capture these vibrant flavors in a very-berry baketogether way. A French Tart? A rustic galette? A pop tart? All good ideas. But, how about a pie? Yes. A pie is the perfect choice but not just any pie. Not for you guys.. Let’s make mini pies and add a streusel topping.
Good news for #TeamSweet: this is a sweet treat! Bad news for #TeamSavory: this is a sweet treat. That said, judging from the entries in last month’s #baketogether, I wouldn’t put it past the #TeamSavory folks to pull out something savory and wonderful from this recipe. Can you say Pastry Wrapped Brie & Berries? I know some of you can and, to those folks, I say “Bring It”! Or, perhaps you’d like to go the #Sweevory route just like Poet in the Pantry did with her #baketogether muffins. Bluring the lines between sweet & savory is encouraged!
I’ve kept the flavorings in this recipe very straight-forward and clean so you can easily change it up. And with three elements in this recipe, you can really switch it up in bazillions of ways. Here are just a few suggestions:
- Change the berries: any combo of berries will work here.. and feel free to add a stone fruit to the mix, if you wish.
- Add more or different flavors: Adding citrus zest, lemon grass, ginger or herbs (you know how I love herbs in my sweets) to the filling is an easy addition.
- Change the shape: Maybe you want to make a whole pie or a galette or poptarts… go ahead.. give it a go. No matter how you shape it, the dough recipe makes enough for one crust for pie or galette and about 6 poptarts.
- Add texture and/or flavor to the dough: Chopped, toasted nuts or poppy seeds can add complexity and texture to the crust. If you are going here, I’d suggest starting with small amounts to as not to overwhelm.
- Change the topping: Lattice? Plain top? Different nuts and flavoring in the streusel? Bring it.
- Add a drizzle or a glaze: I’m thinking a brandy hard sauce would kill it on these pies…
- Swap the dough: This dough is easy to make and a synch to roll (I’ve included tips, pix and a vid link to help). If you have pie anxiety or you are a newbie, this is a great recipe to start with as it’s just rolling and then pressing into the tins. BUT.. it you are super time-pressed, you can use store-bought pie dough.
Remember, here at #baketogether, we love all shapes, sizes and flavors equally so put on your thinking caps and start planing Very Berry Mini Pies #Baketogether right now. As always, if you need further guidance or inspiration, give me a holler!
Lastly, if you are new to #baketogether – Welcome! Read this short bit about how we roll: “rules”.
A few notes to review before you tackle the recipe:
- To make the dough, we’ll be using a technique we learned in the Savory Sables Baketogether. Go on over and refresh your “Fraisage” memory before you start working.
- Watch me roll out the dough between parchment on this video I made for Fine Cooking. Keep in mind that for our #baketogether recipe, the rolling emphasis is on the even thickness of the dough so don’t worry about getting a round shape.
- Press the dough circles into the greased muffin tins.. no need for perfection here folks just make sure there are no air bubbles in the bottom.
- Mushing up some of the berries and mixing with the dry ingredients eliminates any crumbly extra flour and sugar.
- Adding more whole berries gives the filling a burst of flavor.Don’t be shy with the streusel topping.. The more the merrier.
- During baking, the filling will bubble up and slightly over onto the tins. Run a knife between the crust and the inside edge of the tin while the pies are still warm so they don’t stick to the pan.
Very Berry Mini Pies
Makes 10 mini tarts
For the dough
1 1/3 cups (6 ounces) all purpose flour
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon table salt
6 tablespoons (3 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into 6 slices, well chilled
2 tablespoons (1 ounce) vegetable shortening, cut into 2 slices, well chilled
2 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon very cold water
2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
For the streusel topping
1/3 cup (1 1/2 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 cup (5/8 ounce) quick cooking oats
1/4 cup (1 3/4 ounces) firmly packed light brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch of table salt
4 tablespoons ( 2 ounces) unsalted butter, softened
2 tablespoons (7/8 ounce) sliced almonds, lightly toasted
For the filling
1/3 cup (1 3/4 ounces) granulated sugar
2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
Pinch of table salt
2 cups (10 ounces) fresh blueberries, rinsed and dried
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup (5 ounces) fresh raspberries, rinsed and dried
Make the dough
1. Put the flour, sugar and salt in a food processor and pulse briefly to combine. Add the butter and shortening and pulse until the butter and shortening pieces are slightly larger than pea size, about 10 to 12 pulses depending on your machine. Drizzle the water and lemon juice evenly over the flour mixture. Pulse until the dough begins to form moist crumbs that are just beginning to clump together, about 8 or 9 more pulses depending on your machine.
2. Dump the moist crumbs onto a large piece of plastic wrap and gather into a pile. With the heel of you hand, push and gently smear the dough away from you until the crumbs come together. We did this “Fraisage” technique in the Savory Sables – check out the pix. Two or three ‘smears’ should do the trick. Shape into a 5-inch disc and wrap tightly in the plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, about 2 hours, or up to 2 days.
Make the streusel
1. Put the flour, oats, brown sugar, flour, cinnamon and salt in a small bowl and stir until well blended. Add the butter and, using a fork (or your fingers), mix and mash until the ingredients are well blended and form small crumbs. Stir in the almonds. Pop in the fridge while you make the filling and assemble the tarts.
Line the tart pans
1. Position an oven rack in the lower third of the oven and heat the oven to 375°F. Lightly grease ten regular-sized (2 3/4- 3 inch diameter) muffin cups.
2. Set the wrapped, chilled dough on the counter at room temperature until it’s pliable enough to roll, 10 to 20 minutes (depending on your kitchen temp and the weather). Arrange a large piece of plastic wrap or parchment on the work surface and put the dough in the center. Cover with another piece of plastic or parchment and press down on the dough to flatten. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough between the plastic or parchment to about 1/8- inch thickness, turning, lifting and repositioning the plastic or parchment and lightly flouring throughout the rolling. Using a 3 1/2-inch round cookie cutter, cut out 8 rounds. Gather up the scraps, reroll to a 1/8-inch thickness, and cut another round. Reroll and cut one more round for a total of 10 rounds of dough.
3. Working with one round at a time, use your fingers to gently press the dough into a prepared muffin cup, making sure there are no air bubbles in the bottom and the dough is pressed firmly and evenly up the side to within 1/8 inch of the top of the cup. Repeat with the remaining dough rounds. If your kitchen is hot, slide the muffin tins into the frig while you make the filling.
Make the filling and bake the tarts
1. Put the sugar, flour, and salt in a medium bowl and, using a table fork, mix until well blended. Add 1 cup of the blueberries and, using the table fork, crush the berries while stirring them into the sugar-flour mixture. Add the remaining blueberries, raspberries and the vanilla and toss to coat evenly. Evenly spoon the filling into the lined muffin cups (they will be completely full). Scatter the streusel evenly over the filling – don’t be shy.
2. Bake until the crusts and streusel are golden brown and the filling is bubbling, 27 to 29 minutes. Move the muffin tin to a wire rack. Using a paring knife, run the blade between the crust and the pan to loosen the tarts from any sticky berry juices and let cool for 10 minutes. Using a thin, metal spatula or the paring knife, carefully remove the tarts from the muffin cups and set them on a wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.
This just in from Barbara aka @BLReiss :
I used an all butter cornmeal crust that I generally use for blueberry pie, and since I didn’t have a 3.5 inch round cookie cutter, I ended up doing the dough as a press in crust which worked fine. I refrigerated it while I made the filling and heated the oven. My go-to blueberry pie is made in a pre-baked crust and thickened with cornstarch, but I have to say that I liked your technique a lot better. The farm stand only had blueberries, so I added lime zest and juice and coconut chips to the fruit mixture. I didn’t make a streusel topping–I don’t generally like them, and I didn’t want to add more butter; it is bathing suit season after all. Once I got over my crust fear, I thought these were really easy, and I loved how they came out.