Very Berry Mini Pies ~ BakeTogether

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by Abby Dodge on June 1, 2012

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.

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.