Friday, March 15, 2013

Cooking with Food Storage: Mini Apple Pies

I love making these pies!  Everyone who has ever eaten one of these tells me how much they love them.  Although my favorite is apple pie, this crust works well with a savory filling too! The best part is, the way I make the pie crust, it only has only four shelf stable ingredients.

I used shelf stable cream to make two of the ingredients needed for the pie crust. You don't have to do that if you don't want to. I got this recipe from the King Arthur Flour web site. Here is a link to the original: Love Flaky Turnovers?  The whole point of using this crust recipe is it's super easy. I have modified it somewhat to be food storage friendly. I will point out the differences between my food storage version and the King Arthur Flour original version as we go along. Here is the original recipe:

Mini Apple Pies
1 1/2 cups All-Purpose Flour (I used freshly ground soft white wheat berries.)
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 cup butter (I made my own butter. You can see here how to do that with shelf stable cream.)
1/2 cup sour cream (I make my own sour cream. I used kefir cream in place of sour cream for this post. You can see here how to make kefir milk. You would make kefir cream the same way only using cream instead of milk. You can also make real sour cream with sour cream cultures. You can see here how I make yogurt with yogurt cultures.The process would be the same for the sour cream cultures.)

The biggest difference between the food storage version I make and the King Arthur Flour original is the need to use very cold butter. Since I use freshly made butter (and since I don't refrigerate my butter) the butter used in this recipe is room temperature. I have made this pie crust both ways: cold and room temperature. When you use cold butter and cold sour cream, the crust is noticeably more flaky. However, the taste is the same. So if you would prefer your crust to be more on the flaky side, just use very cold butter and sour cream.

Mix together the flour, salt and baking powder. Then add the butter. If you add cold butter, you will cut it into the flour. The flour will look crumbly.  If you add room temperature butter, you will cream it in (more like when you make cookie dough). Then add the sour cream. Here is a picture of mine before I mixed in the sour cream.

After mixing in the sour cream, turn the dough out onto a piece of freezer paper and flatten with a rolling pin. If your ingredients were all room temperature, the freezer paper is necessary because the dough is quite sticky. The freezer paper also makes it easier to fold the dough. Sprinkle the paper with flour before you start.

Now, you are going to fold the dough into thirds, just like you are folding a letter. Fold it with the freezer paper, then peel the freezer paper back. 

Once you have folded one side, then fold the other. This is what it should look like.

If you are using cold ingredients, you will need to repeat the folding process a total of three times. If your ingredients were all room temperature, your crust will perform better if you fold it eight to ten times. The more you fold it, the easier it is to work with. Here is what mine looked like after folding it ten times.

Now, roll it out one last time. You are now ready to cut the dough. Over the years, I have done this a few different ways. Most of the time, I use a cereal bowl and knife to cut the dough.

Then, place a few teaspoons full of your favorite filling and fold the dough over. I used apple pie filling that I canned myself.

 Seal the edges with a fork.

Last fall, I went to a local apple farm with some ladies from my church. While I was there, I bought one of these mini pie makers. 

This seals the pie a bit faster because you don't have to press the edges with a fork.

You can sprinkle some sugar on top of the crust before baking if you would like. I have done it many times this way and they are quite good with just a pinch of sugar. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes. If baking in a Sun Oven, you may have difficulty getting the temperature to 400. (I can't seem to keep mine consistently at 400 so I bake at 350.) The pies will need to bake a bit longer at the lower temperature. I usually bake mine in the Sun Oven for about 45 to 50 minutes. 

I didn't sprinkle mine with sugar this time because my husband wanted frosting instead. While the pies were baking, I made cream cheese frosting. I had some left over cream cheese that I made a few days before and I used that. Cream cheese doesn't incorporate into the frosting that well with just a spoon so I used my hand crank beaters.

The final result!


1 comment:

  1. Oh this sounds and looks so yummy! I must try it sometime when the kids come to visit.

    I have just recently found you and love your blog. Thanks for sharing all you do.



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