A Pie Exchange for the Holidays...Or Anytime!

How about a pie exchange? A what? A pie exchange! Well, not an entire pie but, bunches of mini handheld pies…sweet little creations that you make, bake and share with your friends. It’s like a cookie exchange but with pie dough! I first came up with this idea when I was hosting a pie-making social for the wedding of my best friend’s son several years ago. We all had such a good time telling stories and creating pies for the wedding reception I wondered, what other way could we enjoy time together making gifts from our hearts and hands. Then it struck me. A Holiday Pie Exchange! Here’s how to do it: TO BRING Everyone will bring a box or basket in which to bring their finished creations home. I put this right up front because sometimes this is the one thing that I forget to bring with me. Everyone brings their favorite double-crust pie dough, already made and chilled. My favorite uses: 2.5 cups of flour 14 tablespoons of Kerrygold Irish Butter (either salted of unsalted) 1/2 teaspoon of additional salt 8 Tablespoons of water (more if needed) Details are here. Each guest will also bring a little something to add as a filling. Ideas to choose from are lemon curd mincemeat marscapone cheese orange marmalade homemade jam raspberries, blueberries, blackberries apple pie filling pecans or other nuts (candied is nice) chocolate bits cinnamon, nutmeg and other spices you like You might coordinate this so that you end up with a variety of choices rather than 12 cups of mascarpone cheese! But, the “pies” the limit (excuse the pun) as far as fillings go! You’ll want to have on hand some sugar and eggs for an egg wash, too. When guests arrive, pop their dough into fridge so that the fats will be well-chilled for rolling while you all get settled and share the latest news over a cup of tea. Now for the fun!

Ingredients:
  • 2.5 cups of flour
  • 14 tablespoons of Kerrygold Irish Salted Butteror Unsalted Butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon of additional salt
  • 8 Tablespoons of water (more if needed)
  • lemon curd
  • mincemeat
  • marscapone cheese
  • orange marmalade
  • homemade jam
  • raspberries, blueberries, blackberries
  • apple pie filling
  • pecans or other nuts (candied is nice)
  • chocolate bits
  • cinnamon, nutmeg and other spices you like
Directions:

Roll out the dough on a pastry cloth, parchment paper or well floured surface.  Using round, square or rectangle dough presses, cut out as many shapes as you can. If you don’t have dough presses, take a tuna-fish can and cut out the top and bottom with your can opener and you have an instant form to use! I found some delicious little mini pie press forms a my local kitchen store recently.

When you have these cut out, place a scant teaspoon or less* on one half of the dough, brush the edge with a tiny bit of water, and press firmly to make a seal. The first time I did this, I really whomped hard on it with my hand and the filling ended up on the counter! If you don’t have a dough press, place the filling between two of the same shape pastry pieces, or one that is larger that you fold in half, to seal the filling inside, and crimp the edges with a fork.  *Do be careful about how much filling you put in. In a small empanada-sized pastry, I put only one raspberry, a 1/3 teaspoon of lemon curd, 1/8 teaspoon of sugar and only the very slightest pinch of nutmeg—really just a few tiny grains. Adding more than one berry might seem like a good idea, but when you attempt to seal the dough, you may end up with the extra berry exiting from it in a somewhat messy fashion as I did! Less is more in this case.

Brush lightly with an egg wash and sprinkle with a wee bit of sugar.

Take a fork or knife and poke a little vent on top not too many or the yummy filling will ooze out in the baking.

TO BAKE

Place your creations on a parchment covered baking sheet, and chill them for a few minutes before popping them in the oven at 400 degrees F for 10-15 minutes. Each oven is different so your time may vary.

Once out of the oven, let them cool completely. Then divide them up between all your friends.

Depending on the size of press you use, the dough recipe can make two dozen (or more) sweet treats that are like little holiday kisses! And, don’t forget that you can roll up some cinnamon-sugar in a dough jelly-roll style, cut into 1 inch pieces, and bake for a few extra nibbles, too!

ART OF THE PIE 2013

 

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