Friday, July 2, 2010

Adorable Baking: Barbie Pies!

Hi Everyone, sometimes blogger, full time sister Leah here. Bea is busy being Italian so I thought I would share what I am up to on this glorious Chicago summer day. As you may know from my last time pitch hit blogging, I am an avid baker. Bea and I are big fans of a blog called Luxirare where they create "killer clothes and fine cuisine." Being complimentary sisters, Bea prefers the killer clothes part and I prefer the fine cuisine part. A couple of months back, there was a post about "Pie Pops," essentially pie lollipops and I was inspired. So a few nights ago, finding myself, as one often does in the summer, with some time on my hands, I decided to experiment.

These are the pie pops I was inspired by

Luxirare owns this photo. I have no claim on it.

So it begins with the crust. Nothing is more important in any kind of pie. Working with pie crust takes a bit of finesse and a lot of people find it very frustrating, but many Thanksgivings had prepared me for this project. My number one piece of advice is use LOTS of flour when rolling out your dough.

I always use Baking Illustrated when baking because they simply have the best recipes out there, so I was using their basic pie dough. I used two circular cookie cutters, one slightly bigger than the other.
Part two is the filling. I made three: apple, peach and summer berry. I made up the filling recipes myself but they are very easy. Just fruit, sugar, a little potato starch to thicken it up, and a few dashes of different spices depending on the fruit. It's all based on taste, if the filling doesn't taste good raw, it probably won't taste much better cooked.

So now we get to the fun part, or the incredibly labor intensive part depending on how you look at it. The general idea is to take the slightly smaller dough circle, put a little filling on it, stick a lollipop stick in, and top it with the slightly larger dough circle. They you take a lollipop stick and do the crimping around the edge that makes the finished product so pretty.

It was fun trying to trouble shoot problems I had since I was kind of making things up as I went along. When I was doing the crimping with the lollipop stick, I was having trouble getting all the way around, so I got out my cake decorating wheel so I could spin each pie around while I was working on it. I felt very clever indeed.

The last thing is to brush the tops with egg whites and sprinkle them with a little sugar. I swear, this is the touch that will have people thinking you bought your pies in a professional bakery. For some reason, that crispy top and sugar sprinkle makes people think you went to pastry school.

And when they came out, they looked lovely! All golden brown and smelling delicious.

So the lollipop sticks kind of half worked. Some of the held up great, but most of them didn't adhere to the crust so they were just kind of wiggling around inside their pie home, so I ended up pulling most of them out. But the pies still looked adorable. I had bought a lollipop kit at Joanne Fabrics, my home away from home, so I had cute little bags and ribbons for my pies, which I christened Barbie Pies. Because they are the perfect size for Barbie!

I hope you enjoyed by Barbie Pies, they make awesome gifts. People tend to react like you just gave them a puppy, Hey, both puppies and mini pies are cute. Happy Baking!

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