I LOVE to cook in the fall! The bounty! The options! It's an amazing time. I love to have teas with yummy fruity baked goodies, table decorated with mums and pumpkins- which you can get all kinds of these days. I'm in love with pumpkin(s).
Our ranch is surrounded by ripe apples and pears right now, besides local peaches still and all the lovely things you can do with these should make your head spin. It does mine. Guess that's why I'm jogging 5 or 6 mornings a week now- fall means calories! But such delicious ones that I have no regrets.
Today I made the most scrumptious little pies.(actually I'm eating one right now. Again.) I had some pears that were a bit over ripe so I thought I'd do something meaningful with them. Oh boy, did I!
First make your crust. You can use your recipe or my not-so-healthy easy one.
(just so you know I'm feeding teen boys so I doubled my recipe but the one below is the single)
1 cups all-purpose flour + 1/4 freshly ground white wheat flour (I couldn't do all dead flour!!) you can just go ahead and do all-purpose.
1/4 tsp. salt
2/3 cup chilled butter flavor Crisco (I know, I know! Bad.)
1/4 cup cold water
Mix the flour and salt together and then use a pastry blender or whatever method you like to cut in the shortening. Sprinkle in the water a little at a time until it's just combined and holding together and then form it into a ball, wrap it in saran wrap and put it in the fridge for an hour or so.
Now then, with you crust chilling, you'll want to get about a tablespoon of butter and a tablespoon of flour to make a rou. In a smallish saucepan get your rou nice and bubbly and brown over medium low heat and add 2 or 3 chopped and skinned pears. Mine were small so I added 3. For sweetner I used about 3 tablespooms of raw wild honey, but you could use sugar or brown sugar. About 4 TBS. add a bit of cinnamon and a good squeeze of lemon and heat through until thickened. *(If I'd had some good lavender dried I would have ground some and used it instead of cinnamon.) It should be nice and "saucey" but with chunks still.
Set it aside to cool while you are working with the crust.
~But before you get your crust out make your icing~
1/2 cup powdered sugar to about 2 or 3 TBS fresh lemon juice,
a TBS of lemon zest and 2 TBS soft butter. Mix this mess up until it's smooth and creamy. It's so good you will not even believe it! Again though, if I'd had some good lavender I would have used that; imagine how pretty the pies would look iced with a little lavender too.
Now roll out your crust and use a biscuit cutter or glass to cut circles.
Put a heaping tsp. of your pie filling in each circle and then fold it over to make a half moon.
Use a fork to pinch the edges together.
As you can see I have not the burden of being a perfectionist.
Put all those little darlings on a parchment paper lined baking sheet (you will need 2 if you doubled up like I did) and bake at 350' for about 30-35 minutes. They should be a gorgeous golden brown.
As you can see I am greedy and like to stuff as much filling into my little pies as possible.
While they are still warm go ahead and ice them. Then serve them up with a glass of (raw) milk to your kids or grandkids and with a nice hot cup of tea or coffee to your best girlfriends. (They are way too good to waste on anyone outside the family or closest friends. Just kidding! Take them to the next church potluck and you will be a hit.)
They are incredible.
Go ahead and use some other kind of filling- peach, apple, apricot, whatever you like. You could also make a quick and easy batch of savory snacks like I did and use a bit of pizza sauce and some mozzarella cheese instead of fruit. I have some other ideas too- try chicken and a white sauce with parm cheese inside and sprinkled on top, maybe a bit of spinache or broccoli, or ham and cheese...you could try endless combinations.
These would be GREAT football snacks! The guys will think you are all that. (Of course you are!)