There are always occasions where people get together, and you’re expected to contribute food. Pot lucks with family, work or friends always put the pressure on to make something, if not impressive, at least palatable. And I would never stoop so low as to bring something, uck, store bought. Pies are super easy, and come on, who doesn’t love pie?
The other day, I made two at once, one mixed berry, and the other peach mango. I bought pie crusts at the store. It was a buck for a two pack, and that is definitely worth the mess it saves in my kitchen. I bought two of them, and you’ll see why in a sec.
I did have to hunt through the freezer section to find ones that were the least broken. Now one crust will obviously be where you put the filling. The other one will go on top to be the top crust. Tricky, right? You have to cut vents in the top crust so that steam can escape during baking, but I’m not the type of chick to cut boring slits, now am I? I wouldn’t be That Clever Chick, and I wouldn’t have such an enthralling blog, would I? Lucky for you, I AM That Clever Chick, and your eyeballs are currently being caressed by my magnificence. You’re welcome.
I used a star cookie cutter to make holes in what was soon to be the upper crust. You could use any kind of cookie cutter, but you should try to use a small one, and make sure there is lots of crust between the holes so the whole thing will hold together.
Once you have the filling in the bottom crust, gently lay the upper crust over top, and pop it out of its pan. The crusts I used said to perform this step while the were both still frozen, and that worked for me. I then let the whole thing sit for about 15 minutes for the upper crust to thaw, and flatten out. I then pinched the edges together and baked both pies at the same time. See? Batch baking!
Both pies tasted great, and the crusts look a little beat up because there were very few unbroken ones at the store when I went. They were still super cute, and filled my, and several friends’ bellies.
Now about the fillings. No I didn’t forget, I just felt like doing the post this way. Well, maybe a little of both. Anyway, I used berries I had in my freezer for one of the pies. During this time of year, when strawberries and blueberries are ripe and cheap, I usually can’t resist picking up a tub or two. Hubby and I rarely eat them before they get to that, if-I-don’t-eat-them-this-second-they’ll-be-trash stage, so once they get a bit soft, I freeze them. I happened to do the same with a mango earlier this year, assuming it would end up in a smoothie.
For the berries, I basically let them sit out and thaw, drained out the excess water, and stirred in about a quarter cup of sugar. Fruit is naturally sweet, so you don’t need to add lots of sugar. For the mango peach pie, I used a regular can of peaches I had on hand, I cubed the mango, and even threw in a couple strawberries. I drained the peaches, then tossed the fruit together in a bowl with a bit of splenda (instead of sugar). The mango added lots of sweetness naturally, and made the peaches taste more interesting.
I happened to make a pie yesterday, along with my strawberry chocolate cake, for an event held here at my place today, which will spawn at least THREE blogs posts! I can hear you squeeing from here. So the pie yesterday was planned to be just peach, but I had more strawberries in the freezer and room in the pie crust, so I mixed them in, still frozen. I also added about 2 teaspoons of cinnamon and vanilla extract, each, and again, about a quarter cup sugar.
When the pie was almost done baking, I took it out and brushed some of the syrup from the canned peaches on top, then sprinkled sugar on that. I then let it finish baking. The sugar stuck to the crust, and it was really tasty. As a matter of fact, I just finished the last piece. I think I will now nap, and watch the A-Team. Don’t I have the most fun ever??