Thursday, June 2, 2011

Strawberry Rhubarb Mini Pies



I'm back!

The littlest Humble was delivered--or extracted, depending on how you look at it since we had a c-section--last week. Both baby and myself are doing very well and I've been recovering at home.

Of course this means ample time at my laptop to blog, unfortunately I didn't count on the affect of sleepless nights coupled with hefty doses of prescription pain killers. When things are melting down the walls in your field of vision, you really start to second guess your ability to write anything. Yes, even at the semi-coherent level I tend to blather on this blog.

I'm far less drugged today so I'm going to give food blogging a shot. Our local farmers market has been flush with fresh rhubarb lately and apparently, even after all the lemon meringue madness, I'm not pie-d out.

So we've making pies! Again! Specifically, mini pies. Falling neatly into that smaller is always cuter approach to food.

Of course, if you're looking at the pies and thinking to yourself, nuh-uh way too fussy. No worries. No where will I demand you spend an hour forming mini pies in muffin cups. The strawberry rhubarb filling, spiked with orange zest and Grand Marnier is delicious even in the simpler, more rustic hand-pie form. So go ahead and shape/form them however you wish. Regardless of how they might look, they will taste great and be well worth making.





An added bonus of the cooking process is an absolutely fantastic strawberry orange rhubarb syrup. We served the syrup drizzled over sliced fresh strawberries, angel food cake and softly whipped cream. Transforming a rather ordinary dessert into something a little more interesting. I'm sure the syrup could find many other uses… maybe over waffles or in cocktails. Yum. Save it.

Strawberry-Rhubarb Mini Pies
adapted from Martha Stewart's New Pies and Tarts
yields 2 dozen mini pies


Crust
3 cups all purpose flour, plus more for dusting
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon cold lard or cold vegetable shortening
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, diced into small pieces
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons ice water
vegetable oil non-stick spray
1 large egg, for egg wash
coarse sanding sugar

Filling
12 ounces (about 2 cups) fresh strawberries, hulled and diced
5 stalks rhubarb, trimmer and diced
1 tablespoon finely grated orange zest plus 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon orange flavored liqueur, such as Grand Marnier
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

To make the crust, we're going the food processor route. Pulse the flour, sugar, salt, lard and butter until the mixture resembles a very coarse meal. You want to dice up the fats, not incorporate them so work with a gentle touch.

Pulse in the ice water a teaspoon at a time, using just enough so that when you pinch the crumbs and they hold together.

What exactly does that look like? This:



Divide the dough in half and flatten into two disks. Wrap each in plastic and allow the dough to rest for a minimum of one hour or up to a day.

Preheat your oven to 350°F. Lightly coat two mini-muffin tins with cooking spray. On a lightly flowered surface, roll our your dough and using a 3 1/2" round cutter (like a biscuit cutter), cut two dozen circles from the dough. Re-roll the dough scraps into a sheet and cut into 1/4 inch strips. Press the rounds into the mini muffin cups. You'll find this is easier if you push the dough disks in slowly, as this will keep them from buckling in on themselves. Then place the pans and your lattice strips into the refrigerator or freezer to chill until firm.



To make the filling, combine all ingredients into a sauce pan and place over medium heat until the fruit is just barely soft (until you can stick a fork into the rhubarb) roughly 10 minutes.


Strain fruit mixture and reserve liquid. Reduce liquid over medium heat until thickened. Add enough of the syrup back to the fruit mixture to moisten and reserve remaining syrup for another delicious project. Place two tablespoons of fruit filling into each tartlet shell, brush edges of shell with egg wash and then top with the lattice strips. Brush the lattice with egg wash and sprinkle with coarse sugar.


Refrigerate or freeze the tarts until firm (about 30 minutes) and then place the muffin tins onto baking sheets and bake until golden brown. This should take approximately 60-70 minutes.

Gently loosen the mini pies from the tin with a wooden skewer and remove while still hot (otherwise the juices can cause them to stick).

Transfer pies to a wire rack and allow to cool completely. Serve at room temperature.


The mini pies can be stored at room temperature, up to one day.

Enjoy!

Oh, and for those of you who would like to see a photo of the newest and littlest Humble. Here he is with his big sister, just a couple hours old.





62 comments:

  1. Congratulations! He's beautiful

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  2. Awww such sweetness.....Congratulations and welcome back!
    I love your blog and your sound advice - especially on the mac front - the Parisian macs that is ;o)

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  3. This little dessert looks so good, bet I could eat a bunch! Congratulations on the new baby..what a handsome little guy! :D

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  4. Aw, he is just so precious. And the pies are sweet, too :)

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  5. Congratulations with the baby. Glad to have you back :)

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  6. Congrats - what a cutie!! :) The pies look tasty!

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  7. Congratulations! That last picture is too precious! (Mini pies are cute too :) )

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  8. congrats on the littlest humble! and so glad to see you back food blogging!

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  9. Yay! You're back! Baby Boy Humble is adorable! As are the rhubarb pies.. mmm..

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  10. Cute baby and cute pie! You really know how to make things right! Congrats :)

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  11. Congrats! Love these mini pies. A good excuse to eat more because they are so tiny. At least that's what I tell myself. :)

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  12. Welcome back...and congratulations! Mmmm rhubarb is one of my favorite foods :)

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  13. Many many congratulations! Such a wonderful picture, he is adorable! Can't wait to have my own, she should be coming any day now. Maybe I can make some strawberry rhubarb pies to celebrate. YUM.

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  14. Congratulations! And the mini pies look amazing! Love rhubarb blended pies.

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  15. Congratulations! Such a sweet picture.

    The pies look good too - I may need to try out this recipe

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  16. Congratulations!! The little man is adorable, and the big sister looks so proud!

    I almost made strawberry rhubarb pie today, too, but these are much cuter than I would have made! :)

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  17. OH my goodness--congratulations!! Baby and sis are both adorable--I'm glad you're doing well!

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  18. The pies are adorable, but they don't even hold a candle to that scrumptious baby!

    Congratulations!

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  19. Congratulations on the littlest Humble! Can't believe you're even blogging at all, much less making amazing looking pies.

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  20. Beautiful mini pies and what a wonderful shot of your children. Congratulations!

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  21. Congratulations on such a lovely little one, and for being back too !

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  22. Congratulations on your beautiful prince and family.

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  23. Congratulations! The photo of your two little Humbles is most adorable!

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  24. Congratulations. That picture of the two children is precious!

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  25. Congratulations! The picture of the kids is gorgeous. I am in the midst of my annual rhubarb binge, so I'm adding this to my queue of things to bake.
    :)

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  26. Congratulations! You bake great desserts and great babies! You are quite the kitchen inspiration...i was just thinking how hard lattice pies are and then I read you just had a baby...amazing!

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  27. The adorableness of your children far outstrips the adorableness of your pies! Congratulations!

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  28. What a beautiful baby, congratulations. Hope you recover well from C-section. Can't believe you're blogging already but as long as it's something you enjoy I'll enjoy reading.

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  29. Congratulations! Your babies are just beautiful!

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  30. Congratulations on the newest addition to the Humble household! He and is big sister are adorable. Glad to see you back blogging, we missed you! These mini strawberry-rhubarb pies look amazing, can't wait to try this recipe out :)

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  31. Congratulations. What a great picture of the two of them. :)

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  32. BEAUTIFUL! Both the new baby and the mini pies, of course :) Congratulations!

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  33. Just what I was looking for - something to cook with rhubarbs in! And congrats - both mini humbles look adorable!!

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  34. Congrats! How cute are the teeny Humbles? : ) I'm glad everyone's doing great!

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  35. Oh my wordy, the little things at the Humble's are ALL cute enough to eat! Your babies and pies are delicious ;)

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  36. Congratulations, I hope you both continue to recover and progress well.

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  37. Congratulations! I'm so impressed that you're blogging, baking extremely delicious looking mini-pies, *and* dealing with a newborn and big sister!

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  38. Very sweet picture (thank you for sharing it) and marvie recipe! (How ARE you doing it all?! I'm in awe!)

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  39. congratulations on your new arrival! he's gorgeous!!!

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  40. Congratulations!

    I saw this post on Friday and HAD to make them for a a bbq I was hosting that night. Rhubarb is in season here (Toronto), but strawberries not quite yet, so I had to cheat and use nasty Californian strawberries.

    No matter though, these were just awesome. I served them with a scoop of lemon sorbet - incredible. That being said, I don't know if I would EVER make them again - painful little devils to make.

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  41. Congrats! By blogging and baking so soon after, you've tremendously reduced my anxiety over my upcoming c-section. Thanks.

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  42. Congratulations!

    I just found your blog and, I have to say, it is spectacular. Would you ever consider sharing your pointers on how to capture beautiful food photos?

    You're an inspiration!

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  43. oh ms. h…the little humbles are adorable!
    congratulations!
    wishing you & mr. h the very best & just
    enjoy every moment & milestone!

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  44. Congratulations! Those little pies look absolutely perfect!

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  45. Awww, Congratulations! They're both just beautiful. And now you have a Millionaire's family!

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  46. Thank you for sharing such a precious picture of the little Humbles! Congratulations! :)

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  47. Very happy for you all! May all of your days with them be as happy as the expression on your daughter's face looking at him in that photo.

    Your gap looks about as much as between my 2. An older lady (jeepers, I think she was the age I am now! Yikes!) once gave me advice which I'll pass on to you.

    Sometimes, when it really isn't necessary, look at the baby while your daughter is nearby, and say, "Baby, you have to wait your turn now. It's (insert daughter's name) turn for mommy's attention."

    Hearing that, the older one relaxes, knowing that Mommy is aware that she needs attention as well. In our house this worked so well that my daughter started telling her brother, on occasion, "John, you have to wait right now. It's Mommy's time with me." LOL but it WORKED.

    The baby is completely clueless, but it gives the older one a BIG lift that she's not forgotten or overlooked -- and preps her for those times that she WILL have to wait for your attention as you deal with baby needs.

    My kids are 17 and 14 now and still very close. My prayer is that yours will also be each other's best friend as they mature and grow and go out into the world.

    And that you continue to have the gift for creating, photo-ing, and communicating beautiful and tasty food!

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  48. Congratulations on the latest little Humble. I have had my two newest grandchildren (one little girl, one little boy) these last few weeks, and they are a joy! Although the boy's big sister isn't too sure about how this is going to all pan out. When I went to visit last week, I made her feel better with....baking.

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  49. Congratulations! Seems you produce babies that are even cuter than your pies!

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  50. Congratulations!
    Have you seen this blog: http://bravetart.com/blog/TotalEclipseoftheTart
    This sounds weird to say as I don´t know either of you but I think you should be friends.

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  51. Just found your blog from searching for a picture of a lamington - can't wait to look around.

    Congratulations on the birth of bub, hope all is going well with you both :)

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  52. OMG, I love that combination, strawberries and rhubarb.<3 Looks magnificent! :))

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  53. You have a beautiful little family. Take care of yourself, and thank you for the new recipe. Can't wait to try it!

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  54. Congratulations! Little and Littlest Humble are adorable!

    Made the pie last week and it was delicious. I'm now eating ice cream with the left over syrup and its just as amazing!

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  55. Yor mini pies look delicious and fun.

    But it was the photo of the little Humbles that stole my heart. Congratulations!

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  56. Ahh these are soooo cute and look absolutely delicious!! I'm jealous of your photography skills haha since I still have so much to learn :) So glad to be your newest follower!!

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  57. Love these!! I copied your design & made mini apple pies. Thanks so much for the cute inspiration!!

    www.acreativemomma.blogspot.com

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