I can honestly say that I may have discovered a new favorite recipe for pie crust. Yup, that's right - pie. crust. In all of my baking life (....that would be approximately 33 years of such a life as I started baking at the young age of 8) I have always kept an eye out for a delicious, foul proof, FLAKY and easy recipe for pie crust. I have come across many a pie crust recipe that was either too dry, too difficult to make and even just plain old yucky tasting.
Because I have been brought up to share well with others I will be sharing this fabulous pie crust recipe with all of you....including a beautiful berry filling and lovely streusel topping. All of which will come together as Mini VERY Berry Pies!! Happiness.
My happiness all started when I found out my May assignment for the Secret Recipe Club. I was given the blog called, The Wimpy Vegetarian. Let me tell you there is NOTHING wimpy about Susan's blog. It is packed with gorgeous food and brilliant recipes. I was honored and delighted to have spent this past month browsing through Susan's recipes. She is truly a talented lady in the kitchen and has a long list of amazing accomplishments in the cooking world. I may just need to invite her over for tea the next time she ventures over to my neck of the woods. Susan, you are amazing and you are always welcome in my home!
I almost made Susan's recipe for Peaches and Honey Frozen Yogurt as I would love a nice big bowl of frozen yogurt. I then switched gears and planned on making her lovely Kale and Cauliflower Tart with Cheddar Cheese Crust - oh my goodness, what a beautiful looking savory tart it is! But then all bets were off when I read through her recipe for Mini VERY Berry Tarts as I was intrigued with the crust. The pie crust is not only made in the food processor but it has CREAM CHEESE as one of the ingredients (along with butter, flour, salt, ice water and FRESHLY SQUEEZED LEMON JUICE!). And then as I read through ingredients for the streusel topping for the mini pies I discovered that GROUND FLAX SEED was tossed in with the oats, brown sugar, butter and flour. At the moment I have a tiny bit of an obsession over flax seeds. I like to add it to everything.
I was so pleased with how my mini pies came out. Not only did they look good but the crust was over-the-top d'lish! Flaky. Yes, very flaky. And light not too dense at all. The filling was also quite good although I do think that once berries are in season here in Southern NH, the filling will be even better. I loved the streusel topping too. I poured in those ground flax seeds with delight over knowing that my girls would get some extra nutrition when they ate their pies. Happy mommy over here!
I made my pies in my favorite mini pie pans but Susan suggested making them in mini muffin pans. What a great idea as the recipe will provide happiness for many more people than just 4 hungry mouths.
Mini VERY Berry Pies
(recipe from The Wimpy Vegetarian)
1 1/3 cup flour
1 Tbsp granulated sugar
1/2 tsp salt
6 Tbsps unsalted butter, cut into 6 slices, well chilled
2 Tbsps cream cheese, well chilled
2 Tbsps + 1 tsp very cold water
2 tsps. freshly squeezed lemon juice
Streusel Topping Ingredients:
1/4 cup quick cooking oats
1/4 cup ground flax seeds
1 Tbsp flour
pinch of Kosher salt
2 Tbsp firmly packed brown sugar
2 tsp cocoa nibs (which I omitted as I didn't have on hand)
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground cardamom
3-4 Tbsps unsalted butter, softened
2 Tbsps granulated sugar
2 Tbsps flour
pinch of Kosher salt
2 1/2 cups fresh berries, rinsed and dried (I used cut up strawberries and blueberries - Susan used blackberries and blueberries)
2 Tbsp cream cheese
1 Tbsp coconut milk
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. And then prepare pie crust. In the bowl of a food process add in flour, sugar and salt. Pulse all together for a couple of times. Add in chilled butter and cream cheese and pulse all together until slightly bigger than small pea sizes form - about 10-12 pulses. Drizzle in cold water along with the lemon juice as the food processor runs. Pulse just until the dough starts to come together forming moist crumbs that clump together.
2. Dump crust mixture onto a large piece of plastic wrap and form into a disc. Wrap disc tightly and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
3. Prepare streusel topping. In medium size bowl combine oats, flour, ground flax seed, salt, cocoa nibs and spices until blended all together. Add in softened butter with a fork or pastry cutter. Mix and mash until all the ingredients are well blended and small crumbs form. Place topping into refrigerator until needed.
4. Take out the chilled disc of crust from refrigerator and allow to come to room temp as you prepare berry filling. In a large bowl add in flour, sugar and salt - mix all together. Add in 1 cup of berries and slightly mash them with a fork. Add in remaining berries along with cream cheese and coconut milk, making sure all ingredients are well blended together.
5. Roll out pie crust to desired size. If you wish to use a mini muffin pan a circle cookie cutter will come in handy to make the right size crust for all the muffin cups. No need to grease your pan or pie plates. Divide berry filling amongst your prepared pie crusts and then top evenly with streusel topping. Bake in preheated oven for 27-30 minutes - until crust is a golden brown and filling is bubbly. Cool for a good 15 minutes before serving. Vanilla ice cream goes nicely with these little treasures. Enjoy!
Happy Mini VERY Berry Pies Baking!