Monday, September 29, 2008

Pernese Bubbly Pies

Those over run juices? Best bit!

This recipe is taken from the "Dragonlover's Guide to Pern", written by Jody Lynn Nye with Anne McCaffrey. For a verbatim recipe try The Sninge's Lair. I'm going to paraphrase, and add the few tiny, little changes I made. And fill you in on the lazy bones way I did it all. (Warning: Epic length, sugar fuelled post!)

1/2 cup butter
2 tbsp sugar
2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup ice water

Cut the butter into chunks. Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl. Work the butter gently into the dry mixture with a fork until pieces the size of peas form. Sprinkle the water over and work it in. (Do not overwork the dough.) Form the dough into a ball.
You can make the dough in a food processor right up to the water step. Then you really are better off going by hand, or at least be more paranoid and stop more often than me, because I did the whole thing in the food processor, and somewhere between dough coming together and just right, I waited too long, and ended up with tough dough. This pastry was nothing special though, so I'm sure you could use a combination of shortcrust or puff pastries or even just your preferred sweet pie pastry.

5 cups blueberries (fresh or frozen)
2 1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 tbsp citrus juice (I used an Orange, Mango & Pineapple Nudie, because that's what I had)
1-2 tbsp butter or margarine (I forgot this)
Gently toss berries with sugar and cinnamon in a large bowl. Sprinkle citrus juice over mixture. Spoon berries into crust and dot with butter. Or take your frozen berries in their neat little resealable bag, tip the sugar, spice and juice in, and shake it all through. (Close the bag first!) If you are making the big pies as listed via the link, then I would use the butter. If making the little ones though, I'd skip it, because I didn't notice the loss, and it might interfere with setting of the awesome leakage toffee. ***Edit to note*** Somehow I got my sugar wrong, and added 2 1/2 cups instead of one. I've fixed that here, but just be aware that if you use the original recipe, you probably won't get the toffee awesome-ness I've described

For Twelve Gather-Pies
1 crust recipe
1/2 filling recipe

Divide dough evenly into 24 parts. I did that by making a large flat disc, dividing into 8, then rolling each triangle into a log, and cutting that into 3. Then I rolled each log piece into a ball. Put a piece of baking paper on a flat tray, cookie sheet, whatever. This is really important. Do NOT skip the paper. I added this in because I always bake everything on paper, because I'm lazy and don't like scrubbing trays. And it's a good thing too. Because these suckers are going to boil over, leaky sticky juices everywhere. And you are going to want to catch all that, and not only are you not going to want to clean it up, you are going to want to eat it. Every tooth achingly sweet tiny crumb. Berry toffee. How can you go wrong? And best of all, it comes 'free' with your pies!
Anyway, I was saying, paper your tray, then flatten 12 of your pastry balls and place them on the tray. Top each with about 1 tbsp of berry mix. Flatten the other 12, and cover the berries, picking up each pastry and making sure the edges are folded over and squooshed nice to fit. You can glaze these with 1/4 cup of water and 1 1/2 tbsp sugar if you like. I didn't, but in future I might use a bit of an egg wash. I got a lovely golden colour, but if they had golden'ed up a little earlier, my pastry may have behaved nicer. Stab the top of your pie 3 or 4 times, or you can more politely cut 3 or 4 small slits in the tops of your pies. Either way works, providing you don't stab through the bottom piece of pastry. Not that I did that. I'm just saying.
Bake at 200°C for 20-25 minutes, until crust is golden. Then walk the fine line between "serve hot" and "don't burn yourself on that molten toffee, ah shards these things are hot, oh the pain, the agony" because if you have to go to the emergancy room, your pies will be cold by the time you get home, and while that means you can get straight into that wonderful, wonderful toffee/leaked sugary goodness/mess on the tray, the pies are nicer while hot. At least small-children-bath-water-hot at any rate. Again, not that this happened to us, not with the speed my kids eat we were lucky to have them warmer than tepid, but I'd hate for it to happen to you. After all, sugar at high temps makes toffee, and that's one of the worst kitchen burns to get, right up there with oil or bacon fat (darn bacon, how can you be so good, yet so evil?).

Sorry, I think I got a little off track today. Must be all the sugar. Or not. They haven't really proved that have they? Somewhere I read today (no I can't remember where) that children in sugar-filled situations like birthday parties tend to get hyped no matter what they eat. Well, to you scientists, I say, what about a 19 year old who downs 32 of those little prepackaged teaspoon serves of sugar that you get in cafes, in one hour, and then is buzzing all night like a bad speed rush hmm? Except that I never took speed, but my friends and I regularly used to down "sugar shots" as we called them, to the point that the cafe we used to hang out at had to stop putting sugar on the tables, and only have them at the counter next to the registar.

Oh, right, the pies. Sorry.

Master Four ate two, as well as half a Turkish Delight that his father bought for him to have (as) with his dessert, and a third of my Double Dipped Cherry Ripe. (Nice concept, but I have to say, if they stuck with the regular 45% choc instead of switching up to the 70% I'd have liked it better. I don't like my dark choc super strong) Miss Two ate the other half of Turkish Deligh, a 1/3 of the Cherry Ripe, and the filling from one pie. She then ate a little of the pastry, and procedded to poke dints in the rest of it with her fingers until bedtime.

I had three. Plus all the toffee I could flake off the paper without tearing up the leftover pies.

This was going to be an entry for Novel Food #5, but in a moment of absentmindedness, I rearranged my menu plan calendar and put these in a week past the deadline! But go check out the round ups anyway, over at Champaign Taste and briciole.