July 22, 2013

Mini Mango Pies

As I mentioned in my post for crocheted sunflower coasters, my amazing, supportive, brilliant preceptor Lisa is leaving for Cleveland.   Our unit threw was throwing a little goodbye party for her, so I obviously took this as an excuse to have a new adventure in the baking arena.

I had come across these cute little hand pies by Handmade Charlotte on Pinterest.  They're filled with a sweetened cream cheese and jam, and are pretty simple and very adorable (if a little bit time consuming).  So at work on Wednesday I asked Lisa about her favorite fruit.

As you can guess by the title, her favorite fruit is the mango.  This eliminates the jam and cream cheese filling concept, and led me to the more exciting concept of executing the filling.  The tricky part is that mangoes can be a little stiff, and the shortened baking time with a mini pie means it might not have time to soften.

My favorite apple pie recipe calls for sautéing your apples with butter and sugar for a little bit to speed up the ooey-gooey process. So that's what we did with the mangoes!  I mean if it goes wrong people will still pretend they like it, so what's the worst that can happen?

I also took on the ambitious challenge of making my own pie crust.  For a lady who loves pie (it's only a million times better than cake), I'd never gone to the trouble to make my own crust.  I just buy those rolled up raw dough ones from Pillsbury and they're totally fine.  But what's summer without adventure?!  So we're making real crust.  It was a little frustrating (especially with the heat) but turned out to be entirely worth it for a coworker to tell me, "this crust is amazing, it tastes just like my grandmother's."  There's no greater complement.

The crust recipe I used came from smitten kitchen. Personally, I think what makes it extra yummy is the orange zest.  Any maybe the buttermilk.  Whatever makes it, it's great.  Well worth the effort, in my humble opinion.








You'll Need:

Crust:
3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp fresh orange zest
1 1/2 TB sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups unsalted butter- cold and cut up
3/4 to 1 cup buttermilk

Filling:
3 mangoes, diced
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 TB butter


To make the crust:


Mix flour, sugar, zest, and salt.  I just finely grated the outside of an entire navel orange, becuase I figured you couldn't have too much zest.  

And then I dropped my orange in the flour.  Peeling this for Joe to eat after that was a little icky.


Next add in your chopped up butter and mush it together with two forks, the back of a big spoon, or give up and use your hands (happens every time).  This is easier if you're a fancy person with a pastry blender, but some of us are old school.


When you figure those bumps are small and squishy enough (pea-sized according to my source), add 1/2 cup of buttermilk and mix it all in.  Keep adding by little it'll form into a nice doughy ball.  Then separate into two balls, flatten them into discs, saran wrap them and set in the fridge.

Per said source, they'll keep in the fridge for two days, or the freezer for two months.  Leave them in the fridge for a day to defrost before using.


To make the filling:


The easiest way I've found to cut mangoes is to slice them long-ways on either side of the oblong pit, and then cut around it.  cut your cubes into the unpeeled mango, push it inside out, and cut the cubes off.


Put butter, brown sugar, and mangoes in a saucepan and stir on medium heat until soft.  


Construction:

Roll out your dough on a floured surface.  I finally invested in a rolling pin for this project, thank god.  It's only $7 at Dominick's so it was worth getting.  roll over a few times, turn it, roll some more times, until you get your dough about 1/8 inch thick.  


I used a wine glass to cut my pies into about 3 inch circles.  Just use what you have.  You could use a pizza cutter to make squares or triangles instead. Ball up that leftover dough, set it in the fridge, and roll it out with your next ball of dough.


If your kitchen is as warm as mine was (it's a freaking heat wave) you'll want to keep setting your dough back in the fridge so it doesn't get too hot and mushy.  This makes it WAY easier to work with.


Take one pie crust, top with a dollop of filling, and press another crust on top.  Cut a little design in the top so the steam comes out the top and gooey stuff doesn't ooze out the sides.


Sprinkle with coarse sugar. 

And bake for about 15 minutes on 350 or until lightly browned and bubbly.







Eat up, fellow pie lovers! And rejoice in an easily transported and sharable pie. 
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