It's fitting that a book with the title Cutie Pies was made in a cute little shape. It's a small square of a book, but there are 40 recipes for pies in various shapes and sizes including cutie pies which are baked in a muffin tin, petit-5s baked in a mini muffin tin, pie jars baked in mason jars, flipsides or hand pies, pie pops which are tiny lollipop pies, and full-sized pies. This is the new book from Dani Cone of Seattle's High Five Pie and Fuel Coffee, and I received a review copy. Although some pies are recommended for specific shapes and crusts, there are also tips for mixing and matching the fillings with other pie shapes and crusts where possible. And, there are both sweet and savory options in most configurations. A few ideas that caught my eye were the mac 'n cheese cutie pies, banana-blueberry pudding petit-5s, peach-ricotta-honey pie jars, caramel-pecan pie pops, and the peanut butter and jelly full-sized pie. I'm always drawn to the idea of hand pies since they're so easy to grab and go, and making savory ones sounded like a great idea for lunch. I zeroed in on the flipsides filled with broccoli, cheddar, and mushroom which are made with the all-butter crust.
The crust recipe is a straightforward one, and the mixing technique suggested is using a pastry blender or your hands. I actually prefer to work butter into flour with my hands so I can feel when the pieces seem to be about the right size. So, flour, salt, and a scant teaspoon of sugar were combined in a large bowl, and cold, cubed butter was worked into that mixture by hand. Ice water was slowly added while hand mixing until the dough came together. It was wrapped in plastic and chilled for an hour before being rolled and cut into circles. For the flipsides, six-inch circles are suggested, but that seemed kind of big to me. I found a round plastic lid to use as a guide, and it measured just over five inches in diameter which seemed fine. Before cutting the dough into circles, the filling was made by combining chopped broccoli florets, chopped mushrooms, and salt and pepper. Some cheddar was grated, and I left that in a separate bowl rather than mixing it with the vegetables. That way, I could top the pies with some extra cheddar, that wasn't mixed up with the vegetables, before baking. I found that the twelve ounces of suggested cheddar was a lot more than I needed, and I think six to eight ounces would have been plenty. With all the fillings ready, the dough circles were filled, pinched to close, and then cut with a fluted-edge pastry wheel. They were brushed with egg wash, topped with more grated cheddar and a sprinkling of sea salt and black pepper, and they baked for about 30 minutes.
They came out of the oven golden, crispy, and delicious. Leftovers can be re-warmed in the oven to bring back the crispness of the crust, or you could freeze extra pies before baking and then bake as needed straight from the freezer. The flipsides were fun to make and delightful to eat, and now I can't wait to try making a cute little pie on a stick.
Broccoli, Cheddar, and Mushroom Flipsides
re-printed from Cutie Pies with publisher's permission, Andrews McMeel Publishing, LLC
makes 10 flipsides (or 16 cutie pies, 36 petit-5s, 8 pie jars, or 50 pie pops)
1 pound fresh broccoli florets, chopped (about 5 cups)
4 ounces fresh white button mushrooms, sliced (about 1 cup)
3 cups (12 ounces) shredded shard cheddar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
All-Butter Crust (recipe follows)
1 egg, slightly beaten
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cold, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
3/4 cup ice water
1. In a large bowl, combine the flour, salt, and sugar, and mix well.
2. Add the butter to the flour mixture, and mix gently with a pastry blender, a fork, or your hands. The goal is to lightly incorporate the butter into the dry ingredients. The butter pieces should be well coated with the dry mixture and somewhat flattened.
3. Gradually add the water to the flour mixture, 1 tablespoon at a time, and continue mixing the dough until it comes together and forms pea-sized or crouton-sized crumbs. The dough should look like coarse individual pieces, not smooth and beaten together like cookie dough.
4. With your hands, gather the dough crumbs together to form 2 patties, gently molding the crumb-like mixture into a patty shape and being careful not to overhandle the dough. Wrap each patty in plastic wrap.
5. Chill the dough for at least 1 hour, or up to 3 days. The dough can also be frozen for up to 2 weeks.
6. When you're ready to use the dough, let it sit at room temperature for at least 10 minutes to soften it and make it workable. On a lightly floured surface, roll out each of the 2 dough patties to about 1/4-inch thickness, lightly dusting it with flour, if needed, to prevent sticking, and making sure to roll the dough evenly.
For the flipsides:
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Place a rack in the center of the oven. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, a silicone mat, or lightly spray with nonstick spray.
2. To make the filling, in a large bowl, combine the broccoli, mushrooms, and cheese, stir to thoroughly combine.
3. Pour the salt and pepper over the broccoli mixture, and toss to evenly distribute.
4. To make the crust, follow the All-Butter Crust recipe and roll out the dough per the instructions.
5. Cut 10 (6-inch) circles from the dough. Reroll the dough to make all the circles, being careful to avoid overhandling the dough. Brush each circle lightly with beaten egg, making sure to brush right to the edges.
6. Spoon the broccoli mixture evenly onto the center of the 10 circles. Pick up a dough circle so that it's lying flat(ish) in one hand. With the other hand, fold the circle up (like a taco) and tightly pinch the edges together flat to seal the crust, starting at one corner and pinching around to the other corner. Lay the circle down on the work surface, and with a fluted-edge pastry wheel, cut around the outermost edge to give the crust a neat finish. (This edge is for looks, not to seal the crust, so make sure you've thoroughly pinched the crust together.) Make 3 small slits in the top of the Flipside, and place it on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat this process for each of the 10 Flipsides.
7. Lightly brush the tops of the Flipsides with the remaining beaten egg.
8. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes, until the crust is golden.
Note: I used only six to eight ounces of grated cheese, and I left the cheese separate from the vegetables rather than mixing it all together. After brushing the flipsides with the beaten egg, I added extra grated cheddar on top and sprinkled them with sea salt and black pepper.