Sunday, June 20, 2010

Banana Pastries (mini pies)

On Friday, I had to speak at a meeting in Bangor, ME, a 2 hour drive away. I got Eric to drive (4 hours of driving in one day is too much for me). Eric and Maggie found a bookstore and coffee shop where I met them afterward. I found two cookbooks, one new, one used. I usually read or buy cookbooks and rarely make anything, much less only two days after buying it. But this time, I told myself I had to choose a recipe to make right away. These pies seemed easy, I had all the ingredients (although I went shopping for stuff for other recipes Friday afternoon so I could have made anything at all), and sounded yummy. Oh, wait, I had to buy apricots.

The book is Delicious Pastries: An Essential Collection of Recipes for Perfect Pastries (link to Amazon; hmmm, an import from England). Despite the subtitle, I will not be attempting perfection. I particularly like baking desserts and ooh and ahhh over pastries. A couple weeks ago, I tried croissants for the first time and when I saw this book, I thought it was high time I tried my hand at a few other pastries. And then I start with a simple pie? Oh well, I also have puff pastry and filo dough and will expand my repertoire shortly.

Banana Pastries

Your favorite double crust pie dough, such as the one from Joy of Cooking p 665.
2 large or 3 small bananas
1/2 c finely chopped dried apricots
pinch of nutmeg or cinnamon
dash of OJ
1 beaten egg yolk
powdered sugar for dusting

  1. Make the pie crust. If it's too tough, make a second batch. I got a head start yesterday...but had to make it over this morning.
  2. While the crust chills, smash the bananas and mix in apricots, nutmeg, and OJ.
  3. Roll out the dough in 2-4 pieces. Cut 4" diameter circles [see note below]. Put a tablespoon or so of filling on each circle, fold dough over, and pinch to seal. Press with the tines of a fork to seal and look pretty. Then proceed to next piece of dough. If you do all the circles at once, your dough might dry out by the time to get to the filling.
  4. Arrange on cookie sheet or Silpat. 6 easily fit, maybe more.
  5. Brush with beaten egg (I thought this made them look weird so I'll do w/o it next time). 
  6. Cut a small hole in each pie.
350, 25 minutes or till brown. Dust with sugar or make a powdered sugar glaze. Serve warm or cold with ice cream.

Note: We think the crust : filling ratio is off--too much crust. So I will try 6" pies next time. We put a glaze on top to counteract the crustiness. The picture is from before the glaze was put on.

Use the leftover pie crust to make crustie cookies.

What? You don't know crustie cookies? Another great recipe from my Mom, and probably my Grandma. I think I've run into just one other person who was familiar with these. But on the other hand, they go so quickly (Maggie and I ate half of these for a morning snack), it might just be that others make them and eat them without telling anyone else.

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