Thursday, February 25, 2010
Pear-Raspberry Heart Pies: Sweets for your Sweet
So, every once in a while, I completely loose my mind and decide to make a Martha Stewart recipe, despite the fact that I do have plans at some point during the next week. This very thing happened the night Mike was getting back from Ecuador, and which just so happened to be the Wednesday after Valentines Day. For whatever reason, I decided that I was not only going to spend all day running errands in Manhattan, something that usually exhausts me to the point of collapse, but I was also going to spend the evening making pesto, kimchi pancakes, and heart-shaped pies. Obviously, something had short-circuited in my brain.
Further, it's worth noting that these were not a regular old Martha Stewart Everyday Food deal. Oh no. These are from Martha Stewart Living (for which I got a free subscription from my JetBlue miles. What?). The "Living" in MSL means that in order to make anything from the magazine you must commit your life to making your own flower pots, infusing your own tea, and making pies in shapes other than "round"; i.e. you do not have a job. Luckily for me, I do not have a job. Well, one that pays me, anyway.
To make these pies I toiled away for five hours pain-stakingly rolling dough I cut by hand, tenderizing each individual raspberry with a gentle squeeze, and carefully positioning each granule of finishing sugar. Okay, okay. I'm bluffing. These were not all that hard to make; they're just time-consuming because you have to fridge the dough a couple of different times.
In addition to being relatively easy, these pies could also work with any larger-sized cookie cutter you have, so don't worry if you don't feel like getting all mushy and nummy with your snookums. As you can see, I also made an owl, which came out just as well and will not cause you to say something with pie you're not ready to say with your words. Or something.
As a testament to their deliciousness, I didn't get to eat even one of these! So, apparently, they are good. The recipe is pretty straight-forward, though I might make a bit more of the filling next time, just to make them extra plump and lovely.
Pear-Raspberry Heart Pies
From Martha Stewart Living, February 2010
Makes 10 (or 9 and 1 owl)
FOR THE PASTRY
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for surface
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
2 sticks cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons ice water
FOR THE FILLING
2 firm, ripe pears (1 pound), such as Anjou or Bartlett, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/4-inch cubes
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/3 cup fresh raspberries, coarsely chopped
1 large egg yolk, lightly beaten with 1 tablespoon heavy cream, for egg wash
sanding sugar, for sprinkling
1. Make the pastry: Pulse flour, salt, and granulated sugar in a food processor until combined. Add butter, and pulse until mixture resembles coarse crumbs with some larger pieces remaining, about 5 seconds.
2. Evenly drizzle ice water over mixture. Pulse until mixture just begins to hold together, about 10 seconds. Turn out dough onto plastic wrap, and wrap. Shape into a disk. Refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour or overnight.
3. Make the filling: Toss pears with lemon juice. Melt butter in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add pears, and toss to coat. Cook, adding granulated sugar a little at a time, until pears begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Stir in nutmeg. Transfer to a bowl, and mix in raspberries.
4. Divide dough in half, and roll out each piece to 1/8-inch thickness on a lightly floured surface. Refrigerate until firm, about 15 minutes.
5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Drain pear-raspberry filling in a sieve. Cut out 20 hearts from dough using a 4-inch cutter (I found mine at Sur La Table), transferring them to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Lightly brush rims of half the hearts with egg wash, and top each with 4 heaping teaspoons filling. Top with remaining hearts, and gently press around sides to seal.
6. Brush pie tops with egg wash, and sprinkle with sanding sugar. Bake until golden brown, about 40 minutes.