Tuesday, April 13, 2010
I have a life long love affair with Oregon Fruit, and some of my most treasured memories involve their Red Tart Cherries and holiday baking with my mom. It feels like Mom’s been making great cherry pies every Thanksgiving and Christmas forever. Or at least in my personal version of forever. I remember as a child, every time she opened a can of Oregon Fruit cherries, she’d tell us how wonderful their fruit was and how great it made her pies. To this day I still believe her, and now I use every kind of Oregon Fruit I can get my hands on. This time it was a can of gorgeous blackberries.
When you check the ingredient label on Oregon Fruit Blackberries it will simply read, “blackberries, water and sugar”. You won’t find corn syrup, chemicals, or any other garbage. Just top quality fruit picked and canned when perfectly ripe. Why can’t more food processors do this? This is what processed food should be!
I created this copycat recipe because my husband adores those fruit-like Hostess Pies. I thought if I could make a hand pie with the same taste and mouth texture of his beloved chemical filled ones, I might be able to convince him homemade can blow the packaged version out of the water.
It took a bit of trial and error, but these treats are a lot like the Hostess version, only with much better tasting blackberry filling and a tender almost cookie like olive oil crust. They’re so good I’ve already made five batches this past week in the name of “testing”! Ok, so maybe I just wanted to make more tasty hand pies and share them with my family and friends.
These little copycats completely won Jesse over and I don't think he'll be buying the Hostess version for awhile. Hopefully they'll win you over too.
Blackberry Fruit Pie Filling
You can leave out the Crème de Cassis if you aren’t comfortable baking with liqueurs. Although, by the time it’s said and done, there’ll likely be less residual alcohol in each pie than in other baked goods with vanilla extract.
1 (15 ounce) can Oregon Fruit Blackberries in Light Syrup
2 tablespoons Crème de Cassis Liquor (really enhances the flavor)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons unbleached flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
¼ cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1. Drain the blackberries and reserve the liquid.
2. In a medium sized saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter and add flour and salt. Cook stirring constantly until the mixture is a light golden brown. Slowly add the reserved berry liquid stirring to combine. Add the Crème de Cassis and sugar. Bring to a simmer and cook until thick stirring frequently.
3. Add the black berries to the saucepan. Gently stir often until it comes to a simmer. Let simmer for about 2 minutes or until mixture looks like it is starting to be come thick again. Remove pan from heat and stir in almond extract.
4. Move mixture to a bowl and cool uncovered to room temperature. Cover and refrigerate for a few hours until the mixture has gelled.
Olive Oil Pastry
You’ll need two batches of this dough to use up the fruit mixture. Don’t double up the batches though. The dough can get tough if you do. This simple dough takes just a minute to make, so it won’t take long to prepare two.
2 ¾ cups unbleached all purpose flour
1 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoons sugar
1/8 teaspoons baking powder
½ cup extra light olive oil (Vegetable oil will work too, but don't use extra virgin olive oil.)
½ cup milk
Whisk the dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Add the oil and milk all at once and stir just until moist and starting to combine. (Don’t over mix; there will still be some crumbs.) Press half the dough into wax paper and fold to cover. Press the other half of the dough in another piece of wax paper.
Refrigerate dough for about 20 to 30 minutes. This pastry cooperates better with less time sitting around, so make it shortly before assembling the hand pies.
Copycat Hostess Pie Assembly
1 teaspoon water
Flour for dusting
3 inch biscuit cutter or other pie cutter, stamper, or crimper
Silicon pastry brush
1 (standard size 50) cookie scoop
1. Make the glaze (below) and place in the refrigerator in a small covered bowl.
2. Flour a clean surface and roll out one section of pastry at a time like you would for pie, dusting the top with a little flour as needed.
3. Make an egg wash by beating the egg in a small bowl with 1 teaspoon water. Set aside. Line a couple cookie sheets with parchment paper, move the oven rack to the middle position and preheat to 375 degrees.
4. Cut the dough with a biscuit cutter as close as possible to each other. Move the rounds and roll out half the pieces about an inch large. Move the rounds to the cookie sheets. Patch any cracks by pressing them closed, or with small flat pieces of dough brushed with egg wash. Don’t worry about small cracks; the egg wash will seal them.
5. Scoop a small amount of filling onto the smaller dough pieces. Flip the large dough pieces over onto the top so the egg side is touching the filling. Press out the air and gently push the filling to the middle and seal the pastry well with your fingers. Cut again with the cutter for a pretty round shape and press the edges together with a fork.
6. Brush the tops with egg wash and bake for about 15 minutes until the edges just start to look golden brown. Don’t over bake. Move the pies to a cooling rack and set the timer for another 15 minutes. After time is up drizzle on some glaze and brush it over the pies. Cool completely.
7. Repeat with remaining dough tossing the scraps in the garbage can, as they don’t reroll well. Cooled pies can be places in sandwich bags and frozen to throw in lunch boxes or for quick treats that warm well in the microwave.
Makes about 15 or so hand pies.
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons milk
Place the butter in a microwave safe bowl. Melt the butter in the microwave. Stir in the salt, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract. Then whisk in the milk with a fork until smooth.
Recipe and photograph by Laura Flowers.