Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Copycat Hostess Blackberry Fruit Pie



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
You’ll need:
1 egg
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
Parchment paper
Cookie sheets

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.

Glaze

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.


30 comments:

Sue Sparks said...

Laura,
Now that it's berry season I'll have to try my hand at some of these! They look full of fruit and delicious!

Memória said...

Woah!!! Those pies look amazing! I wish I could have been there to help you out with the taste-testing!! They look beautiful, and I love the way the glaze looks.

Cherine said...

These fruit pies look absolutely fantastic. A fabulous treat!

l'optimiste said...

oo - the photo looks so good I could just eat my screen!

Pink Little Cake said...

Laura, these pies look so yummy, I whish you could send me one!

Mimi said...

They do look yummy. I have garden black berries in the freezer just waiting to be baked.
Mimi

Dawn said...

I agree...why CAN'T they just use simple ingredients? I am impressed with this one! We had tons of blackberries where I grew up in MASS and I was very sad when the builders cleared them for homes. They are one of my favorite things!

The Cooking Photographer said...

Hi Everyone!

@Dawn- Thanks this was a work in progress but I finally got it to work well. I totally agree, why not just lose the garbage?

Cookie said...

These look SO much better than the Hostess stuff! Ever since I started baking, I can't bring myself to eat any of that processed stuff from the stores any more. Homemade is just ALWAYS better!

Fran said...

These look so good. I hate to admit it, but I used to love those Hostess pies as well . I also liked the chocolate cream filled cupcakes. I think I liked these things because it reminded me of my grsndmother. She'd buy the cupcakes for my sister and me when we'd go to stay over. It was not something my mom would have in the house, so it was a special treat from when we'd go see Nanny. She would regale us with stories of "The olden days" as we ate our pies or cupcakes.

Sweet memories.

Veronica Miller said...

Love the photo--you even added some fresh flowers! If I weren't so lazy, I'd be taking notes. These sound so good! I used to live for Hostess pies, especially the chocolate pudding, but now I can't even think about touching them. I can't believe some of the stuff I used to love. If I wanted a hand-pie now, I'd be making these! Down with large-scale manufactured baked goods!

notyet100 said...

wow this looks so delicious

allisacda said...

just curious - why no evoo in the pastry? Is the flavor to strong? These look super yummy!!!

Joy said...

These used to be my favorite as a kid. I still crave them until I see how many calories are on the back of the package.

Sophie said...

These filled pockets look so tasty & georgous too!

What a fab creation!

shaz said...

Mmmm! So clever Laura. I'm definitely gonna try this one. Would work with apples too I reckon.

Again I say, yum!

The Cooking Photographer said...

Hi Allisacda,

That's just why. It's too strongly flavored for this pastry. Although, you could probably use it if you really wanted or liked the flavor.

Laura

Esi said...

If you have extra, feel free to send me a bunch! I could probably eat at least 5 no problem ;)

ghweiss said...

Even as a kid I sorta understood that those pies were pure evil, a once-a-month indulgence at most. I think I just gained weight thinking about them...

lisa said...

I bet your homemade version was just incredible! The fruit and cassis in the filling sounds amazing, and the glaze on top looks great. Wish I had a freezer full of these!

dawn said...

you did an AMAZING job here. I mean it. And yes the cassis is the best flavor-enhancer ever.

Diana's Cocina said...

What a fabulous treat!

Katrina said...

Ooh, I want to try that olive oil pastry. And I love that you called it "fruit-like" Hostess pies.

His Talmidat said...

My husband adores hostess pies, so with a prayer to God to help me (a not so great baker) find something to try to tempt another direction, google gave me you. Thanks for experimenting so much, I would never know what to try! Do you think these are possible for someone who is still learning to bake and has never made pie dough? Oh, and I just saw that you freeze them! What a Godsend you are!

The Cooking Photographer said...

You can do this one, it isn't too bad. Just make the filling first and stick it in the fridge.

When it's ready to go stir the dough together. It's not like normal pie dough and shouldn't rest too long or it becomes gummy. It's much easier than a regular pie dough.

I hope this works for you!

Laura

His Talmidat said...

Thanks, Laura! I'll tuck away your tips and try to let you know how it goes when I try it.

Amelia PS said...

oh these sounds wonderful and tender.
Amelia from www.ztastylife.com
P.s. what is a hostess pie??? excuse my ignorance :)

Laura S. said...

My hubby was just asking if we could make this sort of thing, so I googled and found your recipe. I about fell out of my chair though when I saw that you live in Moscow, ID too! Whoa!

We just finished making these tonight, and they're *fantastic.* Thank you so much! Maybe we'll bump into each other on the street some day. ;)

Lori said...

I have never heard of olive oil pastry. Your pies look so good. I so need to try these.

MicheleAnn said...

Hi. Instead of tossing the extra dough. Combine, roll out, spread with butter, sprinkle with cinnamon sugar, roll up, cut 2" wheels and bake.

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