This recipe will be your new holiday favorite. Bring these Cutie Pies to your next holiday party and wow 'em! Festive cranberries and the freshness of fall- harvested pears make a tasty combination, and a little kick of ginger makes the flavor unique.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Place a rack in the center of the oven. Spray the cups of a muffin pan with nonstick pan spray.
To make the pie filling, in a large saucepan, stir the water and sugar to combine. Bring the water-sugar mixture to a boil over medium-high, and stir constantly until the sugar dissolves.
Add the cranberries to the sugar mixture, and lower the heat. Simmer the cranberries for about 10 minutes or until the cranberries start to pop. Drain the cranberries and set them aside.
Peel, core, and cut the pears into 1/2-inch cubes. 5. In a large bowl, mix together the pears, ginger, and cornstarch. Add the cranberries and stir to combine.
To make the crust, follow the All-Butter Crust recipe and roll out the dough per the instructions.
Cut 16 (5 1/2-inch-diameter) circles from the dough. Reroll the dough scraps to make all the circles, and avoid overhandling the dough.
Gently but firmly press each dough circle into a muffin cup. For the crust edges, use the fold-tuck-crimp method (see page 13) for each Cutie Pie.
Spoon the filling evenly into the Cutie Pie shells, and set aside.
If choosing the Crumb Top option, follow the Crumb Top recipe and sprinkle it over the filling.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until the crust is golden brown. To see if the crust bottom is golden, too, use a butter knife to pop a Cutie Pie out of a muffin cup. If the bottom is not brown, bake a few minutes longer. If the pie top is browning too quickly, cover with foil for the final few minutes.
In a large bowl, combine the flour, salt, and sugar, and mix well.
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.
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.
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.
Chill the dough for at least 1 hour, or up to 3 days. The dough can also be frozen for up to 2 weeks.
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 a 1/4-inch thickness, lightly dusting it with flour, if needed, to prevent sticking, and making sure to roll the dough evenly.
1 double-crust 9-inch pie, 2 single-crust 9-inch pies, or 16 Cutie Pies, or 36 Petit-5s, 8 Piejars, 10 Flips ides, or 50 Piepops
In a large bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar, granulated sugar, salt, and cinnamon, and mix well.
Add the butter to the flour mixture, and mix thoroughly with a pastry blender, a fork, or your fingers until the texture is like small peas.
Add the rolled oats, and mix to create a crumbly consistency.
Sprinkle the crumb topping over a pie, Cutie Pies, or Petit-5s before baking.
Makes enough crumb topping for 1 (9-inch) Pie, 16 Cutie Pies, or 36 Petit-5s
From Cutie Pies by Dani Cone, Andrews McMeel Publishing