I don’t know about you, but I can’t believe how fast this summer is flying by. Between my work schedule and my belated honeymoon to Italy, I don’t think I’ve had very many long and lazy summer evenings this year. Long gone are the days of my teenaged years that I spent in the swimming pool, climbing out only to eat a sandwich or to drip through my mom’s kitchen to go to the bathroom. I miss giggling with my best friend on the front porch, with the crickets and lightening bugs keeping us company. My parents had long since gone to bed and we giggled and talked until we saw the headlights of her mom’s car pull into my driveway. And I can still imagine waking up in the morning to the summer sounds of humming lawnmowers, ticking sprinklers and bouncing basketballs throughout the neighborhood.
To remind myself that it’s summer and that summer is meant for quiet evenings doing nothing but enjoying life, I turn to fruit pie and ice cream. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a steamy August morning, a scorching July afternoon or a muggy Indian summer night, everyone finds the time to slow down the pace for pie and ice cream. This recipe is perfect for making pocket pies. That’s right – everyone gets their own personal pie to bring out to that backyard hammock or front porch swing and watch the world go by and the summer slip away all too soon. Here’s to summer and to savoring every moment of it!
Fruit Pocket Pies (adapted from Williams Sonoma and can be used with their Pocket Pie Mold)
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
2 tbs. sugar, plus more for sprinkling
16 tbs. (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter
6 to 8 tbs. ice water
½ – 1 cup frozen or canned fruit pie filling (I use cherry, blueberry or apple)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 egg, lightly beaten with 1 tsp. water
Vanilla ice cream for serving
In a food processor, pulse together the flour, salt and 2 tablespoons of sugar sugar until combined, about 5 seconds. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal, about 10 pulses. Add 6 tablespoons of ice water and pulse twice. The dough should hold together when squeezed with your fingers but should not be sticky. If it is crumbly, add more water, 1 teaspoon at a time, pulsing twice after each addition. Divide the dough in half, wrap with plastic wrap and press each into a disk. Refrigerate for at least two hours or up to overnight.
Let the dough stand at room temperature for 5 minutes.
On a floured surface, roll out one dough disk into a round 1/16 to 1/8 inch (2-3mm) thick. Brush off the excess flour. Using a pocket pie mold, cut out 8 of each shape (4 solid and 4 with the decorative cutout). Reroll the dough scraps, if necessary, and cut out more shapes. Repeat with the remaining dough disk.
Place a solid dough shape in the bottom half of the cutter and gently press the dough into the mold. Fill the center with 1 to 2 tbs. of pie filling and brush the edges of the dough with some of the egg wash. Top with a shape with a decorative cutout. Press the top half of the cutter down to seal and crimp the edges of the pie. Remove the pie from the mold and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining dough and filling. Freeze the pies for 30 minutes.
Preheat an oven to 400°F. Brush the top of the pies with egg wash and sprinkle with sugar. Bake until the crust is golden brown and the filling is gently bubbling, about 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer the pies to a wire rack and let cool for 10 minutes. Serve with vanilla ice cream. Makes about 8 pocket pies.