Peach Rhubarb Hearts.

I’m not sure if there is some kind of clinical name for this disorder I seem to have, but it is impossible for me to enter a Williams Sonoma and not buy something.  Generally it’s something small and unnecessary, and usually overpriced. One of these impulse buys was a heart shaped pocket pie mold. I mean how sweet is that… little heart shaped individual pies?  Well, I’ve used this contraption a grand total of ONCE in the last YEAR that I’ve owned it, so I decided to bust it out to make some Peach Rhubarb pocket pies.

Pie is actually my favorite thing to make, believe it or not.  Fillings are so easy to improvise with what you have on hand, and once you find a crust recipe that you are comfortable with, pie is no longer some intimidating undertaking leaving you anxious over the flakiness (or lack thereof) or dreaded bitterness of a homemade crust.  I use the sweet crust recipe from Joy of Cooking, and I always at least double the recipe and freeze the extras.  That way I can whip up a pie whenever I might need one.  Which is more often than you’d expect.

One more note before we get started.  This is the first time I have ever even SEEN rhubarb in person (seriously, I was at the market and I was only 90% sure what I was buying was actually rhubarb and not some weird jungle stalk vegetable).  So I did what I always do when I’m nervous, I overcooked it.  It wasn’t very flavorful by the time I was done with it, but then again, I’m not sure if what I bought was good rhubarb or bad rhubarb.  If you have any enlightening words on the matter, please comment below and save my friends and family from having to eat rhubarb mush again.  Oh, and the only reason I used frozen peaches is because there were absolutely no fresh ones at the market. NONE. I guess I’m jumping the gun a little on this summer fruit thing.

So, let’s get baking some pies!

Here’s what you need for crust (two batches, though you’ll only use one for this recipe), feel free to use your own special recipe if you have one.

5 cups flour

1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

2 1/2 tsp salt

1 lb (4 sticks or  2 cups) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 cubes

1/2 cup chilled veggie shortening

8-12 Tbsp ice water

And for the filling:

5 hefty stalks of rhubarb

1 bag frozen peaches (bonus if they’re fresh, peeled, and chopped into bite size!)

1 1/2 cups sugar

2 Tbsp apple juice

1 Tbsp Tapioca Flour

Let’s start with the dough, as it should chill before being used.  Pie dough is not scary! There are three things to remember and if you do those thing, and follow your recipe, everything will be tender and flaky and golden and beautiful and tasty.  First, make sure your ingredients are as cold as they can be.  Second, don’t overmix, those little clumps of butter end up making layers in the dough which means flaky crust once it’s been cooked.  And last, always cook your crust at a really high temperature, at least 400′ unless, of course, your recipe says differently.

So, whisk together your dry ingredients in a large bowl.  Drop in the butter and shortening.

Use a pastry blender or fork to begin working the butter and shortening into the flour.

After a couple minutes of this, it’s a good idea to switch to using your hands.  Using the tips of your fingers, continue working the larger chunks of butter and  shortening into the flour until your mixture looks like very course wet sand.

Sprinkle 8 Tbsp ice water over the dough, and incorporate it using a fork and a kind of fluffing motion.  Add more water 1 Tbsp at a time until the dough will hold together if squeezed.

Form four discs and wrap them individually in plastic wrap.  Throw two of those guys in the freezer for another day and two in the fridge to chill for our pocket pies.

The filling I made tasted fine.  It wasn’t crazy good, and I’m pretty sure I cooked the rhubarb to death, but it worked. I’ve reduced the cooking times in this recipe, so hopefully yours will be a little more fantastic.

First, wash your rhubarb.

Cut it into little pieces, roughly 1/2″ cubes.

Put into a large pot and cover with sugar.

Add the orange juice and cook over medium high heat for about 10 minutes.

By now, the rhubarb will be starting to break down and get soft.  Add in the peaches.  Since mine were frozen, I couldn’t cut them in to pieces ahead of time.  Once they thawed in the mixture I was able to use my spoon to break them up.

Continue to cook for another 8 or so minutes, and if the mixture is too watery, add some tapioca flour.  You won’t need more than a Tbsp, a little of this stuff goes a long way when thickening.

When you’re satisfied, remove the pot from the heat and let it cool off.

I used my little contraption to assemble these pies, but as long as you have a cookie cutter, you really don’t need one these things.

Preheat to 400′.

First take your two discs of dough out of the fridge.

Roll one disc to about 1/8th of an inch thick.

Cut out 12 (or as many as you can) top pieces.  It’s ok to re roll and cut out more shapes if you don’t get them all in one go. If you’re using a cookie cutter, make sure you create some kind of steam vent in these pieces so your pies don’t explode in the oven.  This can simply be a couple slashes, or you can use a smaller cutter to make a shape.

Now roll out your second disc and cut out the same number of bottom pieces.  These pieces don’t have any kind of steam vent in them.

If you have a pie maker, you set the bottom piece in first.

Drop in a couple spoonfuls of filling (not too much, or your crust will break in the oven!).

Brush the entire outside edge of the dough with a little water (to make it stick).  Then place the crust with the steam vent on top.

Then close the pie mold, give it a little squeeze, and when you open it, you’ll have a pie ready to cook.

If you don’t have a mold, simply use a fork to crimp the edges of your crust pieces together.

For a crispier crust, brush the tops with an egg wash and sprinkle a little sugar on them before baking.

Bake for about 8 minutes, then rotate the pan and bake for another 6 to 8 minutes.

When they’re done, the edges will be brown and the tops will be pale golden.

These are a great gift to give, since they are much easier to transport than a whole pie, and they’re also great snacks.  I’ve been eating them like fancy pop tarts for breakfast! Hope you love them!

Published in: on May 17, 2010 at 9:47 am  Comments (3)  

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3 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. […] just showed you my Joy of Cooking sweet pie crust recipe over here, so I’m not going to bore you with it again.  Other than that, here is what you […]

  2. […] make a pie crust, here is the recipe I […]

  3. […] what you need: One recipe of pie dough (my go to recipe is here, but you can probably use store bought for this […]

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