Days like today I wish I was in the middle of the woods somewhere picking berries, admiring the puffy clouds, day dreaming and sipping lemonade out of a mason jar. Instead I am waist deep in laundry, trying to organize bills, getting dinners prepped and in the freezer for future meals and attempting to keep my kids from throwing each other off the couch. All I want to do is lock myself in a closet so I can sit and eat a sandwich without half of it being eaten by little munchkins. A few months ago Dan and I were watching Jamie Oliver’s cooking show, and we were cracking up watching him in the middle of the woods making a dish on a tree stump. (not kidding) Not your average cook’s set up. However, Jamie’s fresh, rustic way of cooking is extremely appealing to me. And days like today I wish I had a kitchen set up in the middle of the woods to clear my mind and stir up some grub in silence. This motivated me to look through of Jamie’s cook books I stumbled across this Sweet Pastry Dough and knew I had to try it. I will be the first to admit I have never made pie dough from scratch. Food processors are always recommended for the easiest route, and I do not have one. But Jamie’s simple approach with using forks to cut the butter (I ended up using my fingers) was so easy I knew it would be a winner. It did not let me down. Not only was this dough ridiculously easy to throw together, but the flavor was outstanding. The chunks of butter throughout the dough guaranteed a flaky pastry, and the lemon that is zested within brightens the entire dough up. DELIGHTFUL! I decided to cut heart shapes, and fill them with tiny diced apple mixed with cinnamon and sugar. We dropped them off to family and they were a hit. The fillings (like any “pie”) would be endless, and I am sure by the end of next week I’ll be tempted to try some new ones.
PASTRY DOUGH RECIPE:
- 2 medium apples, diced into small cubes
- tsp of Lemon Juice
- 1/3 cup Sugar
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- Have a small bowl of water set aside, to help the pie dough layers stick together
- 1 egg + 1 tsp of water
- A few tablespoons of granulated sugar to top the pies
Pre heat oven to 350* Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper
Peel, slice and cube your apples. Place them into a bowl with your lemon juice, cinnamon and sugar, mix well and set aside. Have a small bowl of cool water ready as well.
Once your pastry dough has chilled for an hour your ready to roll it out to cut your chosen shape. Flour your work surface before you start rolling. Roll the dough to 1/8-1/4 inch thickness. I had a TON of hearts, with lots of scraps so I rolled the scraps together and placed them back into the fridge until I was done assembling the pies. Take one heart, and dip your finger into cool water, tracing the edge of the heart. Place 1 tsp of apple filling into the center of the heart, and then place a second heart on top pressing down to seal it. Place on your baking sheet, and continue assembling until your baking sheets are full. Before placing them into the oven, make your egg wash and brush the hearts with it. Slice a few slits, or poke a few holes into the pies to aid in venting while baking, and sprinkle a little bit of granulated sugar on top. Bake at 350* for 15-20 minutes, or until the bottoms are slightly golden. Place on a wire cooling rack to cool. Once cooled, put pies into an airtight container.
*While my first batch baked in the oven, I brought out my scraps of dough and rolled out another set. The dough is extremely forgiving so do not through out the scraps!