Mini Vanilla Cream Blackberry Pies

It’s been a while since I’ve done any sort of baking, mostly because of the heat. Having an oven on in the oven that is my apartment is not fun, but I’m not complaining! I’m loving the summer here in LA. Anyway, I was getting anxious about not baking and really wanted pie, so I decided to just go for it and bake. And the end result of vanilla cream blackberry pie was definitely worth sweating over a hot stove.

I love all types of pie, especially berry and cream based… so, surprise: I combined the two! It’s pretty easy to make and mostly involves lot of waiting around for things to cool down. For this recipe, the crust is pre-baked, the filling is cooked separately, both are cooled to room temperature, then combined to create one delicious pie.

After lining the pie dishes with the dough, I covered them with aluminum foil and poured dried beans on top. This holds the dough in place so it doesn’t shrink during baking.

While the pie crusts were baking, I cooked about 1 1/2 cups of blackberries, 1 tablespoon of sugar, and 1 teaspoon of lime juice over low heat till little liquid remained. You’ll end up with some syrupy liquid which is a-okay. After the berries were done cooking (about 20 minutes) I made the vanilla cream filling.

Once all components had come to room temperature, I spread about a teaspoon of the cooked berries on the bottom of the crust and topped it with the vanilla cream.

Refrigerate for about an hour and enjoy!

Ingredients – One 9″ pie crust 

      or four to six 5″ pie crusts (I only made four mini pies and had plenty of dough left over for two more)

  • 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • 1/4 cup ice cold water

1. Combine flour and salt in a large bowl. Using a pastry cutter or two forks, cut the butter into the flour and salt until the mixture resembles pea-sized crumbles. Add the water and stir until mixture forms a ball. Wrap the ball in plastic wrap and refrigerate for a couple of hours.

2. Roll dough out on a lightly floured surface till about a 1/4″ thickness. Line a 9″ inch pie pan or cut dough into four and line mini pie pans, cutting off excess dough. I had enough leftover dough after lining the mini pies for a couple more mini pie dishes. Or you could be lazy like me and freeze it for another time.  Place lined pie dish(es) in the freezer for about ten minutes.

3. Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees. Place aluminum foil over pie crust and fill with dried beans or rice. Bake for 20 minutes if using a 9″ pan and 10 minutes if using mini pans.

4. Reduce heat to 375. Removed aluminum foil and beans. Using a fork, poke some holes in the bottom of the crust so air can be released. Bake for another 10 to 15 minutes (for both pan sizes) or until crust is golden brown. Remove from oven and cool to room temp.

Blackberry Compote

  • 1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen blackberries
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon or lime juice

Combine all ingredients in a saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, till the berries have cooked down and most of the liquid has evaporated. Set aside to cool to room temperature.

Vanilla Cream Pudding

  • 3/4 cups sugar
  • 1/3 cup all purpose flour (or 2 tablespoons corn starch)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups of milk
  • 3 slightly beaten egg yolks
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest *optional*

1. In a saucepan whisk sugar, flour, and salt. Turn heat on medium low and gradually add the milk, whisking whilst you add. Cook and stir until mixture thickens, about 10 minutes-ish.

2. Remove from heat, and add a tiny amount to the slightly beaten egg yolks. You want to gradually warm the egg yolks before adding them to the milk and sugar mixture so they don’t scramble (I ended up adding about a teaspoon of the the milk mixture to the eggs, but in small increments).

3. Slowly pour the egg yolks in to the milk mixture, stirring constantly. Return mixture to heat, and cook for another 2 minutes. Remove from heat, add butter, vanilla, and lemon zest (if using). Cool to room temperature.

ASSEMMMBLLLLEEEEE!

Once all components have cooled, it’s time to bring them all together! Spread the blackberry compote on the bottom of the pie crust. For the mini pies I used about a teaspoon of the compote per pie. Top with the vanilla cream, filling to the top of the crust. Garnish with some blackberries, refrigerate for about an hour and EAT UP!

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