I'm a fan of foods that come in individual sizes: Timbits, Halloween-sized chocolate bars, Altoids Smalls. It just seems less overwhelming to see a box of Timbits than an entire box of donuts, or if someone offered me a small chocolate bar, I'd be much more inclined to take it over a full-sized one. Now, don't get me wrong, I have no illusions that I'm not going to eat the same amount as a full-sized anything -- in fact, I'm likely to eat more -- but when something comes in a small package, it just seems less overwhelming. Mind over matter, my friends.
Using that theory, I jumped at the chance to make these individual fruit pies instead of making a whole one. With just two of us at home, it seems a little gluttonous to make a whole pie, but four individual ones? A perfect way to satisfy a craving without eating half a pie (though, it's totally possible that by eating two of these individual ones, I did anyway).
This recipe, like any pie recipe, is totally adaptable, and can be filled with whatever you have on hand. I just happened to have the items it called for, but next time, I might omit the Craisins and put in more apple or pear.
Cream Cheese Pastry:
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp icing sugar
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tbsp orange juice
- 1 large apple, peeled, cored and chopped
- 1 ripe pear, peeled, cored and chopped
- 1/2 cup Craisins (dried cranberries)
- 3 tbsp sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp cornstarch
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp grated lemon zest
- milk and granulated sugar (for glaze)
Cream Cheese Pastry
- Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine butter, cream cheese and salt until smooth
- Add icing sugar and 1/2 cup of flour at a time until just combined
- When the dough starts to ball up around the paddle, stop the mixer and scrape the dough onto a lightly floured surface
- Gently knead the dough. Divide into four balls, flatten each into a 1/2 inch disc and wrap in plastic. Refrigerate until firm enough to roll -- about an hour.
- In a medium saucepan, combine the orange juice, apple, pear, cranberries and 2 tbsp sugar. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, cover and cook for three minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the remaining 1 tbsp sugar, cornstarch and spices. Stir the mixture into the fruit and cook, stirring for one minute. Remove from heat and stir in lemon zest.
- Let the fruit cool.
- Use a floured rolling pin to roll each piece of dough into an 8 inch circle.
- Spoon about 1/4 of the filling over half the dough, leaving a 3/4 inch border along the edge.
- Moisten the edge of the pastry with a finger dipped in a little water, then fold the empty half of the dough over the filling. Pinch the edges together to seal.
- Place on baking sheet. Brush each turnover with a little milk and sprinkle with sugar. Poke a few holes in the top to let steam out while they bake.
- Bake at 400 F for 10 minutes, then reduce temperature to 375 F and bake for another 20 minutes or until golden brown. For even browning, rotate baking sheet halfway through baking.
- Transfer the turnovers to a wire rack and let cool.
** Freezing: You can freeze the unbaked turnovers on a baking sheet until they're firm, then wrap in wax paper and put in resealable freezer bag. Store in freezer for up to one month. To bake from frozen, just add a few minutes to baking time.
Recipe from Ezra Pound Cake