Pie season is upon us!
I don’t know about you, but I love pie. In the hierarchy of desserts, pie is king. Pie trumps cake any day. Why does cake get all the glory?
Anywho. Today, I’m here to introduce you to pie’s hipper, cooler, more finger-foody cousin: Pie Dippers.
This idea came to me while I was making noodles. I know, noodles have very little in common with pie, but they do both involve dough and dough cutting. I immediately wrote it down and decided to try it — and blog it — later. Because we all need a little more pie and pie-inspired things.
I took the opportunity to make these while I was pet/house sitting at my cousins’. Am I the only one who finds it much easier to cook when you have a kitchen all to yourself? All these pretty dishes are courtesy of cousin Emily. I don’t know about you, but I have dish envy. Especially those sparkly glasses.
I think these pie dippers would be a hit at a party, potluck, or get together, especially the kind where people stand around noshing on finger foods instead of sitting down to a full fledged dinner. Plus, these would be a little easier to transport. I also love that the dippers can take the place of making several different pies to suit everyone’s tastes. Doesn’t it always seem to happen that you make a pie, and several other people make pies, and then there always seems to be too many pies (is there such a thing??) and none of them get finished? Or people favor one pie and it runs out really quickly?
Or you really really want to try ALL the pies but you just can’t eat five pie slices in a single night?
Pie dippers solve this problem. Everyone can get a taste of every pie flavor, and no one has a whole pie leftover to take back home at the end of the night. (That always happens to me any time I make pie for my family. I don’t think my extended family members realize that pies come in more flavors than chocolate and pecan. Just sayin’.)
I think kids would love these, too. No fork required — little fingers can grab, dip, and munch. Easy peasy.
Pie dippers are super easy to make, too. If you’re intimidated by working with pie crust — which can be a little uncooperative at times — these are a great way to get your feet wet. They’re not particular and there’s no pressure to roll them out to a certain size or shape. They don’t have to be perfect (or even pretty) in order to taste good.
Here’s the Recipe:
– rolling pin
– baking sheet
– pastry brush
– pizza cutter
– measuring cups
– mixing bowl
– 2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
– 1/2 cup cold butter
– up to 1/2 cup water, ice cold
– pinch of salt
– 1 egg, scrambled
– pie filling dips of choice
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
Mix cinnamon with the sugar to taste. I just eyeball this, but you can try this ratio if you prefer guidelines.
Place flour and salt in mixing bowl. Cut the butter into the flour with the pastry cutter until it’s evenly mixed. (If you don’t have a pastry cutter, you can also use two forks…but a pastry cutter makes life so much easier.) Then slowly add water and continue mixing dough, first with a fork and then with your hands as it starts to form. Only add just enough water to allow the dough to form a ball. Work quickly so the butter doesn’t get too warm.
You can make pie crust with any solid fat (palm shortening, butter, lard) or mixture thereof, but I like the flavor that butter gives the crust.
Once the crust has formed a ball, I like to stick it into the freezer for a couple of minutes to cool it down. This is likely not a necessary step, but I get very paranoid about my pie crust getting too warm before cooking.
Next, flour your surface, hands, and rolling pin. Flatten the dough ball with your hands and then being rolling out the dough with the rolling pin. Don’t worry if the edges look a little wonky. Roll out to about 1/4 inch thickness.
Use the pizza cutter to cut off the uneven edges. Then cut the dough into strips about one inch wide and whatever length you prefer. They don’t have to be perfect. Obviously as you can see in the picture below, mine didn’t come out all perfectly even. No biggie.
Then re-ball the discarded ends and repeat the same process, this time leaving the edges uneven. These will not be as pretty but they will taste just as good.
Evenly space the strips of crust on a baking sheet. Brush the tops with egg and sprinkle generously with the cinnamon sugar mixture.
Pop in the oven and bake until golden brown and crisp. Serve with various pie filling dips. I enjoyed mine with peach butter because it’s yummy and I had it on hand, but these would also be delicious with any fruit filling, lemon curd, or chocolate. The possibilities are endless. Get creative!