Last week I made a panna cotta tart to share with you. I did not have the pretty rectangular tart pan that Martha Stewart used for the recipe and I pulled out the only tart pan I own. It’s round, it’s old, it’s German and it was my Oma’s. Deep down I knew the pan was too large, but I proceeded. Of course my fears were realized and I created the thinnest tart ever. In all seriousness I don’t think the inside (crust and filling) was more than 1/8 inch thick. It was still delicious, but not photogenic. The sweet tart dough I used made enough for two applications, though, and my mind raced with all of the possibilities for this second half of dough. Then I remembered seeing gorgeous mini pies somewhere and decided this was the best way to bake up the crust. The classic strawberry/Nutella combination was too tempting not to try here and a mini pie was born. These were heavenly! Sweeter than I usually prefer dessert, but oh so good. I recommend serving them warm because I liked the way the Nutella melted into the middle, but you can keep them in the refrigerator for a few hours or up to overnight. We tried them warm and cold and every bite was enjoyed thoroughly.
Recipe: Pate Sucree
Recipe from Martha Stewart’s Cooking School
2 1/2 C. all-purpose flour
3 T. sugar
3/4 t. salt
1 C. cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
2 large egg yolks, lightly beaten
1/4 C. ice water, plus more if needed
1. Pulse flour, sugar and salt in a food processor to combine (or whisk together by hand in a bowl).
2. Add butter. Process until mixture resembles coarse meal, 10 to 15 seconds. The butter pieces should be 1/8 inch or smaller, with no pea size pieces remaining. (Or cut in butter with a pastry blender or your finger tips).
3. Add yolks; pulse to combine (or stir with fork by hand).
4. With machine running, add ice water in a slow, steady stream through feed tube until dough just holds together. Do not process longer than 20 seconds. Check by stopping machine and pressing some between your fingers. Do not wait until dough comes together in machine. (If mixing by hand, slowly add water and stir with a fork until mixture just comes together.)
5. Divide in half and shape into disks. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 1 hour (or up to overnight). It can be frozen up to 1 month. Defrost in refrigerator overnight before using.
Recipe: Nutella and Strawberry Mini Pies
1/2 of above recipe for Pate Sucree
4 T. Nutella
1. Grease 4 ramekins and put on a half sheet pan lined with parchment or a silpat. Roll out pate sucree on a lightly floured surface. Roll out to an 1/8 inch thick circle with a rolling pin (like you would roll out a pie crust), making a quarter turn with every roll to ensure an even circle.
2. Using a small knife, cut into 4 equal pie-shaped pieces. Tuck the dough into the greased ramekins and try your best to make a decorative crust on the edge. Poke the crust with a fork to form tiny air holes. Put the sheet pan with ramekins into the freezer.
3. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Wash and slice the strawberries and get your Nutella ready. By this time the oven should be preheated and the pie crust should be firm. Put the crust into the oven and bake for 10-12 minutes or until the outer crust is golden brown. If outer crust browns too early, you can cover it with foil as the inside continues to bake.
4. Put one tablespoon of Nutella in the warm mini pie crusts and top with sliced strawberries. Continue with all 4 mini pies. I really enjoyed trying these when they were slightly warm and the Nutella was slightly melted.