Cardamom Strawberry & Apple Mini Pies
Is it entirely blasphemous to say that I was never really all that into strawberries? Don’t get me wrong, I’d snack on strawberries if they were sitting in front of me, I’d enjoy them as the garnish for a cake, but I was never entirely wowed. Clearly, I had never had a perfectly ripe & in-season strawberry before. Which is, undeniably, a huge tragedy. How did I get to this age without experiencing that joy? My parents will be getting a strongly worded letter in the post any day now for depriving me. Seriously though, how did that happen? How had I lived so long without getting that whiff of fragrant in-season strawberries? I felt almost like I’d been hit in the face when I walked into my local supermarket recently & smelled the sweet smell of fresh strawberries. It was so powerful that I couldn’t resist it, I followed the smell all the way to the strawberry section & loaded my basket. I couldn’t leave them with all of their other fruit friends, I had to buy them.
As soon as I got home, I started to leaf through cookbook after cookbook looking for a good recipe. I was so excited to bake something with the magic strawberries that I knew I couldn’t wait until the next day. (Yes, I am a food nerd who gets excited about perfectly in-season produce.) It didn’t take long for my interest to be piqued by a recipe in one of my newer cookbook purchases: My Sweet Kitchen. The combination of cardamom & strawberries was something that never would have crossed my mind, but it sounded so delicious that I basically started baking as soon as I’d finished reading the recipe. I mean, I had all the ingredients anyway, no time like the present, yada yada.
When the heavenly smell of strawberries & cardamom & pie crust started to seep out of the oven, I knew this was the right decision. Well, basically as soon as I’d prepared each pie & seen how darn cute they were I knew I’d made the right decision. Of course, all of that was irrelevant; what really mattered was how they would taste. (The cuteness was just an added bonus.) Thankfully, the pies tasted just as good as they looked – buttery, crumbly pastry encasing a lightly spiced fruity filling. It was almost too much to believe. Potentially the most picture perfect pies I’ve ever baked AND they also happen to taste amazing? I’m sure you can imagine my squeals of delight.
Makes four 5 ½-inch pies | Adapted very slightly from Linda Lomelino
- 2 ½ cups plain flour
- 1 tablespoon icing sugar
- 10 tablespoons salted butter, cold & cubed
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice, freshly squeezed
- 1 egg
- 4-5 tablespoons iced water
- 700g strawberries, topped & cut into halves or quarters
- 2 apples, peeled, cored, & cut into similar sized cubes as the strawberries
- 2/3 cup caster sugar
- 3 tablespoons cornflour
- grated zest of ½ lemon
- 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1 egg white + 2 teaspoons of water, beaten together, for sealing & glazing
- sugar, for garnish
- First, the crust. Mix together the flour & icing sugar in a medium bowl. Add the butter & use your fingers to combine into crumbs. Add the lemon juice, egg, & water & carefully press/knead the dough together with your hands – if it seems too crumbly then add a little more water. When the dough holds together, wrap in cling film & refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, grease the pie pans with a little butter & set aside.
- When ready, divide the dough into four equal sized balls. Individually roll the balls out on a lightly floured surface, & line each of the pie pans with ¾ of the ball, leaving the last ¼ behind for the top. Trim any excess away & add to the saved dough. Return the pie pans & the saved dough tops to the fridge to rest.
- Now, the filling. In a large bowl, gently & thoroughly combine all of the ingredients. Divide the filling equally between the four chilled pie crusts & return to the fridge.
- Preheat the oven to 200C. Cover a baking tray with baking parchment & set aside.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll out each top crust dough just enough to cover the pies. Brush the edges of the ready made bases with the beaten egg & water mixture & place a top crust on each pie, gently pressing down the edges to seal shut. Brush the entire top of each pie with the egg mixture & sprinkle with some sugar.
- Place the pies on the prepared baking tray & bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown & the filling is fragrant & bubbling. Leave to cool slightly before enjoying with some lightly whipped cream!