Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Strawberry & Dark Chocolate Pocket Pies

Happy national strawberry day everyone! Bet you didn't' know there was a national day for the strawberry, now did you? Now that you know, what better way to celebrate this berry delicious day than with a pie you can hold in your hand! Pie on the go? Now that's what I'm talking about!

I first made these cute little pies back on Valentine's day. Back in January I found this irresistible heart pie contraption at Target and had to get it. Dang you Target! To be honest, I forgot I even bought it until a day before the day of loooove. That's what I get for buying things ahead of time and then forgetting where I put them. Ya, I do that a lot. Even though I forgot about my little heart pocket mold, that didn't stop me from running to the store to get my ingredients and making a little something extra special for my colleagues at work as well as the captain. I am really not that into valentine's day, but a little something sweet is never a bad thing, right? Especially when it's strawberries and chocolate. And pie. Pie, pie, pie, pie.

To make these pies, you don't even need a heart mold or any mold for that fact. You can just use your knife to cut out rectangles, or you can even do circles and make half moon pies. Or triangles. Ooh, triangles would be fun. No matter what shape you use to make your pies, they will still taste fabulous. These pies are a piece of cake to put together. Wait, a piece of pie. That just sounds weird, but you know what I mean. All you need is pie crust, berries, a little sugar, dark chocolate, cream, cornstarch and an egg. Nothing too crazy, right? Plus, you probably already have many of these ingredients in your pantry and fridge! You can use store bought crust if you are in a pinch, but if you have the time, homemade is the best and I have the best pie crust recipe for you to use. It's so easy and to delicious. A little salty, a little sweet. It's perfect. Check it out here. It's seriously fool poof and you can make them ahead of time and keep in the freezer for tons of recipes. I always have some on stock ready to go!

Once you have the shape you want cut and ready, you will fill the pie with the berry/sugar/cornstarch mixture and then top with a little dark chocolate. I used dark chocolate chips here for the ease of things, but you can always just chop up your favorite dark chocolate bar too. Once the pie is filled (don't fill it too too much or it may explode!), rim both the edges on the top and bottom with a little cream and seal the pie - either with your mold or a fork. Just make sure to seal the pies really well! You don't want all that goodness oozing out do you? Brush with the egg mixture for a little shine, use a fork to prick a few holes to let the steam out and then sprinkle with coarse sugar. These little pockets of joy bake up in just about 15 minutes and make your house smell amazing while they are in the oven. Who doesn't love the smell of fresh pie?! Serve these little pies by themselves or take them to the next level and serve them with a scoop of ice cream. No matter what way you enjoy them, I am willing to bet that you will fall in love with this fun sweet treat!

pie pocket making station!

filling the pie mold

for some reason, I put the cream on before the filling. Guess it really doesn't matter when you do it as long as you do it!
crimp and don't forget to prick!
eggy wash and sugar to make them look pretty
ready to bake
fresh out of the oven and smelling amazing. don't worry if they ooze a little.

Strawberry & Dark Chocolate Pocket Pies (slightly adapted from Two Peas and their Pod)

For the Pie Dough:
Store bought or my perfect pie crust recipe

For the Filling:
2 cups chopped strawberries
1 tablespoon granulated sugar (or more depending on sweetness of berries)
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 cup chopped dark chocolate
2 tablespoons heavy cream 

Finishing Touches:
1 large egg, beaten
1 tablespoon water
Coarse sugar, for sprinkling on pies

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or a Silpat baking mat. In medium bowl, combine the strawberries, sugar, and cornstarch. Stir until strawberries are well coated. 

Remove the pie dough from the refrigerator. Place one of the disks on a lightly floured work surface. Roll into a square about 1/8-inch thick. Cut the dough into 4 equal pieces, about 5x5 squares. If you are not cutting your pies and using a press, use the mold from the press to make your pieces (this may make more or less depending on the size of your mold). Spoon about 2 tablespoons of strawberries into the center of each square, then top with about 1 tablespoon of chopped dark chocolate. Brush the edges of the pie with the heavy cream. Bring opposite corners together and press the edges together. Use a fork or pocket pie press to crimp the edges of the pie.

In a small bowl, combine the egg and water with a fork. Brush the top of the pie with the egg wash and sprinkle generously with coarse sugar. Repeat with the remaining squares of dough. Roll out the second disk of pie dough and do the same. Transfer the hand pies to the prepared baking sheets. Using a form, prick a small vent or two in the top of each pie. Bake for 15-18 minutes, or until the pies are golden brown. The filling may bubble out a bit and that's ok. Transfer to a wire rack and allow the pies to cool completely.

You can never go wrong with chocolate and strawberries!

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