Soooo earlier this week I promised something BIG.
And not to toot my own horn, but I really think that what I have in store for you is all three…AND it involves pie.
Aaaannnnndddddd…..Drum roll please!
PIE IN A JAR!
And not just any jar….but the most adorable, 1/2 pint-sized mason jars. Oye. My life is complete…
I saw a recipe similar to this one earlier this year and have been dreaming about it ever since. A perfect serving of bubbly, tart filling surrounded by golden pie crust, ensconced in a beautiful keepsake vessel?….Pie IS poetry people!
These little darlings are not only super fun to assemble and experiment with, but they also are the perfect gift to give. A friend of mine just moved out of the city, and as a parting gift, I gave her one of these guys and sent her on her way. Not only was she thrilled by the pie itself, but now she can use the empty jar for any number of things.
My top three picks:
1. Holding the COPIOUS amounts of money she will be making in her new gig teaching children’s theatre (LIVE THE DREAM!).
2. Flowers!…there have to be some in the mid-West in the next few months..right, guys?
3. Holding the beverage of her choice (I suggest whiskey).
This first attempt at mason jar pie was a success…if only for the pure delight of seeing my long-lost college bud before she went off on a new journey and giving her a small present I was able to fill with love…and berries.
Raspberry-Blueberry-Strawberry Mason Jar Pies
Crust recipe adapted from Smitten Kitchen
Filling recipe adapted from Joy the Baker
Note: That deity of the kitchen, Kate Hunt, bought me a four-pack of mason jars, and halving the crust recipe provided me with the perfect amount of dough. I like an equal filling-to-crust ratio, but the great thing about mason jar pies is that you can easily control how much of what is going into your jar. For example, I experimented with one of my pies, placing the dough just on top of the filling instead of lining the whole jar. This would be ideal for the weirdo in your family that does not like a lot of crust, but can easily be manipulated for the other weirdo that does not like a lot of filling. Weirdos.
I loosely consulted Joy the Baker’s cobbler recipe for the filling here for two reasons: Numba A: I love Joy the Baker. Numba B: This recipe does not call for any granulated sugar, just maple syrup (I also added in some honey). I love getting my sweetness from some place other than boring, old white sugar, and this combo worked PERFECTLY with the tartness of the berries.
Makes enough crust for 4 mason jar pies, including lining the jar and putting a crust on top. You can double these proportions for a regular, double-crust pie.
1 1/4 cups flour
1/2 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 stick cold, unsalted butter
1/4 cup ice water
Cut your butter up into small cubes. Mix together flour, sugar, and salt. Working in small batches, blend the butter cubes and flour mixture together in your pastry blender (This was my first attempt using the pastry blender, and I am now a convert…the blender is amazing! The things it does with such ease! If you are more traditional, you can also use a pastry cutter for this step).
Transfer butter-flour mixture to a big bowl and add ice water. Mix together with your hands until a dough ball forms. You may need an extra tablespoon or two of water. You want the dough to stick together but not be too messy. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate while you prepare filling.
My filling was VERY watery, and bubbled out of its dough blanket ALOT. While this did not effect the taste at all, it might be more aesthetically pleasing to drain off the majority of the juice before baking.
Also, I loved the tartness of the berries I used here, but you can experiment with other kinds as well. Cherries or blackberries would work just as well!
1 pint blueberries
1/2 pint red raspberries
1 1/2 cups strawberries, sliced
2 tablespoons flour
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 ground nutmeg
Few dashes ground cloves
1/4 cup sweetener, such as honey, maple syrup or agave nectar (I used a combination of honey and maple syrup to get the 1/4 cup)
Gently toss all ingredients in large bowl. Chill while you prepare jars.
To assemble mason jar pies:
Line jars with chilled dough, filling in the bottom and along the sides. Leave about 1/2 inch space at the top of the jar. The dough lining should be opaque, so do not skimp on this step (unless you are one of the weirdos mentioned above).
Spoon approximately 1/2 cup filling into each jar, leaving 1/2 inch from crust line.
Roll out remaining dough on floured surface until dough is approximately 1/2 inch thick. Using the mason jar lid, cut out dough circles. If you want to get creative, use a knife or mini cookie cutter (or a cork screw if you are super rustic and/or that is the only thing within your reach at that moment) to cut shapes out of the circles (I did hearts and initials). If you want to give yourself a challenge, try a mini basket weave (this is a 100% foul proof way to impress your pie recipient!). I have to give a big shout out to Forty-one things for courageously taking on the weave and snapping off some great photos of the day…you the best!
Place dough on top of filling, using a spatula to lift it off the counter if needed. Use a fork to seal top crust onto the side crust.
Place jars on a baking sheet. Bake in oven at 350 degrees for 50 minutes or until crust is golden brown and filling bubbles.
After they have cooled, decorate jar with fancy ribbon, personalize the lid and give as a gift to your new best friend.