Monday, September 19, 2011

Vanilla Peach Piecakes with Ginger Whipped Cream

by Darla

It’s no secret that there has been a heated debate on the interwebs of late about whether or not pies will be overtaking cupcakes as the “It” of sweet treats and desserts. Personally, there hasn’t been much of a debate for me, because…well. I don’t really like pie. So. Yeah. Cupcakes, FTW!

Actually, that’s not really true, but it sort of is. But not really. See, I do like pie. Just not very many pies. It’s gonna probably sound pretty weird to you guys, but I’m not much of a cooked fruit fan. I really like my fruit au naturale. It drives the Hubster crazy, but I can’t help it. To me, apples are supposed to be crisp and cold, not warm and soft and mushy. Blech!

But I love pie crust, the flavors of most pies, and any cream, fresh fruit, or chocolate pie (duh). Not that that solves my pie problem, but at least i still have options.

So that’s pretty much why I’m always on Team Cupcake, rather than Team Pie. But I do love the idea of pies. I love the tradition behind and them, and how happy they make people. No, they’re nowhere near as portable as cupcakes, and no, they’re not as much of a crowd pleaser for picky people like me, but there is just something about a beautiful, warm, homemade pie.

So what’s the solution? What’s the real answer to pie vs. cupcake?

Well, what if a pie married a cake? What would their babies look like? I’m pretty sure they’d look like these little gems that I’ve (naturally) dubbed “piecakes.”

These are the result of pie’s gorgeous golden crust being formed into individual babies, filled with fluffy, delicious cake, topped with gorgeous pie filling, and finished off with a lovely little lattice design on top.

Tell me, what’s not to love?

Seriously.

Tell me.

Oh yeah, and then I went and topped the whole shebang with cool, creamy ginger whipped cream.

Pie lovers and cupcake connoisseurs UNITE! No more must we battle in the streets. Never again must we stand divided in our bakery lines! Let us join forces to defeat the evils of indecision that drive to separate us. Let us all eat cake. And pie. Together!

*ahem*

So. Yeah.

Piecakes…

For the crust, I used my favorite pie dough, with just a touch of extra sugar. Once it’s mixed up, just shape it into two disks, wrap them in plastic wrap, and chill for several hours.

Once the dough is chilled, I prepared my cake batter (recipe below) and set it aside.

Next, I rolled out half of the dough, cut four to five-inch circles out, and lined each cup of a muffin pan with them, cutting away excess dough. Bake at 425 for 10 minutes.

While the pie crusts bake, mix up the pie filling. You can use any fruit pie filling that you like, but I chose to go with peach as a last hurrah for summer. :) Plus, peaches and vanilla cake and ginger whipped cream…um. Yeah. Meant to be.

If you also decide to use my peach pie filling, you’ll need peaches (peeled, pitted, quarted, and sliced thin), brown sugar (packed), sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, corn starch, and lemon juice.

I got the peaches prepared just before I made my cake batter. Then, while the crusts baked, I mixed the filling up. Once mixed, spread the filling in a glass baking dish and set aside until the pie crusts are par baked.

When you remove the pie crusts from the oven, they will be slightly puffy, but still very white.

The cake portion of these is a delicious, extra vanilla-y white cake that is incredibly easy, and sooooo yummy. Once the pie crusts come out of the oven, place one tablespoon of batter in each one.

Bake the filled pie crusts, and the prepared pie filling, for 10 minutes. You can do these at the same time in the oven, by rotating the two pans from top to bottom and front to back, halfway through baking.

Remove everything from the oven and place one to two tablespoons of pie filling on each piecake. I like to do this immediately out of the oven so that the heat of everything lets some of the pie filling juices soak into the cake.

Next, roll out the remaining pie dough and cut 1/4 to 1/2-inch strips to use for making lattice tops.

Weave the strips of dough on top of each of the piecakes, cutting away any excess, as needed.

Once all of the piecakes have a lattice top, bake them for another 10 minutes, until the lattices are light golden brown.

I made mostly standard sized piecakes, but I decided on a whim to make a few darling mini ones, as well. They were so adorable, and were perfect two bite snacks.

Mini or standard, these are heaven. A match made in heaven. All of the best qualities of pie, enhanced with a sweet, fluffy cake filling. Perfection!

Then, you go and top it all of with a quintessential match for pies and cupcakes alike: whipped cream. I was unsure of these when i dreamed them up, but ph my, thank goodness for dreams. Yes, these are quite involved, but they’re very much worht it. It’s not the any one step takes a long time, or much work. It’s only that there’s a lot of waiting and assembling. Like I said, though, all of the steps are easy, so as long as you have the time, you won’t mind making these up. Trust me. They are so very worth it. Enjoy!

Vanilla Peach Piecakes [Printable Recipe]
Makes 24 standard sized piecakes

Ingredients

FOR THE PIE CRUST
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons shortening, cold
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cold, cut into small chunks
6-8 tablespoons cold water

FOR THE CAKE
2 egg whites, at room temperature (save the yolks to use in an egg wash, if desired)
1/4 cup milk, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup, plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
5 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon1 baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

FOR THE PEACH FILLING
4 peaches, peeled, pitted, quarted, and sliced thin
1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons corn starch

To make the crust: In a food processor, mix the dry ingredients for a couple of seconds to combine, then drop the shortening evenly on top in chunks. Process until the mixture looks like wet sand. Evenly distribute the butter on top and pulse until the mixture has pea sized chunks in it. If mixing by hand, cut the cold shortening in with a fork or dough blender, again until it resembles wet sand. Then cut the butter in until you have pea sized pieces.

If using a processor, transfer the mixture to a large bowl.

Add about 6 tablespoons cold water and begin mixing with a spatula. Using a spatula, mix the dough by ‘folding’ from bottom to top and pressing down with each fold, adding more water if the dough is too dry.

Once the mixture has just formed a dough, turn it out onto a very lightly floured surface. As quickly as possible, finish bringing the dough together by hand, kneading as little as possible.

Divide the dough in half evenly and shape into two disks, roughly 4 inches across. Wrap each disk in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least two hours or over night.

Once chilled, make cake filling: Lightly coat muffin pan with nonstick cooking spray; set aside.

Combine the eggs, milk, and vanilla in a small bowl, and whisk together; set aside.

In a large bowl, combine all of the dry ingredients. Beat in the butter on low speed until the mixture looks like soft wet sand or until there are no longer any large chunks of butter or streaks of dry flour, about three minutes. Add the egg mixture in two small batches, beating on low until combined in between each batch. Scrape the bowl and mix for another 15 seconds. Set aside while you prepare the pie crusts.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Remove your one of your disks of pie dough from the refrigerator and roll it out to a little less than 1/4-inch thick. Cut several 4 to 5-inch circles out of the dough, re-rolling the remaining dough, as needed. Place each circle into the cup of the prepared muffin pan, pressing gently into the corners and trimming any excess dough away. Bake for 10 minutes.

While baking, make the pie filling: Combine the peach slices, sugars, and spices in a medium bowl, tossing to coat the peaches thoroughly. Stir in the lemon juice and corn starch until well combined. Spread in a glass baking dish; set aside to bake with the piecakes.

Remove the pie crusts from oven and immediately fill each muffin cup with 1 tablespoon of the cake batter.

Bake the filled pie crusts and the pie filling for 10 minutes, rotating the pans front to back and top to bottom, halfway through baking.

Remove the piecakes and filling from the oven and place about 2 tablespoons of the pie filling on top of each piecake. Roll out the remaining pie dough and cut into 1/4 to 1/2-inch strips and weave the pieces into lattice tops on each of the piecakes. Return to the oven and bake until lattices are light golden brown, about 10 minutes. Allow to cool completely before serving.

Ginger Whipped Cream [Printable Recipe]

Ingredients

1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoons vanilla

In a large bowl, or the bowl of a standing mixer, whip the cream on medium high speed until it begins to thicken and form very soft peaks. Sprinkle the sugar and ginger over the top of the cream and continue whipping until firm peaks form. Stir in the vanilla. Chill until ready to serve.

Recipe by Darla

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{ 30 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Maria September 19, 2011 at 9:27 am

the mini pies are super cute! I love peach too!

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2 Anita Menon September 19, 2011 at 9:27 am

These looks so cute. Pie +cake sounds like a lovely idea.

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3 TANYA September 19, 2011 at 9:51 am

Yum!

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4 kathy September 19, 2011 at 10:15 am

ohhhhhhh I want to try these!!! I have so many ideas for different little pies :) Thank you for coming up with a ‘go between’ of piecakes :)

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5 Natalie September 19, 2011 at 10:37 am

SO YUMMY! I want to make these!

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6 Angela @ The Dancer Bakes September 19, 2011 at 10:43 am

Ohh these look fantastic! I love the way your brain works, Darla :)

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7 Monica September 19, 2011 at 1:05 pm

Darla, this is such a cute idea! I love it and I’m so happy to hear that there’s another person/blogger/foodie out there who does not love love love pie! I’m the same way, unless it’s a chocolate pie, of course. I’m just not much of a fruit-dessert person period. But I love the crust too. I’m the person who will pinch off and eat the fruit tart crust and leave the rest. Althought I must say I finally made a fruit tart this summer and I’m a bit of a convert now.

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8 Stephanie September 19, 2011 at 1:07 pm

Way to have your pie and cupcake too! Love it! i’m definitely team cupcake (but only with homemade frosting, please), but I could get behind your cake pies. They’re beautiful! The photos are also lovely.

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9 Linnie September 19, 2011 at 1:13 pm

Wow! Those look so amazing! And so much work and detail. I am very impressed. Can we say jealous? :-) Great job!!!

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10 sara September 19, 2011 at 2:37 pm

Adorable! I love these..super cute. :)

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11 Emily@SoDomesticated September 19, 2011 at 3:16 pm

Genius! How adorable are these!?!

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12 Lucy September 19, 2011 at 4:46 pm

Oh wow, those look so cute!

I just made key lime piecakes but they were actually cupcakes based on key lime pie. They went down really well!!

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13 Tish September 19, 2011 at 5:56 pm

I would love love love to make one of your recipes some day, but I count my calories and try to stay at around 800 a day.. do you have or provide any caloric information? Thank you <3

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14 Wenderly September 19, 2011 at 6:10 pm

Piecakes? I’m in LOVE.

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15 Joyce September 19, 2011 at 7:14 pm

Very creative and cute. I’m with you on the cupcake vs pie debate. lol.

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16 Tara @ The Butter Dish September 19, 2011 at 9:45 pm

Precious! Perfect! Priceless!! A marriage of perfect proportions. What a great idea and so cute for tea in afternoon. :)

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17 Madison Chloe Marie September 19, 2011 at 9:59 pm

These pie cakes are adorable.. don’t even get me started on debates, first it was the “whoopie pie”, then the “cupcake” or first the “cupcake”? Then macaron’s and ….

Either way, if it taste great, I’m so there. I like petite portions, because I watch my calories, this is a perfect treat for the Mr. and I to share over.

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18 sweetsugarbelle September 19, 2011 at 11:05 pm

These ARE GORGEOUS , Darla! I LOVe them SOOOOOOOOOOOOO much!

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19 Cookin' Canuck September 19, 2011 at 11:29 pm

Okay, I absolutely HAVE to make these for my family. They would be such a hit! Lovely photos, too.

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20 Claire September 20, 2011 at 12:40 am

this is the best pie/cupcake i’ve ever seen. it’s beautiful, the perfect size and i’m sure delicious!

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21 Kita September 20, 2011 at 8:49 am

Cupcakes totally take the cake for me! Buuut I know other people like pie (even more so with the fall and winter holidays coming) and I am helping to plan a few events. These are so cute they may bump off some cupcakes and take their spot!

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22 Mónica September 20, 2011 at 8:57 am

Lovely! So cute! I love pies and mixing recipes :D

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23 Carol Cross September 20, 2011 at 12:00 pm

Everything you make is so cute! I love win-win solutions.

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24 Paige September 22, 2011 at 1:14 pm

Hey! I made these a couple days ago for a girls’ night. They were yummy but they took a super long time, haha. It was probably just me, though. Next time I’ll just reserve a whole day to make them perfect :). I love your blog and I wish I could make everything I see on it!

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25 Tiesha September 22, 2011 at 4:01 pm

Pie cakes? Why not cup-pies? Cupcake = cake in a muffin tin therefore shouldn’t cuppie = pie in a muffin tin!

These are very cute and I can’t wait to make some!

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26 Tennille September 28, 2011 at 5:26 pm

I gotta tell you. I don’t know how you keep coming up with things but I am glad you’re creative geniusness is still cranky out such awesome recipes! I can’t wait to try this one!

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27 Tennille September 28, 2011 at 5:26 pm

*cranking. Spell-checking is a beautiful thing when used correctly! :)

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28 Cara March 1, 2012 at 4:28 pm

I want you to know that I made these for Valentine’s day but with blueberries. And also I kind of screwed up the directions. And also it appears our oven has hot spots. BUT…they were STILL delicious! You gave me the courage to try making my own pie crust because you actually acknowledged that some of us don’t have food processors. So I want to thank you again and again for this recipe! I shall try it again and surely many times after that.

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29 Kayleigh May 5, 2012 at 7:47 pm

These look amazing.

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30 Kiya August 21, 2013 at 2:25 am

I can totally relate to the warm fruit thing but this looks and seems so amazing that I have to try it out!!!!

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