accidental strawberry pot pies
I’m mega-watt sick guys. Really. STAY AWAY on the other side of the computer and try not to touch the screen I am highly contagious! This is like the 100+ times I’ve gotten sick since I moved to Beijing because my unevolved Canadianess is no match for China’s uber-advanced virus. My further disrespect for it led me to go out for a night of harmless chatters over my favorite Sichuan face-torching/throat-choking dishes, which left me MUTED after I came home. MUUUTED, people. Paralyzed and powerless even when I saw a lift of a leg at the sofa across the apartment (!!!!…!!!!….!..). ZIP! I am Ariel without a fairy tale… well plus… a couple other things but you get my point.
But not all mistakes are as
stupid and well-deserved unwelcomed as this one. Some are beautiful… romantic… DELICIOUS even. Many months ago (…dog-years in Beijing), I mistakenly read the cover of a Martha Stewart’s Living magazine featuring a savory meat pie with potato topping, which at the glimpse of it I thought was a dessert pie with a golden brown cookie-dough lid. I know I know. What a pity… This world could have been so much more fun with something as perfectly logical as sweet WARM POT PIEs with ALL THE POSSIBILITIES of the COOKIE DOUGHS out there as their adorable little caps but just… (months and months later…) sigh, what a shame… Wait… what am I saying? WHO HAS A FOOD BLOG? DAMN IT! I can still digitally shout… miracle…
People, this is a mistake you cannot afford to NOT MAKE! A cinch to put together but with all the unexpected quality of a perfect accident. The top crust is baked golden brown, puffy and crispy with a layer underneath that is wonderfully chewy, then digging deeper is the cookie dough that’s partially soft and melty just resting on top of the bubbly warm and creamy berry-soup filling. As I kept digging and cracking down to the bottom of this perfect Spring time yumminess, I thought to myself that there was no way I could have came up with this if it weren’t a… yes like I said, a beautiful mistake.
* I have tried both brown sugar and white sugar in the filling and the brown sugar version is definitely more flavorful, but if you want the filling to stay nice and pinkish (the picture above used white sugar and the one below used brown sugar), you could choose white sugar as well.
Ingredients: sugar cookie dough is adapted from Martha Stewart
- Sugar cookie lid:
- 1/3 cup (75 g) of unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1/3 cup of sugar
- 1 tbsp of brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp of lemon zest
- 1 tsp of lemon juice
- 1 small egg, or 1/2 large egg
- 1 cup of all-purpose flour
- 1/3 tsp of baking soda
- 1/8 tsp of salt
- Strawberry filling:
- 500 g of strawberries (or any other berries I assume)
- 8 tbsp of creme fraiche
- 4 tbsp of brown sugar (or white sugar*)
- 4 tsp of lemon juice
- Powdered sugar for rolling and dusting
Make the lid: With a wooden spoon or whisk, stir the unsalted butter, sugar, brown sugar and lemon zest together vigorously. You can of course do this with a handheld mixer which I assume is much easier. Then stir in the lemon juice and egg and whisk until fully incorporated. Add the flour, baking soda and salt. Stir the dough together until everything is thoroughly incorporated. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for 30 min.
To bake: Preheat the oven on 350ºF/ 175ºC.
Cut the strawberry into halves or quarters depending on the size. The chunks should stay nice and large so they don’t completely disappear during baking. Mix the strawberries with creme fraiche, sugar and lemon juice. Divide the mixture into 4 small ramekins preferably with diameters no bigger than 3.5″/9 cm, and fill them up to 90% full.
Prepare 2 tbsp of powdered sugar in a bowl. Take a large ice-cream scoop and tightly pack it with the chilled cookie dough. Drop it in the powdered sugar and roll it to evenly dust the surface. Use your hand to press the dough down to a thick disk that fits the diameter of the ramekins. Place the cookie disk on top of the filling and press lightly around the edges to make sure the dough covers the entire ramekins. Repeat with the other three. You can also keep all the components in the fridge and make one single serving at a time as needed.
Bake in the oven on 350ºF/ 175ºC for 15 min, then lower the temperature down to 320ºF/ 160ºC and bake for another 10~15 min until the cookie top is golden brown and puffed.
Dust with powdered sugar and serve immediately.