The combination of strawberries and fresh basil in a pie might strike you as odd, but basil is a member of the mint family, which often pairs beautifully with fresh fruit in desserts. In these pies basil plays two roles: the chopped herb is tossed with juicy strawberries for the filling, while whole fresh leaves are steeped in sweet melted chocolate for a mildly seasoned sweet glaze.
This recipe is Gluten-Free.
White Chocolate Basil Glaze
3⁄4 cup heavy or whipping (35%) cream
10 fresh basil leaves
1 cup chopped white chocolate
Strawberry Basil Filling
2-1⁄2 cups diced strawberries
2 tbsp chopped fresh basil
1⁄4 cup granulated sugar
2 tbsp cornstarch (ensure label says GF)
2 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
Hand Pie Dough Recipe (see below)
1 large egg, lightly beaten with 1 tbsp water
1. White Chocolate Basil Glaze: In a small saucepan, bring cream to a simmer over medium heat. Add whole basil leaves, pressing with a spoon to release their flavor. Remove from heat, cover and set aside to steep for 15 minutes.
2. Strawberry Basil Filling: In a medium bowl, toss strawberries with chopped basil, sugar, cornstarch, and lemon juice.
3. On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to slightly thicker than 1⁄16 inch (2 mm). Using a cutter, cut into rounds and place on prepared baking sheets, spacing apart. Reroll scraps as necessary.
4. Brush edges of the rounds with egg wash. Place about 2 to 21⁄2 tbsp (30 to 37 mL) filling in the center of each circle. Fold circles in half, enclosing filling. Pinch together edges to seal and crimp with the tines of a fork. Brush tops with egg wash.
5. Place pies on baking sheets in the freezer for 30 minutes. Position oven racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C).
Tips: For maximum freshness, fresh basil is best used within a few days of purchase.
Makes 16 pies
Hand Pie Dough
It makes about 1-3⁄4 lbs dough
Enough for 12 to 16 hand pies
3 cups gluten-free flour
1 tbsp granulated sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1⁄2 tsp salt
7 oz cold unsalted butter, cubed
2⁄3 cup cold buttermilk, divided (see Tip)
1. In food processor fitted with a metal blade, pulse flour, sugar, baking powder and salt to combine.
2. Scatter butter over top and pulse several times until pieces are the size of peas.
3. Drizzle half the buttermilk over the flour mixture and pulse 4 to 5 times to combine. Add more buttermilk 1 tbsp (15 mL) at a time, pulsing after each addition, just until the dough begins to hold together in moist clumps (you might not need all the buttermilk).
4. Transfer to a large plastic wrap and shape into a ball. Flatten into a disk and wrap tightly in plastic. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
Tip: If you don’t have buttermilk, substitute 2⁄3 cup cold milk mixed with 1 tsp white or cider vinegar. Set aside at room temperature for 5 minutes before using in the recipe.
Excerpted from175 Best Mini-Pie Recipes by Julie Anne Hession © 2013 Robert Rose Inc. www.robertrose.ca May not be reprinted without publisher’s permission