Rhubarb Companion Cube Pies

 

I love the idea of hand pies. It reminds me of trips to the bread store with my mum when we were children. If there was a special sale going on, which meant just a little extra money left, we would get Hostess Fruit Pies (or the off brand version of those pies). This was a highly unusual treat as my mum was very much into home-baked treats and did her best to feed us many vegetables and very little sugar.   I don’t know why we never thought to make our own little pies. Probably because Betty Crocker never suggested it!

Thankfully, one of my favourite food blogs, Smitten Kitchen, recently wrote about her wonderful little rhubarb cream cheese hand pies. They looked amazing. Despite the cream cheese, my fiance was keen to try them as well since he loves rhubarb.

Since rhubarb doesn’t grow in Florida, it’s much too hot for far too long, we pay about $6.00 a pound for the wonderful stalks. I decided to cut the recipe in half, so I would have rhubarb left to make another treat with the other half a pound. I also used my own crust recipe since I had some ready to go in the freezer.

Rhubarb Companion Cube Pies (from Smitten Kitchen)

To begin, make your favourite pie crust, or use the one at Smitten Kitchen. While the dough refrigerates, make the fillings.

Rhubarb Filling

  • 1/2 pound rhubarb
  • 1/4 cup sugar (I didn’t quite fill the measuring cup all the way)

Peel the tough outer skin of the rhubarb. Roughly chop into small pieces. Place into small pan with sugar. Cook over low heat about 15 minutes. Stir occasionally. I let it simmer until there was a thick paste so I wouldn’t have juices running out of the pies.

Cream Cheese Filling

  • 2 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup sugar (I didn’t quite fill the measuring cup all the way)
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 small egg yolk

Whisk all of the ingredients together in a small bowl. Keep refrigerated until needed.

Now for the fun part, assembling the pies!

First, Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Roll out your dough. You can either use a pizza cutter or a cookie cutter to cut your dough into an even number of shapes. I used a Portal Companion Cube cookie cutter since that is the sort of cookie cutters we have in our house! I ended up with 14 squares (Next time, I’m going to roll the dough a little thinner.)

Second, Place half of your squares on your baking sheet. These will be the bottom of your pies. With the remaining shapes, create a vent by cutting a plus in the top of the pie. (Next time I want to make a heart shape.)

Third, Using a spoon, place about a teaspoon of cream cheese mixture in the center of the pie bases. I smoothed it out a bit. If you have a larger shape, you could add more filling. You may want to do a test pie to make sure you don’t overfill the crust.

Fourth, Scoop about the same amount of rhubarb filling on top of the cream cheese.  Again, make sure you don’t overfill the crust.

Fifth,  Carefully place the vented crust pieces over the pie bases. With your fingers, gently but firmly press the edges of the crusts together.

Sixth, Bake pies for 15-20 minutes. The edges will be quite brown. Remove from baking sheet and place on cooling rack. I recommend letting them cool to room temperature. But I realise how hard that part of the instructions will be to follow. Store in a sealed container in the fridge, if there are any left!

You could do a light egg wash before placing the filling on the base to help seal the edges, but mine held together quite well. You could also finish with an egg wash and sprinkle with sugar before baking, I may try this next time.

 

 

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