Strawberry Hand Pies

These Strawberry Hand Pies are flaky, sweet, juicy and baked to perfection. These were so yummy that I actually wanted to sell them at a bakery and wanted everyone to taste it. #Justathought 😛

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Hello all you lovely readers,

Did you enjoy the series of post for valentines special on the blog? Well I got a lot of feedback where in CDBS readers shared the pictures of all that they made. The Vanilla Shortbread Strawberry Trifle with Fresh Strawberry Sauce was a huge hit. That was one of my favorites too. Well I will be sharing all the feedback by the end of the month. I was supposed to do it for January too but it somehow didn’t work. But I promise from this month onwards the CDBS Monthly Highlight page will definitely be up.

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P.S- If you too want to be featured on the blog, do share your pictures and experience of cooking from CDBS. I would love to share it with the world. ❤

This month has been extremely special. Yes, a lot of amazing posts and feedback is one reason but the most amazing thing that happened a few days ago is Chef Kunal Kapur liked a few pictures of CDBS on Instagram. So did Farah Khan Ali ( Jewelry Designer). I was really taken aback by this. It was such a wonderful feeling. For more updates on that you have to follow me on INSTAGRAM: @COOKINGDIARYBYSHRUTI.

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Coming back to this recipe, its my ultimate favorite. Strawberries are there in the market for a last few weeks and I am trying to make the most of it. Honestly, it was a strawberry custard creme tart which was in my head. But then I had made a similar version with mangoes last year. (Click Here for the recipe of Mango Tarts). My mom was really craving them. Since she is out of town, I didn’t want to bake it.

P.S- You will see them on the blog soon 🙂

A bite sized pie has always been in my head. Its easier to serve and because it is bite sized you can really cut onto the portions. (Although this has never been on my mind)

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I know most of you find it really difficult to try a pie or a tart because of a simple thought i.e if it will come out the way it should. You can read my post of Mango Custard Creme Tarts for a detailed post on how to make it. The important thing to know while making a pie is that your crust should be perfect. It should be flaky and fudgy. You don’t want the crust to be either too crisp or too soft. It just has to be perfect. There is no other way.

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P.S- There are a few simple rules you need to follow while making a pie to bake it to perfection.

These strawberry hand pies are really easy to put together if you make a perfect pie dough. Once the dough is ready you are sorted to make these. I have mentioned some common mistakes that you could possibly make while making Pies. If you avoid these, you can bake them easily.

Some Common Mistakes that you can avoid while making Pies are:

1. Not Chilling the Pie dough:

I did this mistake for the first time when I made a pie. My pie was hard as a rock. Nothing beats a tender and flaky pie crust. And the key to make a perfect pie crust is chilling the dough for atleast 30 mins. If you are wondering why is this important is because it lets the butter to solidify again and lets the gluten relax and deactivate. If you don’t follow this crucial step your pie crust is most likely to shrink while baking.

2. Not using Chilled Butter:

Baking is really about the rules. We tend to avoid things like this when mentioned in the recipe. It seems less important. But you need to keep every step in mind while baking. Using a chilled butter is really important while kneading the dough. This helps to deactivate the gluten that can be formed while kneading. If you use a warm butter it will activate the gluten in the dough.

3. Over Kneading the Dough:

Whenever you make a pie crust, just combine the dough softly with your hands. It need not be perfect. It will be crumbly. Over Kneading the dough will never give you a flaky crust. Just combine the dough together and refrigerate it.

4. Throwing the pie right into the oven before baking:

Another really common mistake. You need to chill your pie for atleast 15 to 20 mins before you put it for baking. This is because while you are working with the dough the temperature of the dough rises again because of the warmth of your hands. You have to chill it again once you have filled it with your filling so that the gluten is deactivated.

5. Serve it while its hot

I know its really difficult to stop yourself once it is out of the oven…But a hot pie directly from the oven is a really bad idea. You need to cool it for atleast 1 hour before serving so that it sets naturally. Allow it to cool down.

You can make these hand pies in any flavor you like. Right from apples to raspberries to blueberries. You can fill in anything you want. I have caramelized the strawberries with some sugar to avoid the sourness in them.

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Lets begin with the recipe.

RECIPE: STRAWBERRY HAND PIES

Makes- 7 to 8 pies

Preparation Time- 1 hour( includes dough chilling time)

Baking Time- 20 mins

INGREDIENTS:

For the pie crust:

  • All purpose flour- 120 gms
  • Chilled Unsalted Butter- 60 gms (cut in cubes)
  • Vanilla Extract- 1 tsp
  • Baking Powder- 1/4th tsp
  • Sugar- 2 to 3 tbsp
  • Salt- 1/4th tsp (if you are using salted butter you can skip this)
  • Chilled Water- 2 to 3 tbsp

For the strawberry filling:

  • Finely chopped strawberries- 1 cup
  • Castor Sugar- 4 tbsp
  • Lemon Juice- 1/2 tsp
  • Lemon Zest- 1/2 tsp

PROCESS:

In a bowl mix together all the ingredients of the strawberry filling and keep aside in the refrigerator for cooling.

In a clean work surface, take the all purpose flour and add the chilled butter in cubes. Use a fork to break down the butter until the flour become crumbly.

Now add sugar, salt and baking powder. Make sure you work with really light hands.

Mix the vanilla extract and water together. Now drizzle 1 tsp of the mix at a time to combine a dough.

Do not add excess water. Just add enough to combine the dough. The dough will be crumbly. Form a ball, cover it with a cling wrap and let it chill for atleast 30 mins.

Once the dough is chilled…roll it out roughly till it is 1/2 inch thick, and cut out small circles of it as shown in the pic below.

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Now fill in the filling, cover it with another circle, and close the ends with the help of the fork. Also punch the fork a few times on top so that there is space for some air and the pie doesn’t burst.

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Once these are ready, chill it again in the fridge for about 20 mins before baking.

Bake in a preheated oven for 20 mins at 180 degrees.

Let it cool and enjoy.

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For any queries and collaborations contact me at : cookingdiarybyshruti@gmail.com

You can connect with me on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest for more regular updates.

If you cook or bake anything from Cooking Diary By Shruti…Please Share the Pictures on Instagram or Facebook and Tag @cookingdiarybyshruti. I would love to see them. Also I would feature it on my blog.

Lychee Ginger Mojito

This mocktail is surely the best to beat the heat in summers. All you need is a handful of ingredients and a perfect summer mocktail is ready.

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Hello Lovely Readers,

Its Mid- August and yet so hot outside. Its really humid and no rain. You really need a drink to beat the heat during the day. My favorites for this summer have been Tendo- Coconut Water, Salted Fresh Lime Sodas, and Buttermilk. I have been avoiding soft drinks this summer because of the high amount of sugar in them and in order to avoid those unwanted calories. Though Fresh Lime too isn’t all that great but yes at least better than Cold Drinks.

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Summers scream Lemons to me. Lemons are my ultimate favorite. I love drinks with lemon and mint. This drink is just one of those experiments when i wanted to infuse lemon and mint together. Also to add a little twist to the flavor I have added Ginger to this drink. Ginger brings about that additional taste and also minimizes the sweetness of Lychee Juice. The amount of ginger totally depends upon your taste. But about 1 tsp of Grated Ginger is more than enough in each glass. So don’d add a lot of ginger as the drink  will get bitter. If you are not a big fan of Lychee Juice, you can replace it with either sprite or Grape Juice. But not with any other flavor.It is super easy to make. All you got to do is mix all the ingredients together and your drink is ready.

P.S- The Lychee Juice is the heart of this mocktail.

RECIPE: LYCHEE GINGER MOJITO

Makes about- 1 Glass

Prep Time- 5 mins

INGREDIENTS:

  • Lychee Juice- 200 ml
  • Mint Leaves- 7 to 8
  • Ginger Grated- 1 tsp
  • Lemon Juice- 2 tsp
  • Lemon pieces- 5 to 6 (Thinly Sliced)
  • Ice Cubes- 4 to 5

PROCESS:

1. In a mixer, add mint leaves, Ginger and  Lemon Juice and mix it well.

2. In a glass, add Ice cubes, then add Lemon pieces thinly sliced, and add the mixture.

3. Now top it up with Litchee Juice.

4. Top with a few more mint leaves.

5. Serve Chilled

Your Litchee Ginger Mojito Is now Ready.

 

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For any queries and collaborations contact me at : cookingdiarybyshruti@gmail.com

You can connect with me on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest for more regular updates.

If you cook or bake anything from Cooking Diary By Shruti…Please Share the Pictures on Instagram or Facebook and Tag @cookingdiarybyshruti. I would love to see them. Also I would feature it on my blog.

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Lemon Cupcakes with Lemon Buttercream

Summer Is Equal To- Lemon Cupcakes 😀 This is an amazing  recipe to kick off summers. Lemons just scream summers to me, and lemon desserts are are one of my Favorites. And it’s almost here!

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I was out of town and its been so long I havent posted anything. Gawd I missed this soo much…. I have missed you guys and I have missed Blogging……Blogging is like a daily therapy now…..  I have been craving to blog all this while…. And i am sorry readers for the delay in the new post….Hope I dont dissappear again for soo long *Sigh*

These amazing cupcakes are the perfect snack for a weekend, a party, or special dinner dessert. They are wonderful for a summer evening. Spread the frosting or pipe it to make the cupcakes look like they came from the local bakery.:D

I ❤ lemon desserts, they are one of my favorites. I like my lemon desserts FULL of lemon. I need my lemon flavor strong. These cupcakes reflect that. The cupcakes themselves have a great straightforward lemon flavor. The buttercream is also full of lemon. This frosting would be great on white cupcakes ( I added color to mine to give it that lemony look) or even white chocolate cupcakes, yum!

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If you are using another flavor of  frosting and you like a really strong lemon flavor for the cupcakes, I would even say they could be a bit stronger, so I’ve added instructions in the recipe to do that.On the other hand, if you want the flavor a little more toned down you can always decrease the lemon juice and zest to do that. 

Speaking of zest and juice, these are very important aspects to this recipe.

You really do need to use fresh lemon juice and the lemon zest needs to be really fine. The best way to do that is to use a Microplane, this is one of my most favorite kitchen tools. I use it to grate Parmesan cheese and chocolate as well as zesting citrus. It allows you to take off only the top layer of the yellow peel, don’t get any white pith into your zest or it will be bitter.

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The great thing about this recipe is how easy it is. Seriously you really just throw it all into a pot and stir. This is the easiest cupcake recipe I’ve ever made. Which is great for a beginner, or for children. Or for those who don’t like a lot of work, but appreciate a great homemade cupcake. (I fall into the last category.) 😛

Another thing I love about these cupcakes is how moist they are. They really are super moist and tender. The Butter Cream recipe is a standard Butter Cream, “A butter and powdered sugar base”. Which usually doesn’t excite me and which most people think is way too sweet. But when you add something tart like lemons to all of that sugar, it really balances out the sweetness and turns this frosting into something special. I could eat this frosting with a spoon, I love it so much. In fact I needed to put the bowl in the sink and rinse it so I would stop licking the bowl. Gawd !

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Like I mentioned in the post, this recipe has a great lemon flavor and the buttercream also has a strong lemon flavor, I believe they pair very well together as written. But if you are using a different flavored frosting recipe and want the cupcakes to have a really strong lemon flavor, I would increase the lemon juice to 3/4 cup, and decrease the water to 1/4 cup. If you want them with less lemon flavor I would use less zest, about 1 Tablespoon. 

INGREDIENTS:

Prep Time: 30 to 45 mins

Baking Time: 15 mins

Makes about : 10 cupcakes

For the Cupcakes

  • All purpose Flour- 2 cups ( 300 gms approx)
  • Unsalted butter- 1 cup
  • Castor Sugar- 1 1/2 cup
  • Salt- A large pinch
  • Baking Soda- 1/2 tsp
  • Baking Powder- 1 tsp
  • Vanilla Extract- 2 tsp
  • Fresh Lemon Juice- 1/2 cup
  • Fresh Lemon Zest- 2 Tbsp
  • Yogurt- 1 cup
  • Lemon Yellow Color- 2 drops(Optional)

For the Buttercream Frosting

  • Unsalted Butter- 2 Cups
  • Icing Sugar- 1 1/2 Cup
  • Vanilla Extract- 1 tsp
  • Lemon Zest- 1 Tbsp
  • Lemon Juice- 60 ml

PROCESS:

Preheat oven at 180 degrees for about 15 mins.

1.  Beat butter and sugar together until they are light and fluffy. Once it turns pale add in vanilla extract, lemon zest and lemon juice.

2. In a separate bowl sieve together the dry ingredients- Flour, Baking soda, Baking Powder and salt.

3. Now fold in the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Add in yogurt a

alternatively to maintain the consistency.

4. The batter should be smooth and consistent. Add in a drop of yellow color if you like to give it that lemony kick 😉

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5. Once the batter is ready, Line your cupcake tray or simply grease it with butter. Fill the batter. Dont overfill.

6. Bake until lightly golden for about 15 mins. Check with a skewer, if not done bake for 2 mins more.

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7. Once out of the oven let the lemon cupcakes rest on a stand before you start putting the butter cream. Dont they look gorgeous 😀

P.S – I couldnt even resist to take a bite. 

8. While the cupcakes are getting ready make the buttercream. For the butter cream whisk in butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add in the remaining ingredients and whisk until its peaky and fluffy.

9. Use a piping bad or just a spoon to top the cup cakes with the icing and make peaks.

10. Your lemony and buttery cupcakes are now ready 🙂

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Tips you can follow:

* Lemon Cupcakes are a perfect summer kick.

* Use Fresh Lemon Juice and Fresh Lemon Zest for the awesome flavor.

*Adding color is totally optional.

*You can use a plain buttercream frosting if you dont like too much lemon flavor. Just add more vanilla.

* Dont overbake these cupcakes. They are meant to be soft and moist.

*Do not refrigerate the icing for longer as the butter will start setting again.

For further queries do contact me.

Enjoy Baking :*

Love

ShRuTi

XOXO