My earliest memories of baking are with my grandmother. I can’t recall how small I was, but that hardly matters because we baked the same things time after time. I know that I had to climb up on the high-backed bar stool at the end of the island (peninsula is more accurate, I suppose) in her kitchen, and that I knelt on the chair while we worked on the counter top. Just like Violet does in our kitchen at home.
I don’t know where my own mother was… maybe out for a run? She could have been in the other room, but I wouldn’t have noticed because it was grandma time. We made little hand pies. Lots and lots of them throughout my childhood. We’d mix pie dough up in an old Cool Whip container with a fork. Flour, cold butter, ice water–ready to roll with her heavy wood rolling pin. She’d hand me a juice glass and I’d flip it over and press it into the dough, cutting out perfect, petite circles. We’d drop tiny spoonfuls of strawberry and grape jelly onto the discs of dough and then cover them with a perfectly matched top. Grandma would help me carefully crimp the edges together with a fork and press steam holes in the tops with the tines, and then we’d dust them with cinnamon and sugar.
They were delicious and perfect. Best of all, they were totally fun to make!
Today, Violet helped me bake something similar to those tasty little pies I used to bake with my grandmother. Pop Tarts. But not like the sad, chalky excuses for breakfast food you may have coveted during your childhood because they were rarely in your house. These are special, in that they are delicious.
Last summer, while I was pregnant with Scarlet, I had the deluded idea that I remembered Pop Tarts being super delicious. This was dangerous. And tragically, incorrect. A fuzzy childhood memory of strawberry “pastry” with sprinkles, paired with crazy pregnant lady cravings led me to buy a box and be painfully let down with each dry, artificially sweet bite. Blech.
We’re in test baking mode for farmers market planning, and I thought that tasty Pop Tarts (perhaps I should call them something else… Kellogs might not like this kind of talk) might be great for snacking on while piling produce from local farms into your market bag. And you know what? The farmers market is all these buttery little hand pies will ever see, because they aren’t making it to your house. Probably not even to your car. Too tasty.
They’re a simple, flaky pâte brisée filled with raspberry jam, and topped of course, with a vanilla glaze with sprinkles! These are going to be the perfect way to share the homemade jams I plan on whipping up as the berries come into season.