I’m a bit high-strung. (My friend Danielle is probably going “What? You? Nooooooo.” in a way only she can as she reads this.) You could say I’m Type A. I like to plan and organize and be prepared and feel accomplished.
And when I can’t do that it makes me feel a bit out of control, a bit frenzied and harried. When my to-do list doesn’t get done, or I fail to plan something, or something doesn’t go as planned, it generally sends me into a tailspin that is dizzying and defeating. I’m left feeling overwhelmed and/or underachieved.
Yesterday was an exercise against that. Monday was too. Today will be again. As will the rest of the week, I’m sure.
It started Monday morning when I ran over a nail. I spent two hours struggling, straining, and swearing (sorry, Grandma) while patching my tire. My hands are scraped and scratched to the high heavens. I have bruises on my elbows, knees, shoulders and shins. There were a lot of tears, a weepy phone call to my dad, and a lot of moments when I wanted to give up.
But I didn’t. I kept going. I got the damned thing patched and made an appointment to get new tires put on my car (something that was due, anyway). Even if that was a detour my day couldn’t recover from, the accomplishment of knowing I was strong enough to do it stymied any feelings of inadequacy I felt at not checking items off my little list. It was enough to not do it all.
Tuesday was the same. I went to the mechanic, prepared to spend both time and money (for which I’m in short supply of both) getting new tires put on. Only to find out they had ordered the wrong tires and wouldn’t be able to get them in until the following day. I wasn’t entirely upset about it…less time at the mechanic meant I was free to go home and whip up a pie treat for Pi Day. BECAUSE I HADN’T PLANNED SOMETHING AHEAD OF TIME. It hadn’t made my list or been prepared in advance. In truth, when I was reminded Monday night of Tuesday being Pi(e) Day, I felt like a bit of a blogging failure. What was I doing with my time if not being perfectly prepared with pie? (Aside from fixing a tire and beating myself into a bloody pulp in the process, working, taking care of my dog, buying 8 pounds of butter, etc.) Luckily, the mechanics tire mess-up meant I had extra time I didn’t think I had.
Meaning now you’ve got a recipe you didn’t think you’d get. Even if it is a day late. Because, even though I managed to make these delicious, easy, flaky, gorgeous, scrumptious, mini mixed berry balsamic hand pies (what a mouthful…literally) yesterday in celebration of Pi Day. And even had time to take pictures afterward too, I spent the rest afternoon delivering them to my friends and taking Edgar for a nice long walk downtown before enjoying a delicious pizza date with my man. And I’m better for it.
Mini Mixed Berry Balsamic Hand Pies
(makes 25ish 2-inch round pie bites)
1 recipe Perfect Piecrust, substituting all butter for the bacon fat
1 cup frozen blueberries
1 cup chopped strawberries
¼ cup blackberry jam
¼ cup sugar
2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon corn starch
pinch of salt
1 egg, for eggwash*
Prepare pie crust according to directions, divide in two, wrap in plastic, and place in fridge to rest.
In a medium saucepan, combine remaining ingredients over medium heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until reduced by half. While the berries cook, take a potato masher and pulverize the fruit to create a somewhat uniform consistency.
Remove from heat and allow to cool.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment and set aside.
Roll out one half of the dough on a lightly floured surface until ⅛ inch thick. Using a ravioli cutter or small cookie cutter, make light indentations in dough to outline where filling should go.
Dollop 1 teaspoon of filling onto prepared dough.
Roll out remaining half of dough to ⅛ inch thick and place over filling. Lightly press around filling to seal edges before cutting with ravioli cutter or cookie cutter. Poke small holes in tops of pies with a toothpick.
Place on prepared baking sheet and brush with eggwash* (simply add 1 tablespoon water to 1 whole egg and whisk, whisk, whisk). Bake in preheated oven for 25 – 30 minutes, or until pies are golden brown.
Reroll extra dough and repeat process.
While pies cool, make a quick glaze of powdered sugar, water, vanilla, and salt. Whisk until smooth. Drizzle over cool hand pies and sprinkle with sanding sugar.