At High 5 Pie, good things come in small packages.
Dani Cone delights her customers at High 5 Pie in Seattle with her signature, handmade miniature pies: Cutie Pies (muffinsize pies), Piejars (homey-looking pies baked in half-pint Mason jars), Piepops (just like they sound—irresistable pies on a stick), Petit-5s (bite-size munchies), and her most popular creation, Flipsides (tasty turnovers). Of course, she also sells full-sized pies, but her darling minis draw the crowds.
The inspiration for Cone’s fanciful creations? Her 93-year-old Grandma Molly (“Grammy”), who, with Grandpa Jerry, is still a regular visitor to High 5 Pie and
who helped Cone create her oh-so-sweet cookbook based on the fare at her shop: Cutie Pies: 40 Sweet, Savory, and Adorable Recipes.
“Although she isn’t in the bakery with me making the pies, I have to say that with each pie I make or recipe we create, I keep this in mind: ‘Is this a pie/recipe that I would be proud to serve Grammy?’” Cone says.
More muse than teacher, Grandma Molly contributed the romance. “I didn’t actually learn to make the pie from Grammy, but I learned to love it from her,” says Cone. “We’d pick the blackberries together and while she was hard at work making the pie, I was definitely busy eating the berries and getting ready to enjoy the pie!”
Cone added the hard work, experimenting again and again to perfect the product. It took “months and then more months,” she says, to get the formula
right. And she’s still tweaking her techniques and ingredients.
“I think recipes are a living, breathing thing that always evolve,” she says. “Sometimes there needs to be some variance from pie to pie, from one batch of
fruit to another. You just have to go with it and be open to change, improvement, and ‘listening’ to how the ingredients are that day! Is that crazy? Perhaps I’ve been around pies too long!”
A LIGHTER PIE?
“It can be done!” says Dani Cone. “You can lower the sugar in the pie and substitute a little honey or just add in or sub in a sweeter berry, like a strawberry, if it fits in well. Or just go with a more ‘fruit-forward’ pie, meaning decrease the sugar and just keep it fresh with very good, seasonal fruit. It could make for a bit more of a tart pie, but I like that! Also, some sugar alternatives can be used for baking. Check the labels. As a lower-calorie topping option, try a sorbet or
frozen yogurt instead of ice cream or just extra fruit that is either freshly cut or cooked down just a little bit to bring out its juices.”
All-Butter Pie Crust
Makes 1 double-crust 9-inch pie, 2 single-crust 9-inch pies, 16 Cutie Pies, 36 Petit-5s, 8 Piejars, 10 Flipsides, or 50 Piepops
This phenomenal crust is a perfect complement to sweet or savory recipes. It is flaky yet substantial, and never disappoints once you get the hang of it. The All-Butter Pie Crust is your go-to crust; it works with all pie shapes and recipes. Although this recipe, which was developed in our High 5 Pie kitchen, is not the same as my Grandma Molly’s, rest assured it is so good that even Grandma Molly approves!
21⁄2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cold, cut into
3⁄4 cup ice water
1. In a large bowl, combine the flour, salt, and sugar, and mix well.
2. Add the butter to the flour mixture, and mix gently with a pastry blender, a fork, or your hands. The goal is to lightly incorporate the butter into the dry ingredients. The butter pieces should be well coated with the dry mixture and somewhat flattened.
3. Gradually add the water to the flour mixture, 1 tablespoon at a time, and continue mixing the dough until it comes together and forms pea-sized or crouton-sized crumbs. The dough should look like coarse individual pieces, not smooth and beaten together like cookie dough.
4. With your hands, gather the dough crumbs together to form 2 patties, gently molding the crumb-like mixture into a patty shape and being careful not to overhandle the dough. Wrap each patty in plastic wrap.
5. Chill the dough for at least 1 hour, or up to 3 days. The dough can also be frozen for up to 2 weeks.
6. When you’re ready to use the dough, let it sit at room temperature for at least 10 minutes to soften it and make it workable. On a lightly floured surface, roll out each of the 2 dough patties to about a 1⁄4-inch thickness, lightly dusting it with flour, if needed, to prevent sticking, and making sure to roll the dough evenly.
TD&N Nutrient Analysis (based on 16 servings): Calories: 172; Total Fat: 12 g; Saturated Fat: 7 g; Polyunsaturated Fat: 1 g; Monounsaturated Fat: 3 g; Cholesterol: 30 mg; Sodium: 147 mg; Carbohydrates: 15 g; Fiber: 1 g; Protein: 2 g
Makes enough crumb topping for 1 (9-inch) pie, 16 Cutie Pies, or 36 Petit-5s
I am crazy about crumb top on a pie. Anytime, anyplace, any pie—I love it! Crumb top is a nice way to finish off a fruit pie, especially when the fruit is a bit tart. As somewhat of a crumb aficionado, I am particularly happy to share our very own crowd-pleasing High 5 Pie Crumb Top recipe. But a word of caution: It is addictive!
1⁄2 cup all-purpose flour
1⁄3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1⁄2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cold, cut into
1⁄4 cup rolled oats
1. In a large bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar, granulated sugar, salt, and cinnamon, and mix well.
2. Add the butter to the flour mixture, and mix thoroughly with a pastry blender, a fork, or your fingers until the texture is like small peas.
3. Add the rolled oats, and mix to create a crumbly consistency.
4. Sprinkle the crumb topping over a 9-inch pie, Cutie Pies, or Petit-5s before baking.
TD&N Nutrient Analysis (based on 16 servings): Calories: 96; Total Fat: 6 g; Saturated Fat: 4 g; Polyunsaturated Fat: 0 g; Monounsaturated Fat: 1 g; Cholesterol: 15 mg; Sodium: 147 mg; Carbohydrates: 11 g; Fiber: 0 g; Protein: 1 g
DANI CONE’S TOP FIVE PIE-MAKING TIPS
What’s the difference between a good pie and a great pie? “A good pie will do in a pinch, but a great pie is one that stays with you, one that becomes a memory in your mind and on your tastebuds, and it’s the one you can still taste and smell and savor when you talk about it later,” she says.
To help you make your pies memorable, she offers these tips:
1)When making pie crust, always keep all the ingredients as cold as possible. Plan ahead the day before and put the butter in the freezer and the flour and the mixing bowls in the refrigerator. The water used in the dough should be ice water.
2)Handle the dough as little as possible. Once you have mixed your dough ingredients until they have just come together in large crumbs, form it into a patty and chill it for at least one hour. Don’t let the dough come together too much or overmix it! When rolling out the dough, roll the minimum amount until you have just the right size. Don’t overdo it! The more the dough is rolled, the tougher your crust will be. You want to keep that light flaky goodness!
3)Use the best and freshest ingredients possible.
4)Don’t be afraid of an extra pinch of salt in the filling or pinch of sugar in the crust.
5)Love your pie. I know it may sound crazy, but you’ve got to put love into a pie. Think of something great, something that makes you happy—I swear it makes a difference.