Since forming my business, Cakewalk Desserts, I’ve been making pie pops for over three years! I love coming up with new ways to reinvent myself through these little, portable morsels. If you’ve never heard of them before, pie pops are basically mini–pocket pies baked right on a stick!
tYou can put any kind of filling in them you like — from fruity to creamy to savory — and the best part is you can really get creative with the crusts. They can be displayed upright, too, so no one will ever miss them!
t My new cookbook, Easy As Pie Pops, was released just this month. In it, you can find over 60 recipes for my sweet and savory pie pops, cake pops and mini–tea loaves.
t I’d love to share with you a little tutorial I’ve cooked up for one of my favorite holiday-friendly recipes straight out of the book: cranberry-walnut crisp pie pops. They’re perfectly tart and delicately sweet, with a crumbly, crisp topping that’s going to give your holiday dessert a total spin!
Cranberry-walnut crisp pie pops
t From the cookbook Easy as Pie Pops*
t Yields 2 dozen pie pops
- 4 unbaked, store-bought or homemade 9-inch-diameter pie crusts
- 2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
- 1 cup chopped walnuts
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup butter, melted and cooled
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup old-fashioned or quick rolled oats (not instant)
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup cold butter
- 1 large egg white, beaten (for brushing)
t Note: If you can, start by baking a pop just for yourself so you can “taste test” one while it’s still warm. Enjoy it with a cup of coffee or even a glass of wine.
t To prepare the filling: Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Grease a 9-inch-diameter pie dish and grease and flour a large baking sheet.
t Wash and drain the cranberries. In a large bowl, mix together the cranberries, walnuts and brown sugar. Spread the mixture in the prepared pie dish and pat it down.
t In another bowl, combine the egg, granulated sugar, melted butter and flour. Beat well. Spread the egg mixture on top of the mixture in the pie dish.
t Bake for 40-45 minutes. Remove from the oven, mix up the filling with a fork and let it cool to room temperature. Increase the oven temperature to 375 degrees F.
tTo prepare the crisp topping: In a large mixing bowl, combine all the topping ingredients, except the butter. Using a pastry blender or a fork, cut the butter into the mixture until it resembles coarse bread crumbs.
tTo assemble the pie pops:
t Step 1: Start with fresh ingredients for best results. I was so excited to learn that cranberries were finally in season that I rushed out to buy some just to have them around (and also for this recipe, of course). As I mention above, once you bake the pie filling, let it cool a bit and then mix it up with a fork so it is easier to spoon into the pops.
t Step 2: Use a 3- to 4-inch round cookie cutter to stamp out 24 pastry rounds from 2-3 9-inch-diameter pie crusts. If you’re making 12 pops, you’ll need 24 rounds (12 top and 12 bottom crusts).
t Tip: You can make your own dough (with double the recipe), or if you’re a newbie to pie pops, you can buy refrigerated, ready-to-bake pie crusts at your local grocery store. They are typically found near the cookie dough and butter. The store-bought crusts come in boxes with 2 9-inch crusts included. They are not frozen.
t Step 3: Grease and flour your baking sheet well (pops that stick are the absolute worst). Lay out your 12 “bottom” pastry rounds along the top and bottom of your baking sheet and brush them with egg whites. Press a single 8-inch parchment stick in the center of each bottom crust so that they hold firmly.
t Tip: You can buy these 8-inch “cookie sticks” in the baking section at your local craft store. Try Michaels, Tall Mouse or Hobby Lobby.
t Step 4: Spoon your pie filling into the center of each bottom crust and be sure to leave at least a 1/4- to 1/2-inch edge around the filling so that you can seal your top and bottom crusts together.
t Step 5: Lay your top crust on top of your filling, carefully aligning the top and bottom crusts. Using your fingers, firmly press your top crusts around the diameter of the pop, creating a nice, flat surface to crimp the edges.
t Step 6: Crimp your pie-pop edges with a fork, a decorative crimper or a “cookie-stick dowel.” You can make a dowel by simply cutting a 1-inch piece off of one of your cookie sticks.
t Tip: Be sure to crimp firmly on both sides of the cookie stick of the pie pop as shown in the left picture. This will ensure that the cookie stick is secure and that the pie won’t fall off once baked.
t Step 7: Once your pops are sealed and crimped, brush the top crusts with egg whites and sprinkle with your topping.
t Step 8: Bake your pops at 375 degrees F for 15 minutes or until they’re golden brown. Then, remove them from your baking sheet and place them on a cooling rack.
t Step 9: If you’re baking these pie pops for an event or a party, consider wrapping them in a clear 3 x 4-inch cellophane bag and tying them with a colorful ribbon! This helps contain the toppings and keeps the pops fresh until they are ready to be eaten.
t Tip: Make sure the pops have cooled completely before wrapping them. Otherwise, they may become soggy.
t Well, there you have it! These simple and fun pie pops are delicious and fun, and they’ll definitely be a hit at your next party or event. Have fun!