Happy 4th of July! This time last year, I was making spicy chili dogs and burning my mouth on ghost chili’s for America’s independence day but I decided to do something a bit more festive this time around. Pie pops have been all over the Web these days and I’ve been dying to try them for myself. Even though these little pies aren’t necessarily daring or different, they just look like so much fun! One thing I did to really change up my recipe was to go a little crazy with color. Sure, you see multicolored cookies everywhere, but have you ever seen multi-colored flaky pie dough? With my own homemade Thanksgiving inspired pie filling (to me, Thanksgiving is a year-round holiday) and layers of red, white and blue, these pie pops will hopefully rock your world.
4th of July Pie Pops
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
5 Tbsp sugar
1 cup cold margarine, cubed
1/2 cup cold water
1/8 tsp red gel food coloring
1/8 tsp blue gel food coloring
1 egg, separated
Cranberry-Nectarine Pie Filling
12 oz. bag frozen cranberries
3 nectarines, pitted and chopped
1/2 cup lemon juice + zest of 1 lemon
1/2 cup orange juice
2/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup sugar
In a food processor, I blended the flour, salt and sugar. I added the cold cubed margarine and pulsed until the flour mixture looked like sand.
I added the water, pulsed one more time until the dough came together. I separated the dough in to three sections and set one aside to keep plain.
I placed one of the sections back in the food processor, added the red gel food coloring and quickly pulsed until the dough was red. At this point, the dough became very sticky because I overworked it a little but it’s okay! Totally worth it for the red pie dough! I rinsed out the food processor then followed the same process for the blue dough. Don’t forget to wear gloves during this process or you might dye your fingers red and blue (like I did)!
I wrapped each dough in plastic wrap and refrigerated for 30 minutes.
In the meantime, I made the cranberry-nectarine pie filling. My mouth is watering as I write those words. This is a VERY tart pie filling so you can sweeten it up with more sugar and/or less lemon juice. I just really like tart pie. I mixed together all of the ingredients in a pan, warmed up on medium heat and cooked for 20-30 minutes, until the cranberries popped and entire mixture was soft.
Back to the dough…I took out the red dough first and set it on a floured surface.
I rolled out the red dough, placed it on parchment paper then moved on to the plain dough. I brushed egg white on the red dough then placed the rolled-out plain dough right on top. I brushed on more egg white, rolled out the blue dough and placed it on top. The egg white will help keep the layers together.
I rolled the layers like a cinnamon bun.
I refrigerated the dough for another 30 minutes then started slicing! How pretty is that?!?
I pressed each slice with my hands then placed on the flour surface and rolled out with a rolling-pin. I cut out star shapes but you can use any shape you want.
I placed the stars on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet then pressed a lollipop stick in the dough. I pinched the dough a little to cover the stick. I added a small spoonful of cranberry-nectarine filling (again with the mouth-watering) in the center of the star.
I covered the filling with a second star and pressed around the edges.
I brushed the stars with egg yolk and baked at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes. My house smelled incredible! You can never go wrong with the fragrance of baking pie dough.
I also had some fun making round pie pops and even baked some of the extra pie dough with melted margarine, sugar and cinnamon.
The pie pops were everything I hoped they would be! The crust was flaky and crunchy, even though I overworked the dough, and the filling was super tart and majorly mouth-watering. I can’t say enough that my mouth waters every time I talk about the filling. And check out those colors! Red, white and blue, anyone?