baby strawberry cheese pies

Well, it’s cheesecake filling in a pie crust. I didn’t feel right about calling it a cheesecake. I am not sure about cheese pie, either. Cheese tart? Baby strawberry pie…hmmm. Sometimes, it’s harder to think of a name.

The crust, as y’all know was a real southern grandmother recipe. I warned y’all. I made it with (gasp!) lard. Now, I have read about all the good and bad with this stuff, and all the good and bad on shortening, And, biologically speaking lard is more easily recognized by our bodies as a food product, whereas shortening -in it’s plastic-hydrogenated form is recognizes as more of an “invader”. I have never cooked with lard, and usually-if I have to use shortening, I use the trans-fat-free one. But for some reason the other day, I was wanting to make a grandmother recipe. Like she did. I never made a pie crust with it- and always heard the best ones are made with it….so for strict culinary reasons I made my first pie crust with “it.” Ya know what?Best crust ever.

This recipe can also be made with the Pate Brisse crust, also.

for the crust:

2 1/2 c  flour

1 tsp salt

sift together

now, work in with two knives or a pastry blender

3/4 c lard

when it resembles coarse crumbs work in 4 tbs cold water (ice cold) with a fork.

Once it comes together as a dough, wrap in plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes.

Roll out on floured surface, to 1/4″ thickness. Cut out with a 2″ circular cutter

now, place your circles in a muffin tin, line them with foil or baking cups (I use the silicone ones) and fill the foil or cups with dry beans. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes. Remove the foil/cups/and beans, pierce crust with a fork and bake 5 more minutes.Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

For the cheese filling:

Combine 8 oz softened cream cheese with 1/2 c sugar- beat well with  a mixer until nice and creamy.

Now, add 2 eggs and 1 tsp vanilla extract

Pour into cooled shells and bake for 25 minutes at 350

For the topping, I chopped up 3 cups strawberries and added 4 tbs sugar and tsp cornstarch that was dissolved in 2 tsp water. Cook over medium heat until it’s saucy. Allow to cool then spoon over the little pies.

These are really yummy….the crust is flaky and salty and it marries so well with the creamy cheese and sweet strawberries. We only have four left. Uh-oh.  🙂

the end.

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