Saturday, May 29, 2010

Cape Breton Pork Pies

I remember reading about pork pies not having pork inside so how did it get its name?

There is no pork in a pork pie - indeed, there is no meat at all. Pork Pies are tender little morsels of short bread tart, date and maple icing according to Pondside which the recipe below is borrowed from. Incidentally, Pondside is today Blogger's Blog of Note. Congrats, Pondsite!

Pork Pie Shells
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons icing sugar
1 cup butter, softened

2 1/4 cups chopped pitted dates
1 cup water
3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 cup butter
2 1/4 cups icing sugar
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon maple extract

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).
Pork Pie shells: Sift together flour and 2 tablespoons icing sugar in a bowl. Cut in 1 cup butter; knead until well blended. Form dough into 3/4 inch balls. Press into 1 1/2 inch tart cups into the bottom and up the sides, forming a shell.
Bake until golden, about 15 minutes. Let shells cool in the pan. Using a knife, gently loosen and remove shells from pan.

Filling: Combine dates, water, brown sugar, and salt in a saucepan. Bring to a boil and cook gently for about 10 minutes, stirring constantly and mashing dates as they cook. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Allow mixture to cool before spooning into tart shells.

Icing: Cream 1/4 cup butter in a small bowl with an electric mixer. Gradually add 1 cup of the sugar, continuing to mix. Add the milk, the remaining 1 1/4 cups sugar, and maple extract. Beat until smooth. Icing should be thick enough to pipe. Use a pastry bag with a small round or star-shaped tip. Pipe a swirl of icing on each tart. If you don't have a pastry bag, use a small plastic zip-lock bag and cut a tiny hole in a corner.

These will freeze well.