cranberry mini-pies topped with walnut streusel

cranberry mini-pies with walnut streusel | movita beaucoup

Some of you have heard this story before. Some of you have not. Enjoy.

Several years ago, long before 2.0 came into my life, I lived in a large apartment building that overlooked the Halifax Common. I shared the building with a man I liked to call Hot Wheelchair Guy (because he was hot and he rocked a wheelchair). He lived just up the hall from me. One day, when checking my mail in the lobby, I saw Hot Wheelchair Guy getting into the elevator, and I decided it would be the perfect time to get an up close, face-to-face look at him – to confirm hotness. I waited for the elevator doors to close behind him, and then made a break for the stairs. I ran past the first floor apartments, past the gym and pool, and headed into the stairwell. I took the stairs three at a time. I ran incredibly quickly. So quickly, in fact, that I beat the elevator up to the second floor. But because I didn’t know just how fast I could move, I also didn’t know that I had arrived on the second floor before the elevator.

cranberry mini-pies with walnut streusel | movita beaucoup

When I burst through the end door of my hallway, I couldn’t see Hot Wheelchair Guy. I assumed that I had missed him as he came off the elevator, and that he was safe and sound in his apartment. (That had happened in the past – the man was almost as fast as this gal, and his apartment was right beside the elevators.) So, I continued to run at full tilt up the hall toward my apartment at the opposite end. Super Speed Mode was now fully engaged, and unfortunately, I was unable to slow down as Hot Wheelchair Guy slowly rolled off the elevator at the mid-point of the corridor. Impact was inevitable. As I tried to swerve and avoid collision, I launched my body off the right side of his chair, flipped through the air, and crashed into a wall.

Imagine his surprise.

Now imagine the loud sound my body made when it hit the wall.

cranberry mini-pies with walnut streusel | movita beaucoup

I even didn’t get a good look at him. In fact, it probably would have made more sense to ride up in the elevator with him, but that didn’t occur to me until after the… incident.

cranberry mini-pies with walnut streusel | movita beaucoup

Hey, you know what makes people run fast? Cranberries. Because they’re healthy and stuff. But all that healthiness has to be balanced with sugar and butter, so you should shove some cranberries into a wee pie and consume ‘em that way. Better yet, top that mini-pie with ice cream and then run around your neighbourhood. Goodness knows who you might run into. The toasted walnuts in the streusel topping balance the sweetness of the jammy cranberry filling in these pies, AND: maple syrup comes from trees, which means it’s probably good for you, and there is maple syrup in the filling. I’m not saying these mini-pies will help you win a marathon or anything. I’m just saying they might help you win a marathon.

cranberry mini-pies with walnut streusel | movita beaucoup

cranberry mini-pies with walnut streusel | movita beaucoup

. . .

Cranberry Mini-Pies Topped with Walnut Streusel

recipe: adapted slightly from Better Homes and Gardens’ Holiday Baking Issue 2012

print and bake

Yields 10 mini-pies.

For the streusel:

  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons rolled oats
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3 tablespoons cold butter, chopped into small pieces

For the pastry:

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 3 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour

For the filling:

  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup

Mise en place – begin by getting organized. Measure out all of your ingredients. Toast the walnuts in a dry skillet over medium heat until golden and fragrant (about 3-5 minutes) and allow to cool. Place the ingredients for the filling in a small saucepan so you can make the pie filling while the pastry is baking. 

Preheat oven to 325°F.

Make the streusel topping by combining the toasted walnuts, brown sugar, flour, rolled oats, salt, cinnamon and cold butter in a small bowl. Rub the ingredients together with your fingers (or a fork) until it resembles coarse crumbs. Set aside.

In a mixing bowl with a hand mixer or in the bowl of your stand mixer, beat together the 1/2 cup butter and cream cheese on medium speed until smooth. Stir in the 1 cup flour until combined. Divide the dough into 10 equal portions (about 1 ounce each). Form each portion into a ball. Using your fingers, lightly press the dough balls from the centre outward into the bottom and up the sides of 10 ungreased wells of a standard sized muffin pan (2.5 inch diameter). Bake for 15 minutes (the pastry may shrink slightly as it bakes). Do not turn the oven off when you are finished baking – you will be returning your pies to the oven shortly.

While the pastry is baking, make the filling. In a small saucepan over medium heat, stir together the sugar, cornstarch, cranberries, water and maple syrup. Cook until thickened and bubbly, mashing the cranberries slightly as they cook. Be careful – you don’t want to spray hot cranberry juice on your skin. The filling should be thick and jam-like. Set aside.

When the pastry is finished baking, remove from the oven and immediately spoon the filling into the hot pastry cups. Sprinkle the streusel topping over the filling, dividing it equally between the cups.

Bake for 25-30 minutes until the tops are golden and the filling is bubbly. Cool in the muffin pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Carefully remove the pies from the muffin wells (a small pallet knife works well for releasing them), and allow to continue cooling on the wire rack.

Serving suggestion: warm, with a scoop of ice cream and a dusting of cinnamon.

51 Responses to cranberry mini-pies topped with walnut streusel

  1. gemsfoodgems March 1, 2013 at 1:09 pm #

    I think these should be served with hot wheelchair guy! They are stunning. So what did happen with him? I shall follow your blog incase we find out in episode 2 :)

  2. Amy March 1, 2013 at 1:20 pm #

    hahaha, i was cracking up imagining you running at full speed down the hallway and crashing. So did you ever get a chance to confirm his hotness at a later date? Or were you too busy avoiding him out of sheer embarrassment?

    These itty bitty pies look so tasty! I love that you use a muffin pan for them…i always assumed you needed some fancy mini tart pan!

  3. mellissa@ibreatheimhungry March 1, 2013 at 1:31 pm #

    Uhhhhh….WHAT HAPPENED NEXT????? What did he say? What did YOU say? Or did you both just silently and awkwardly go into your respective apartments??? These gaps in the story are unacceptable. I. MUST. KNOW. MORE.

    Other than that, these photos are amazing, love the mood you captured – not to mention that I could probably eat all of these in one sitting. With ice cream. And then not run. At all. Like not even a little bit. I might briefly think about running…and then I would get tired and watch some TV…where the characters may or may not break into a jog. Does that count???

    • movita beaucoup March 3, 2013 at 9:17 am #

      Yes, that totally counts. At least, that’s how we do things around here…

  4. musingmar March 1, 2013 at 2:18 pm #

    Another shot of Movita hilarity with a sweet pie chaser! Oh, you crack me up! (Ouch – my wrist is broken – that was a bad choice of words

  5. Stacy March 1, 2013 at 2:21 pm #

    I adore you. The tarts are sa-weet. But I’m really here for the story, ya know. Waiting on “Hot Wheelchair Guy, the Sequel.” Git along now.

  6. Lan | angry asian March 1, 2013 at 2:42 pm #

    best story to start my weekend. thank you.

    but you didn’t finish the story…

  7. Lynne March 1, 2013 at 2:54 pm #

    What a visual !! Loved it …hahahahahahaaaaaa ! You are bad ass. P.s. lovin’ the look and feel of your blog. Did I say LOVE ? I meant to say FREAKIN’ BLISS. Gorgeousness.

  8. Rock Salt March 1, 2013 at 3:17 pm #

    The fork. The tiny fork.

    I can’t even…

    The fork…

    • movita beaucoup March 2, 2013 at 8:23 am #

      Right. It’s probably the most adorable thing I own.

    • shannon March 4, 2013 at 4:19 pm #

      Carol Anne, i’m also super caught up in The Fork. I can’t even really gather my thoughts, which is normal, but the tiny fork is really throwing it off today.

  9. natalie @ wee eats March 1, 2013 at 4:19 pm #

    HAHAHAHAHAHA that story is A-FREAKING-MAZING. I really hope hot wheelchair guy reads this. That would make it even better. Even though I’m not planning to run a marathon anytime soon, I feel like I should make these ya know, just in case. Because you never know when you might have to turn on the turbo boosters. :)

  10. natalie @ wee eats March 1, 2013 at 4:20 pm #

    freaking GORGEOUS photos btw… like I would run up 2 flights of stairs to get a better view of them gorgeous

  11. Brianne March 1, 2013 at 4:21 pm #

    I like your segue.

    Oh, God. That’s sounds much better verbally. I’m writing it anyway.

    Also, I very much enjoy mini pies and the combination of cranberries and walnuts. This is awesome.

  12. chefconnie March 1, 2013 at 5:19 pm #

    Hilarious. Darling little treats. What did happen???

  13. fiercelywithabandon March 1, 2013 at 5:33 pm #

    I am already plotting how I might ‘slightly adapt’ this lovely mini-pie recipe. Stay tuned!

    Also, I just ate A LOT of crackers before seeing a mini-bug on one of them. Total Movita moment. Sigh. I am not panicking since it was for sure NOT moth eggs. Anything but moth eggs is safe.

  14. Eggton March 1, 2013 at 5:54 pm #

    First of all, your photos? Holy WHAT?!?!? Gorgeous.

    Second, you might not know this because if your blog is anything like mine, it doesn’t show you the ads that appear below your post because it knows your IP address and it doesn’t want to piss you off, so the ads disappear just for you but not your readers.

    So you might not know how hilarious it is that the ad at the bottom of your post is for Lumosity–that site that makes you smarter. It’s a picture of the human head, and it highlights areas for “speed,” “intelligence,” “flexibility” and “coordination” which just fits so perfectly for your post. It basically tells the reader:

    “Look. This movita chick is a wreck. A WRECK. If you identify with anything in this post–trying to run at top speed, chasing after hot guys, slamming into walls, not having the presence of mind to get on an elevator to go “up,” you should click on this link. Seriously, click it. Click it before you cause an accident with a dude in a wheel chair. We can probably help you.”

    • Sharon March 2, 2013 at 3:07 am #

      OK, this comment is hilarious, too. Movita, I was fully expecting you to have a matching wheelchair by the end of this story, but no, we somehow left the scene of the crime and went straight to cranberry pie. Masterful.

    • movita beaucoup March 2, 2013 at 8:29 am #

      Maybe Lumosity would like to feature me in a SERIES of ads! I’ve done enough stupid stuff to keep them going for years… Is it possible that there is money to be gained from klutziness?

    • emma March 6, 2013 at 10:46 pm #

      The ad I see is for finding the cheapest insurance. Oh movita. You make messes without having properly prepared yourself for the consequences!

  15. Marnelli March 1, 2013 at 10:30 pm #

    your story cracked me up so much! :D I will forever think of Hot Wheelchair Guy and cranberries together.

  16. thekitchenboudoir March 1, 2013 at 11:23 pm #

    At Thanksgiving people ask me if I’d like some turkey with my cranberry sauce, so these mini pies had me at hello. And, having had my fair share of awkward encounters in the investigation of hotness… well, let’s just say your story resonated. :)

  17. movita beaucoup March 2, 2013 at 8:20 am #

    Um, guys? I hate to disappoint you, but that IS the end of the story. I get that you will be very sad about this. In fact, I don’t really recall seeing much of Hot Wheelchair Guy after the incident, and he moved shortly after. (Probably due to PCSD – Post Collision Stress Disorder.) A couple moved into his apartment – they seemed to like yelling and smoking the wacky tobacky. We did not become friends, so don’t bother asking about how that story ends either.

    I hope this brings you all some closure.

    • Stacy March 2, 2013 at 9:38 am #

      This is a grave disappointment. We will probably need lots and lots of cranberry mini pies with walnut streusel to get over it. And tiny forks all round.

  18. Karen March 2, 2013 at 11:58 am #

    Glad that you let us know the end or the lack of end to the story is guess. Absolutely love the mimi pies and your photos are fantastic.

  19. spree March 2, 2013 at 3:05 pm #

    You the best story-teller Movita! I’ll (im) patiently await Hot Wheelchair Guy 2.0 ! The story canNOT have ended with you splattered against the wall. Your little cranberry streusel mouthfuls are Delightful and your photos So Good my dear!

    • movita beaucoup March 8, 2013 at 6:21 am #

      I made a break for it, Spree. Ran to my apartment as fast as I could! So, though the story didn’t end with me splattered across a wall, it did end with me hiding in my apartment… sniff.

  20. frugalfeeding March 2, 2013 at 4:50 pm #

    Nice segue from the story to cranberries – you’re nuts and I like it :D. Gorgeous pies.

  21. SAFbakes March 3, 2013 at 2:42 pm #

    These look absolutely delicious! Walnuts and cranberries and a winning combo. Great photos.

  22. cecilia March 3, 2013 at 9:10 pm #

    but what did he do. you hit the wall and kept running? You crazy girl, you should have made these lovely morsels for him and left them humbly outside his door as an apology but then realise he he would run over them and you would feel even worse and when you were picking them up again he would open the door and think you were stealing them and then you might have got a good look at the poor fellow! mercy.. have fun! i am so glad you are fast! c

  23. gottagetbaked March 3, 2013 at 10:27 pm #

    Who would dare criticize your gorgeous photos? That’s madness! And nosy readers need to know: was he indeed hot (and therefore worth the excruciating crash into the wall)?

    • movita beaucoup March 8, 2013 at 6:20 am #

      Well, it was tough to get a really good look at his face as I flew through the air, and I basically made a break for it post-incident. So, no, sadly, it wasn’t worth it. Unless you count how happy this story seems to have made all of you!

  24. Cravings of a Lunatic March 4, 2013 at 12:37 am #

    Dude you crack me up. This it totally something I would do.

    Really dig these pies. Your photos are beautiful woman. So jealous of your camera abilities.

  25. shannon March 4, 2013 at 4:23 pm #

    seriously, your photos are so entirely MOODY this time ’round! Like i feel like weeping i love them so much…all dark and crimson and obviously that tiny ancient fork adds to the whole ambience thing. and cranberry walnut is basically my favorite thing, and thanks for making it appropriate to eat now, in March, apres-winter holiday season. The cranberries always seem so desired until January, and then it’s like “cranberry who?” It’s mean, really.
    The image of you full-flipping over a dude in a wheelchair will never leave my brain.

    • movita beaucoup March 8, 2013 at 6:17 am #

      Shannon, I do it all for you. Tiny forks, mood lighting, wheelchairs… all for you.

  26. Sherrie March 4, 2013 at 8:51 pm #

    These look soooooo good. That is all.

  27. dollyandoatmeal March 5, 2013 at 2:22 pm #

    wow, beautiful photos and lovely recipe.

  28. Denise March 5, 2013 at 11:57 pm #

    Just found your site via Kim and G+. OMG – where have you been all my life. This story is a riot – I could picture you sailing threw the air …. I imagine the recipe is just as good. Really looking forward to spending some time in your kitchen!

    • movita beaucoup March 8, 2013 at 6:00 am #

      Well, Denise, we’ve been waiting for you. So glad you finally showed up…

  29. Barbara Bamber | justasmidgen March 6, 2013 at 12:23 am #

    Oh, my, I’m still laughing and I do wonder what that Hot Wheelchair Guy thought about you.. did you just lurch off and stagger into your apartment without so much as a hi I’m Movita? I love your wee pies.. and would run any distance to have one. Excellent photography today! xx

  30. bakerbynature March 6, 2013 at 11:46 am #

    You always crack me up, lady! AND make me hungryyyyyyyyyy… pass the mini pies, puh-lease!

  31. emma March 6, 2013 at 10:50 pm #

    You are such a weirdo.

    I would, however, like to invite you to join my Odd & Unnatural Fall with Successful Post-Fall Fall-Based Storytelling Club. Oh, the tales we would tell. Like this one, over and over, because they never get old.

    My favorite personal fall involves a tennis ball, a tennis net, a full front flip, and a successful cat-like landing.

  32. wendy@chezchloe March 11, 2013 at 11:33 pm #

    All lovely. Photos, forks, cranberries, munchkin size pies and of course story:-)
    And I’m curious to try this crust. cheers x wendy

  33. emmalina73 March 14, 2013 at 7:56 pm #

    I hate myself for not knowing about these sooner, my life has been a vacuum until now. But I never mowed down anyone in a wheelchair so I suppose life could be worse. Oh, sorry, that was probably insensitive. You have the pies to make you feel better though.

  34. davewordswords March 16, 2013 at 8:26 pm #

    I am so very happy about Super Speed Mode. You have no idea.

  35. Vanya June 4, 2013 at 5:53 pm #

    This looks so stunning and simple,just love mini pies. I’ll try to surprise my beloved. Thanks for recipe.

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