3/4 cup sugar
1. Combine first 3 ingredients in a saucepan. Bring strawberry mixture to a boil over medium heat. Cook, stirring constantly until thickened. Let cool completely.
2. Roll 1 piecrust to press out fold lines; cut into 9 circles with a 3-inch round cutter. Roll circles to 3 1/2-inch diameter; moisten edges with water (*I used egg wash*). Spoon 2 teaspoons strawberry mixture in the center of each circle; fold over, pressing edges with fork to seal. Repeat with remaining piecrust and strawberry mixture.
3. Place pies in a single layer on a baking sheet, and freeze at least 1 hour.
4. Pour oil to a depth of 1 inch into a large heavy skillet; heat to 350°.
5. Fry pies, in batches, 1-2 minute on each side or until golden. Drain on paper towels; sprinkle with powdered sugar.
I know, I know.. The red came out very pink, but I ran out of food coloring! It's American enough for me though!
MmMmMm...........strawberry filling!Vanilla Cupcakes
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
2/3 cup granulated white sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Zest of 1 large lemon
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup cold milk
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line 12 muffin cups with paper liners.
2. In the bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla extract and lemon zest.
3. In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. With the mixer on low speed, alternately add the flour mixture and milk, in three additions, beginning and ending with the flour. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
5. Evenly fill the muffin cups with the batter and bake for about 18-20 minutes or until nicely browned and a toothpick inserted into a cupcake comes out clean. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool. Once the cupcakes have completely cooled, frost with icing.
Easy Vanilla Bean Buttercream
Courtesy of Cook's Illustrated
2½ sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 vanilla bean, halved lengthwise
2½ cups confectioners’ sugar Pinch salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 Tablespoons heavy cream
1. In a standing mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the butter at medium-high speed until smooth, about 20 seconds.
2. Using a paring knife, scrape seeds from vanilla bean into butter and beat mixture at medium-high speed to combine, about 15 seconds.
3. Add confectioners’ sugar and salt; beat at medium-low speed until most of the sugar is moistened, about 1 minute. Scrape down the bowl and beat at medium speed until mixture is fully incorporated, about 30 seconds; scrape bowl, add vanilla and heavy cream, and beat at medium speed until incorporated, about 20 seconds, then increase speed to medium-high and beat until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes, scraping down bowl once or twice.
(this buttercream is so good, I could eat it from the bowl!)