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Enjoy strawberries with a new pairing of goat cheese

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Strawberry Goat Cheese Hand Pies

6 cups fresh strawberries, diced

3/4 cup sugar, adjust according to sweetness of strawberries

2 tablespoons cornstarch

1 tb vanilla

1 tb lemon zest

1 tb honey

6 oz goat cheese

2 packages refrigerated pie crusts (or favorite pie crust recipe)

Combine strawberries, sugar and vanilla in a bowl. Set aside until juices begin to form. Stir in cornstarch.

In a small bowl, blend goat cheese, honey and lemon zest until smooth.

Roll out pie crusts on a flour surface. Using a biscuit cutter, cut out 25-30 rounds and place on cookie sheet for assembly.

Smear a spoonful of the goat cheese mixture onto each round and spread gently from the center, being careful to leave enough crust around the circumference. Top with about 1 tablespoon of strawberry mixture, then top with another round. Create a seal by pressing the edges with your finger, then crimping with a fork. Poke a few holes in the top of each tart with a fork, brush with milk and sprinkle with sugar.

Bake at 350-degrees for 12-15 minutes, or until brown.

Updated: July 20, 2013 6:12AM



In an updated version of the classic strawberry-cream cheese pairing, fresh June strawberries get new life when coupled with goat cheese.

Admittedly, this twosome is trendy, but there’s something a whole lot less overbearing—and less annoying—than anything cascading with shards of maple bacon, a river of salted caramel or a glob of frosting and cake welded together on a stick. It’s one trend that is imperishable, much like its cream cheese predecessor.

The strawberry and goat cheese pairing, while unusual, has advocates yelping for its savory-sweet flavor combo. Unlike its strawberry and cream cheese brethren, it is fairly mild and light. And while still tangy, the tang from the goat cheese is one that is decidedly gourmet—light, but with the slightest bit of robustness.

Goat cheese is really neither savory nor sweet; it works in both types of recipes effortlessly, making this combination quite adroit. Salads and bruschettas dominate the savory side, while tarts and cakes work for the sweets. This recipe for hand pies adapts a classic strawberry pie recipe and not only makes it portable, but also modern.

A goat cheese blend of honey and lemon zest sounds like a delectable salad topper, but spread it on a pie crust, and it houses a strawberry filling beautifully. Each mini pie encloses tiny diced strawberries and a smear of the goat cheese filling, making them perfect for picnics or rushed snacks.

While these pies teeter on the sweet side of the flavor spectrum, they are not at all cloying like some gelled berry pies are. The appearance of cornstarch is not used for flavor, but for composure. Each bite should contain an even amount of the berry-cheese mixture, without dribbling the entire filling down your hand.

Strawberries and goat cheese may be a flavor fad, but its mildness and minimal flavor palette doesn’t dominate the tastebuds. With June strawberries at their peak of sweetness, these hand pies showboat their flavor in a refreshing and unconventional way.



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