By now I’m sure you’ve all heard the news regarding the demise of the Hostess Baking Co. If not, I’m sorry to be the bearer of this sad news, but, alas, it’s true. No more Hostess. No more Ding Dongs. No more Twinkies. No more fruit pies. Not that I’ve actually had any one of those iconic treats in like 50 years. It seems really strange to say that.
You see, my Mom was a bit ahead of her time back in the 50’s, and we were actually mostly required to eat food that was good for us. You wouldn’t find a loaf of white bread (wheat bread only) in our house, no sugary cereals and certainly no Ding Dongs.
Undaunted, by the time I was 10 (back in 1961), whenever I could scrape together a few nickels and dimes, I would ride my bike to the little grocery a couple of blocks away, and buy myself a little lemon Hostess pie. The other kids would be buying Snickers and Butterfingers, but not me. It was always a Hostess lemon fruit pie. Sigh.
As I mentioned, I haven’t had one of those little pies in close to 50 years, but I can still remember them like it was yesterday…that hard, cardboard-like crust with the sugary coating and totally fake lemon filling. Heaven.
But now we hear that Hostess is shutting down operations and thousands of people are going to be losing their jobs and this is just the time when you might be needing a little fruit pie to cheer you up. But I hear that you can no longer find these on the store shelves, so we’re going to have to be resourceful and make them ourselves.
I will admit that I was not able to duplicate the cardboard-like crust of the original pie, and had to settle for a real lemon filling, but I hope that in some small way, these little guys will help fill the gap that Hostess is leaving in our lives. Thanks for the memories. Here’s my recipe…
HOMEMADE HOSTESS FRUIT PIES
Yield: 12 5" fruit pies
I used my homemade pastry dough for this, so I’m not exactly sure how many pies you might be able to get out of a store-bought crust. I made enough pie dough for 2 9” pies and then divided the dough into quarters. I then rolled each quarter into a 14” circle and was able to cut 3 pies out of each, totaling 12 little pies. If using store-bought pie dough, I would roll each pie crust a little thinner and then get as many little rounds out of each as I could. I used a jar of sour cherries I had in the pantry, but frozen or canned cherries would work just as well. To make this even easier, you could buy already made pie fillings and just assemble and bake.
Enough pastry for a double-crust 9-inch pie (homemade or store-bought)
Powdered sugar glaze
1 cup powdered sugar
1 ½ to 2 tablespoons water
½ teaspoon vanilla
Make the pie fillings (see recipes below) and set aside
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Working with ¼ of the dough at a time, roll it out to a 12 to 14-inch circle. Place a 4 to 5-inch cutter (I used a ramekin that was 4.75” diameter) on the dough and run a sharp knife around the perimeter of the cutter. You should be able to cut 3 rounds out of each quarter of the pastry dough.
Place 2-3 tablespoons of filling in the center of each round. Dip your finger in a little water and moisten the edges of the dough. Fold in half to form a crescent. Dip a fork in flour and press the edges together to create a tight seal. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining dough.
Cut a little slit in the top of each pie and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden brown.
Remove from the oven and place on a rack. While still warm, drizzle or brush each pie with the powdered sugar glaze and let cool.