Recipe: Pushing Daisies' Cup Pies

Well, I've done Hannibal and Wonderfalls, so it seemed a little silly that I hadn't yet done a recipe for showrunner Bryan Fuller's other super delicious show, Pushing Daisies.

If you never saw Pushing Daisies during its short 2-season run, the show centered on Piemaker Ned, who had an unusual gift - he could bring the dead back to life with a single touch, but only for 1 minute.  Any longer, and the universe would self-correct by killing someone else.  When private detective Emerson Cod discovers Ned's gift by happy accident, he invites Ned into the business of solving murders - a business that becomes much easier when Ned can simply touch the deceased and ask who killed them.

Of course, things get complicated when Ned's childhood sweetheart, Charlotte Charles (aka Chuck) is murdered and, after bringing her back to life, Ned finds himself unable to re-deaden her.  Chuck re-enters Ned's life in a big way, and tries to take advantage of her second chance at life while keeping her re-animation a secret from her grieving aunts.  In one episode, Chuck pitches the concept of a cup pie to Ned's menu.

Ned is resistant to change, but Chuck is determined as she presents her single serving pies with her own cultivated honey (Chuck is a bee-keeping hobbyist) baked into the crust.  Eventually Ned learns to loosen up a bit and by the end of the episode, he presents Chuck with a new menu that includes her cup pies.  Adorableness ensues.  

One of the things that made Pushing Daisies so special, was that despite of it's often macabre murders and gory re-animated corpses, it was almost blindingly colorful, optimistic and just plain cute.  When planning my own cup pie recipe, I knew I had to do something just as bright and beautiful as the show itself.

In summertime, fresh colorful berries are all too easy to find, even without the ability to bring rotten fruit back to full ripeness with a single touch.  I experimented with a honey-baked crust (it involved substituting honey-butter for regular butter in a basic pie crust), but ultimately determined that the honey flavor didn't come through enough to justify the extra work.  Instead, I incorporated honey into the glaze for the berries, and I was quite happy with the results.

Honey-Glazed Triple Berry Cup Pies (makes 6-8 cup pies)

1 Basic Pie Crust (homemade or store bought)
2 cups + 1/4 cup mixed berries, divided (I used bluberries, raspberries & chopped strawberries)
1/3 cup Honey
2 Tablespoons+ 2 teaspoons water
1 teaspoon cornstarch

Preheat oven to 375°F.  Cut the pie crust into 5-6" circles(an upside down large yogurt or sour cream container works well as a cutter) and form in a cupcake pan, crimping the edges with a fork.  Freeze for at least 10 minutes, then blind bake your crusts for 12-14 minutes.  Remove from oven when golden and allow to cool.

Mash 1/4 cup berries with a fork.  In a small saucepan, bring honey, mashed berries and 2 tablespoons water to a boil and stir until thoroughly combined.  Mix cornstarch with 2 teaspoons water and add to saucepan.  Continue to boil until thickened.  Remove from heat and allow to cool for 10 minutes.

Mix honey sauce with the berries and spoon into the pie crusts.  Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.  Serve with whipped cream or a la mode.