It isn't quite right to say I've never gotten into valentine's day. Way back when, I'd spend a long time crafting messages to my friends on the candy heart-filled valentines my mom would buy me from Walgreens. Sometimes, I'd even make my own cards out of colorful cardboard. Mostly, I pined for the moment when the big heart envelope at the back of my desk chair would be filled with nice messages from my friends. And hopefully from the dreamy boy in the back of the room. But hey, I was 7. Can you blame me for getting swept up in it all?
Somehow, in the years that followed, I stopped caring so much about valentine's day. It started to annoy me. In fact, I really only planned this post for my readers--in case one of you out there really loved Valentine's Day and felt cheated out of an appropriately romantic post.
But something happened while I was making these miniature desserts. I was standing there, over my mixer, in the kitchen of my apartment. The apartment that I share with boy I've been happily dating for a lot of years now. The apartment that our friends call, fondly, "the apartment," as if they live there too. And I started to think, maybe Valentine's Day isn't so terrible after all.
If it gives me an excuse to shower kindness and
Miniature Strawberry Pies
1 1/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
3 Tablespoons sugar
1/3 cup butter, melted
16 ounces strawberries (one container), sliced thin
1/4 cup water
1 Tablespoon flour
1/4 cup sugar
8 ounces cream cheese
3 Tablespoons low fat sour cream
3/4 cup powdered sugar
In a medium bowl, mix graham cracker crumbs and sugar together thoroughly. With a fork, mix melted butter into the crumbs and sugar. Press into four 6 ounce ramekins to form miniature pie crusts. These should be the dish you intend to serve dessert in. Chill for at least one hour.
Set the best 1/3 of the sliced strawberries aside, for layering on the dish. Mix 1/4 cup water, 1 Tablespoon flour and 1/4 cup sugar together in a small bowl or mug. Place the remaining 2/3 strawberries in a small pot, and pour the flour mixture over the strawberries. Place on medium heat for about 15 minutes, until the strawberries become tender and the mixture reduces. Stir occasionally to keep from burning the bottom of the pot. Set aside for later use.
In a medium bowl, use an electric mixer to beat together the cream cheese and sour cream. Incorporated the powdered sugar evenly. Beat for about 3-5 minutes, until fluffy, and set aside. But, keep the electric mixture handy.
Now, remove the serving dishes with the crust inside from the refrigerator. Fill each dish about 1/2-2/3 full with the cream cheese mixture. On top of the cream cheese mixture, layer the fresh strawberries. On top of that, place the jam-like mixture you made on the stove. Place all dishes back in the refrigerator and chill for at least a few hours, so the top strawberries set. Serve cold, with a spoon, to somebody you love. Serves 4-5 6 ounce portions.