One of my favorite food memories is of my mom baking pies when I was growing up. She was a champion pie baker, as were my grandmother and great-grandmother, but what I absolutely loved,was what they would make with the leftover pie pastry.
As my grandmother did before her, Mom would roll out the scrap pastry and spread on some butter — actually margarine. Then she would sprinkle cinnamon sugar on the buttered pastry, roll it up and cut them into the roll-ups you see pictured.
When asked for the recipe, I call them “Cinnamon Roll-Ups,” but in our family and among close friends, these treats have been known as “Just-A-Minutes.” They got that name many years ago when eight children, father, grandfather, and uncles would smell those baking and consistently ask “are they ready,” “aren’t they ready yet?”, and my mother’s answer was always — you got it — “in just a minute.”
To this day, many of us are just as happy to forego a pie if we can get plenty of “Just-A-Minutes.”
When it comes to food memories, you can never forget the smell of pastry and cinnamon when baking in the oven. I make these every Memorial Day weekend when my brother visits for a week from his home in Buenos Aires — these are his one request.
If you are going to bake pies for this Thanksgiving and Christmas, make some extra dough and try these cinnamon roll-ups. Whoever is in the house while you are baking will find his or her way to the kitchen very quickly, and you might find yourself creating a new family tradition, and a delectable food memory.
The following is my mother’s favorite pie crust recipe. She used it consistently, whether for savory or sweet pies. It always came out flaky, tasty, and seemed to hold up terrifically when rolling out.