Pinwheels are a French-Canadian dessert, which we make every Christmas along with tourtiere (a meat pie). Most people around my neck of the woods (Ontario) haven't heard of pinwheels and are suspicious of them, like dude, it's literally just pie crust and sugar, what are you so freaked out about?
The 'official' name of pinwheels is 'Pets des Soeurs', which translates as 'Nun's Farts'. In my family, we've always called them pinwheels, or Soupirs des Soeurs (Nun's Sighs, which are actually a different pastry, I think). The gourmet supermarket here calls them Nun's Pastries. Take your pick, they are all delicious.
The way pinwheels are made is very free form, because they were originally created to use up extra pie dough, I think, so exact measurements are not a part of the process, you just use what you have. Here is the Bard Family Recipe/Guideline:Things You Will Need:
1 pie crust (shortcrust, store bought is fine but make sure it's thawed a little if it's been frozen)
Some brown sugar (coconut sugar also works, Splenda brown sugar mix works, and we've used cinnamon sugar too, you just need something that will caramelize, so plain Splenda will not work)
A pie plate (tin one from the frozen pie crusts is fine, glass ones are fine too, whatever you got)Things You Do To Make Delicious Pinwheels:
1. Heat your oven to 375°F/190°C, or to whatever temperature you're using to bake whatever else you're making, do what you feel in your heart.
2. Either roll out your homemade pie dough in a flat circle or remove your frozen pie crust and make it a flat circle. If there are cracks, no sweat, you can pinch them closed later on, but if your frozen pie crust is super cracky, let it thaw a bit longer.
3. Butter your pie crust like you would butter bread. You want to have a pretty even, but not too thick layer. Let your heart guide you once more. Avoid the edges of the crust and mostly work in the centre.
4. Take your sugar or sugar-like substance and sprinkle it over the butter layer, smoothing it out to an even thickness.
5. Starting at one edge of the crust, roll it up like a cinnamon roll, so you have a spiral of filling inside a log.
6. Cut off the end pieces so the edges are even. Sample end pieces if so desired and it is not a health risk to do so.
7. Slice the log into slices of your desired thickness. Like, I don't know, half an inch? Your heart will know. They should look like little cinnamon rolls, and you can use your fingers to round them out if they are squashed on the bottom.
8. Arrange slices in pie tin/plate. They don't spread too much, so you can pack them in pretty close together.
9. Cook for ten minutes, or maybe five minutes if you're using a higher temperature. Check on them. Do they look golden and has the sugar melted and is bubbling? If yes, remove from oven. If no, cook until they do.
10. Let cool.
11. Eat the wonky ones as samples and serve the pretty ones to guests.
Here is a picture of some made with homemade crust (due to allergies, I couldn't have store bought for a while, but Tenderflake took their soy out, so yay for easier pinwheels this year!) Half-eaten tourtiere on the right. Click and it gets bigger.