Monday, September 8, 2014

The Day of SIX Pies

I was going to title this post "The Day the Music Pie-d", but figured that was too ridiculous, even for me.  Whichever heading you like, it's still going to be all...about...the...pies.  (All photos courtesy of my husband's terrible camera.  I really need a new lens for mine!)

It all started when I bought a mini pie pan.  I don't mind a cluttered cabinet and I can never have too many random kitchen gadgets.  I have all sorts of molds and pans that rarely get used, but I keep them - just in case.  Besides, I had plans for the mini pie pan.  Could I not also bake cake rounds and make a tiny 6-layer cake?  What about giant cookies for ice cream sandwiches?  Clearly, this item was an absolute kitchen necessity.

I was intrigued by its original purpose, though.  Six tiny pies?  What if I could make six different kinds of pies?  Would that take the entire day?  What if I pulled all ingredients and assembly-lined the process?  Did I currently have the ingredients for six different kinds of pies?!?  Yes.  I had bags of frozen cherries and mixed fruit in the freezer, and I'd frozen 3/4 cup pumpkin puree AND sweetened condensed milk, so I wouldn't need to open a can.  I could make homemade chocolate pudding for a pie filling, and I had fresh apples and peaches...and that was it.  Even though I had piles and piles of work to do, I decided to devote the afternoon to pie pie baking, that is. 

Time to make the pie dough:  10 minutes
Time to chill pie dough:  1 hour
Time to cut out pie circles with a cereal bowl:  10 minutes

I put the rounds in the basins and refrigerated the pan.

Time to pull out ingredients:  5 minutes
Time to mix ingredients for each pie:  10 minutes

Putting all the ingredients on the counters really sped things up.  After all, the fruit pies all needed the same basic ingredients - corn starch, sugar, salt, and spices.  It only took about 10 minutes to do the entire process!

Then I pulled the chilled pan from the refrigerator and put in the fillings, then crimped 'rustic' tops.

Total time:  7 minutes.

The lower left corner pie was blind-baked.  That is, I baked it with weights inside (rice) to help it keep its shape and then filled it with chocolate pudding later. 

The amount of filling I'd made (1/4 of a full-size pie recipe) was too much for these basins, but that meant I had plenty left over to make more mini pies.  Into the freezer!

Cooking time:  45 minutes

While the pies baked, I made homemade chocolate pudding in the microwave (5 minutes) and cleaned up the kitchen (significantly longer).

The mini pies turned out just as I'd hoped.  There was only one accident...the bottom crust on the peach pie was too thin, so one wall collapsed and leaked filling.  No big deal.

The final tally?  One peach, one apple, one three berry, one cherry, one chocolate, and one pumpkin pie.  And oh, so good.  Really, it didn't take long at all.  Not much longer than making one single pie.  And I am completely charmed by these little pies.  Now that I understand the thickness of the dough needed, and the amount of filling that each basin holds (about a cup), I can make these any time!  I quartered the pies for easy sampling that night and made a "pie buffet", which was really fun.  Todd loved the flavors but thought the filling to crust-ratio was a little off, and I agreed.  Next time I'll make lattice tops or leave them open-faced. 

It's nice that my recipes make exactly enough filling for two batches of mini-pies, so the next time I make them will be even easier!  Although it was already pretty easy.  Twenty minutes to mix and shape dough (not counting fridge rest time) and about twenty minutes to pull ingredients, mix, and fill the pies. 

I jotted down the recipes for my personal cookbook, so I'll paste them in here in case anyone is interested in making them.  Hope you give them a try.  Have a great week! 

 Mini Pie Pan PIES

Apple Pie ¼ recipe
2 Granny Smith apples, sliced/diced
1 ½ teaspoons white sugar
1 TB brown sugar
1 teaspoon flour
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon cardamom
¾ teaspoon lemon juice
butter to dot top of pie before sealing

Three Berry Pie ¼ recipe
1.5 cups berries
3 TB sugar
1 TB cornstarch

Peach Pie 1/4 recipe
2 peaches, peeled and sliced
3 TB sugar
1 ½ teaspoon flour
3/4 teaspoon cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon cardamom
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

Cherry Pie 1/4 recipe
1.5 cups cherries
1 TB sugar 
pinch salt
pinch cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon lemon juice
drop of almond extract
1 TB cornstarch

Pumpkin Pie 1/4 recipe
3 ounces canned pumpkin
3 ounces sweetened condensed milk
1/2 egg
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ginger
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 - 3 TB brown sugar

Chocolate Pie 1/4 recipe
3 TB sugar
2 TB cocoa
1 ½ TB cornstarch
pinch of salt
1 cup milk
½ teaspoon vanilla

Directions for ALL Pies (except chocolate pie)
Freeze crust for 30 minutes.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  In a large bowl, mix all but butter together.  Pour into crust.  Cover with remaining crust and place on baking sheet.  Bake 20 minutes.  Reduce heat to 375 degrees and bake an additional 25 – 30 minutes.

Directions for Chocolate Pie
Combine first 4 ingredients, then stir in milk.  Microwave, uncovered, for 2 minutes.  Stir.  Continue to microwave in one minute increments.  When thick, stir in vanilla and refrigerate. 

Blind bake crust:  Put dough in pie pan with pie beads/weights.  After 20 minutes, remove pie beads.  Bake another 5 or so minutes, until whole crust is golden.

1 comment:

  1. So much fun. I think I'll do this one...or six ;D