I fell prey to a food fad today. I couldn't help it. I was wandering around with my husband in Crate & Barrel when his eyes lit up as he pointed to a display touting all things classified as "mini pie." So we bought one, rushed home, and made pie. Lots and lots of little pies, actually. It has been a long time since I have made a pie from scratch, but I think I'll be doing it more often now. They're. Too. Cute.
First in the "Itty Bitty Pie" series is apple. I anticipated figuring out bake time, etc would be easier with something that I already knew how to make. Plus we had some apples on hand and I was too lazy to go get anything else.
For the filling,I peeled and chopped the apples, and made sure I had my pan close by.
Please note that each of the "pie" sections in the pan has a removable bottom like a tart pan - essential for tiny pie removal.
Sautee apples with butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and whiskey.
Cut rounds of pie dough for bottom crust. Note: my pan came with an appropriately sized round for sizing (a giant cookie cutter) but yours may not. Also, having done this once now, I think the size they suggest is too small, and you'll see later that my crusts separate - irritating. The 2nd batch I made was larger and much better.
After cooking the filling, I added it to the waiting dough. It is important not to overfill!
I placed on the top crust (which, as I mentioned earlier was too small to effectively seal the edges, but whatever) and 30 minutes later, these adorable little pies popped out. I used a shot glass to raise the little bottoms out of the molds, and cooled until we couldn't stand it any longer.
Next time, I will make sure the crust is thinner, and cut a little larger. However, the portability (and adorability!) of these little guys makes them worth the work.
Here are the recipes I used:
Dough: I found this recipe to be simple and easy. Made enough for 4 double crust pies and 4 single crust pies. (12 rounds total, and there was a little extra.)
3 apples, peeled and chopped into 3/8" bits. I used Granny Smith because they seem to be resilient.
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
2 Tbsp brown sugar
1 Tbsp whiskey (We happened to have a bottle of Jack laying around.)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 egg + 1 Tbsp water (egg wash)
1. Melt the butter in a pan on medium high heat. Add all ingredients and stir to coat. Cook for 5 minutes or so, stirring consistently.
2. Remove from heat until pie shells are ready. Makes enough for 4 mini pies (4").
3. Fill pie shells, apply and crimp on top shell, and paint with egg wash.
4. Bake at 375 for 30 min and let cool. Enjoy!
These are almost like eating cookies, except the crust is much more flaky.