It’s been a while.
Thoughts of cooking or baking of any kind were erased from my mind for a while.
Nothing looked good, tasted good or stayed down for long.
I’m convinced that I’ve lost many needed brain cells!
When you walk around the house looking for a ringing cell phone . . . and it’s in your hand
. . . that’s a problem!
The t.v. and the computer have not been turned on for 9 days or so.
I’m getting my appetite back and cookbooks look good again.
I’m sure that for every pound lost . . . two will come back . . . and fast!
These sweet little pies were actually baked . . . long before the jumbaliah caught me.
I’m glad I had this post in reserve for those non-baking times.
I’m a sucker for pastry of any kind, and I do believe that these were really good.
My sweet husband assures me they were.
Mini pies are the perfect size . . . you eat one . . . and you’re done!
They are pretty also pretty darn simple to put together.
This pie crust is a favorite . . . today I used a mixture of cold butter & cold shortening.
Sometimes I use all shortening.
Butter imparts a better flavor – Shortening makes tender, flaky crust.
If you use both . . . you must make sure that the butter stays cold!
Often I make the pie crust by hand, but if you are careful a food processor makes it super duper fast.
Don’t over mix . . . see how it’s not really formed into a ball . . . that’s what you want.
If you pulse the dough until it comes together into a nice ball . . . you have over mixed the pastry.
Dump it out on a floured surface, and gently press it together.
You still want to see pieces of cold butter in the dough.
The recipe below is enough dough for two 9″ pies.
Divide the dough into equal portions and place into zip lock bags and flatten into a disk with your hand.
Place the disks of pastry dough into your fridge for at least 30 minutes or so.
If you are not planning to use it right away, just pop it in the freezer and thaw until pliable but cold.
Look closely and you can see bits of cold butter in the pastry.
Roll the dough from the center outward into a 10″ to 12″ circle.
Keep turning your dough and add flour underneath so it doesn’t stick to the surface.
Grab 2 circle shape cutters.
The large one I’m using is 3 3/4 “
The smaller fluted ring is 3″
If you are using a standard muffin tin, you will need 12 large circles and 12 smaller circles.
One disk of dough won’t be enough, you will use a second & third as well.
This way, the pastry stays chilled.
Take your large circle and center it over a hole.
See that pusher I’m using…..it’s from my food processor. It’s works perfectly, since I don’t have an official wooden push form.
You can also use your fingers, but warm fingers make warm dough. You don’t want that!
My bottom circles could have been a tad larger. A 4″ ring would probably be perfect.
Cut 12 smaller circles for the top crust.
You can leave them whole, or cut the circles into 1/4″ slices.
Somehow I didn’t get a picture of filling the pastry with the Blueberry mixture.
You can use canned pie filling or use the recipe below.
You don’t have to stick with blueberry . . . Cherry, apple, peach or other would also make delicious little pies.
If you leave the top crust whole, make sure you put slits through the crust.
Slits ensure that air can escape, and the filling won’t bubble all over the place.
Weave the 1/4″ slices across the top if you like.
One of those holes, simply has cut out stars that are layered on top of each other.
Sprinkle with cinnamon & sugar.
Don’t waste the scraps of pastry . . . scatter it around on a baking sheet.
Sprinkle with lots of Cinnamon & Sugar.
Cover both the scraps and the mini pies with wax or saran wrap and place in the fridge for at least 20 minutes.
You want to make sure that the pie crust is chilled cold . . . before baking.
This makes a huge difference in a very flaky tender crust, and a so so flaky crust!
Bake the mini pies and the scattered pie scraps at 375 degrees until the filling if bubbly,
and the pie crust is very golden brown. 30 to 40 min.
If the crust appears to be browning too quickly, cover loosely with aluminum foil.
When you bring the pies out of the oven, quickly but carefully go around the edges with a knife.
Carefully . . . Do it a couple of times.
Let the pies sit in the muffin tins for a few minutes. Don’t remove them too fast. They need to cool a bit so that the crust can harden.
Remove the pies from the tin and place on a wire rack or parchment paper to cool.
They smell good!
See how golden the bottom is . . . you want that.
They really are pretty darn cute.
Pie and Ice Cream . . . what could be better.
Thanks for sticking with me . . . I’ll be back soon.
Blueberry Pie filling
- 6 cups fresh blueberries
- 1 1/4 cups sugar
- 1/2 cup cornstarch
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, if desired
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Perfect Pie Crust:
- 3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 sticks cold butter
- 3/4 cup vegetable shortening
- 1 egg
- 5 tablespoons cold water
- 1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
Combine the flour and salt in a large bowl. Add in the butter and shortening. Using a pastry cutter, gradually work the butter and shortening into the flour until the mixture resembles tiny pebbles. This step should take 3 or 4 minutes.
Lightly beat the egg with a fork, and then add it to the mixture. Next, add in the cold water and vinegar. Stir the mixture together until it’s just combined, and then remove half the dough from the bowl. Yield: dough for 2 crusts.