Monday, January 20, 2014

Mini Pies!

Pie needs to be it's own food group, don't you think?

After all, there are all kinds of pies: fruit pies, cream pies, sweet potato pies, pumpkin pies...and then there are the savory pies! I have a recipe for a chicken, sausage and leek pie that I'll be sharing soon, and let's not forget all the varieties of pot pies.

But sometimes we don't need a big pie. Or sometimes we want something a little fancier.

This stuff makes it SO EASY!

I bought these Puff Pastry sheets for Seekerville's New Year's Eve bash. In case you missed that recipe, it was Brie en Croute. I'll share it here soon - it would make a great Super Bowl snack.

But I only needed one of the pastry sheets for that recipe, and I had one left over. What better way to use it than to make little mini pies?

The first step is to let the puff pastry thaw in the package at room temperature for about three hours. Just enough time to watch the AFC championship football game (won by the Denver Broncos, by the way!)

Take the pastry out of the packaging and lay it on a lightly floured surface. Don't try to unfold it - just take your rolling pin and roll it into a rectangle approximately 18" by 12"...or even a little larger.

Cut the rectangle into six squares.

Put each square into a muffin tin.

Now you need to decide what kind of mini pie you want to make. If you want a pudding filling, or a meringue, bake the pastry shells before filling them - about 20 minutes at 400°. After the shells are baked, fill them with whatever you want.

If you want to make a fruit pie, then fill the pastry shells with pie filling before baking them.

I chose to make peach pies (since I had peaches in the freezer)....

To make peach pie filling for six pastry shells, mix 1 1/2 cups frozen peaches with 2 Tablespoons flour, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, and 1/3 cup sugar.

Fill each pastry cup with the mixture, making sure to include some of the sugar and flour in each cup.

Bake for about 30 minutes at 400°, or until the pastry shells are beginning to turn brown.

Doesn't that look like an elegant dessert?

Of course, you can use any kind of frozen or fresh fruit, or a canned pie filling.

And don't forget the savory options! For a quick, fancy supper, just fill your pre-baked pastry shell with your favorite pot pie filling (also pre-cooked), and pop it into the oven for 10 minutes or so to heat it up.

By the way, let's not forget that today is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day! Most of us who hang out here at the cafe are old enough to remember Dr. King, and what life was like during the Civil Rights Era. Would you like to share your memories? That's how we keep history alive.


  1. Wooohooo, this look yummy. And I had a hankering for pie over the weekend and made a blueberry one the regular way. Sigh. This would have been so much easier! And yes, they do look fancy!

    I've already had my first Martin Luther King book request this morning and I haven't officially started working yet. For some reason my school board celebrates Black History month in February so Martin Luther King Day always takes me by surprise! Best run and get a display going so the rest of the teachers have something to read to their students.

    1. Black History Month is in February here, too. I guess MLK day kick starts the month!

      And enjoy your blueberry pie :)

    2. Thanks for the lovely pie recipe Jan! Wish I could buy frozen peaches like that!

      I know what you mean, Kav! I thought that was going to happen so I started my special series on my blog this month rather than in February (when Black History week was extended from the 2nd week in February to the entire month in 1976 for the Bicenntenial). I've noticed that King Day does tend to jump start things!

    3. The peaches are in the freezer section at Walmart, Piper - you'll have to look to see if your store carries them.

  2. This is an amazing idea. Think banana pudding and then top with a dab of coolship.

    LOVE THIS!!!!

    1. Or a chocolate mousse filling with a couple fresh raspberries on top?

      So easy!

  3. This is such an awesome idea, Jan! I can hardly wait to try it. Oh, the possibilities. :-)

    1. They're endless, aren't they?

      I just thought of another one - filled the baked pastry shell with fresh strawberries and top with whipped cream! Strawberry shortcake!

    2. Oooh! Or make them into single serving quiches!

  4. LOLin at Tina's "coolship" commen. Hmmmm....

    An I wish I was old enough to remember MLK, but I'm thankful I wasn't alive the year we lost him. The despair must have been almost impossible to bear.

    1. I laughed at at Tina's "coolship" too - but SHHH! don't tell her!!!!

      And I wasn't very old when MLK was killed, but I remember it being a very frightening time. Between JFK, MLK and RFK, there was so much violence at a time when everyone was calling for peace. I have no desire to relive those years.

  5. hahaha COOL WHIP!!! It was very late at night.

  6. You know, I've made "tarts" this way and I forgot about it!!!! Normally I made mini-pie shells by forming pie crust over the back of the muffin tin (think inside out) and then baking them.... and tipping them off and filling them with fancy layers.

    This is so easy!!!! And delicious, and I love puff pastry.

    Jan, thank you for sharing this! Wonderful!!!!

  7. Jan, that's gorgeous! I'm sorry I didn't get by here yesterday.