December 11: Mini Pies

Pie

I frequently get asked about the mini pies that I often serve at various gatherings. While I still make regular pies, these mini-pies offer lots of advantages.IMG_4839.1

  • Great for Gifting – what a cute little gift!
  • Serving for One – when you don’t need a whole pie.
  • Variety – easy way to offer a variety of flavors when feeding a crowd.
  • Easy – seriously, very easy to make.
  • Fresh & Hot – make the filling and crusts ahead, then bake to order. Most pies take 10 minute or less!

And rarely do you slice a piece of pie and have it turn out like this:

pie

brevilleI don’t know about you, but mine usually looks like I dropped it on the floor a couple of times before it gets to the plate. The mini pies are far more presentable!

The key to making mini-pies is you need a pie maker. Mom gave me one for Christmas a few years ago.  I’m usually skeptical of cooking “gizmos” and quite frankly had no clue if I’d actually use it. Once I got started I was hooked. As with any kitchen gizmo, it is important that you get a quality piece of equipment. The cheaper model rarely yields the same results. I have the Breville Personal Pie Maker and it is worth the price of purchase – SRP $79.99, however I have found it for less.

I first started checking prices for you a couple of days ago when I started contemplating today’s post. When I checked back today, both Williams-Sonoma and Amazon show them as no longer available. They sold out quick! These are a hot item, and I hope they are just out of stock for the season. They still show on Breville’s website so that’s a good sign.

IMG_4840The basic ingredients are simple too. While you can show off and make your own crust, which is my preference when making regular size pies, when it comes to the mini-pies do yourself a favor and buy the Pillsbury pie crusts in the refrigerated section. They are as good as most homemade pie crusts and are perfect for the mini-pies. You just roll them out slightly and the pie maker comes with a tool for cutting both top and bottom crusts. For the top crust I use Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry, found in the frozen food section. Make sure you get the puff PASTRY – the shells and phyllo dough are NOT the same.

Mini PiesIf you have a favorite pie filling recipe, you can use it with the mini-pies too. I also have a great cookbook just for the Mini Pies from Abigail Johnson-Dodge. It has great recipes for sweet and savory pies.

Pecan pie is Keith’s favorite so I tend to make them the most. They do not require a top crust. I usually like to put top crusts on my fruit pies. True confession – lately I have been pushing the easy button and using Lucky Leaf Premium Pie Filling for my fruit pies. Their filling is quite good and you don’t have to worry about finding good fruit in season. Avoid off-brand filling – I bought some once in a pinch and wound up throwing it in the trash.

At our Guthrie Getaway I used my Personal Pie Maker to make mini-quiche and they were quite a hit! So much easier than the big quiche – nothing is worse than when your crust leaks and ruins the entire quiche. With the mini-quiche I had no leaking crusts, and if I had it would have just ruined one little pie. No disaster there!

Today I’ll share my mini-quiche recipe with you.

Mini Quiche

  • Pie crust, cut into rounds
  • 4-6 slices bacon, fried and crumbled
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 ½ cups cream
  • ½ tsp salt
  • pinch of pepper
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • ¾ cup fresh grated gruyère

Whisk eggs, cream and seasonings in a mixing bowl until blended. Place pie crusts into pie maker, gently push bacon into crust. Pour egg mixture into shells and sprinkle gruyère on top.

Bake for 10 minutes or until filling is puffed and crusts well browned. Makes around 8 mini-quiche.

I think I’m going to try using my pie maker next time I make Chicken Pot Pie. I’ll let you know how that turns out!


Now back to yesterday’s post. My heart is swooning upon the discovery that my dear readers are indeed kindred spirits. You can pat yourselves on the back because General Hospital is the right answer! I stumped those who dined with me at our Guthrie Getaway. Even with the help of the internet, no one could figure it out. Good job readers!

audrey

Dame Audrey is named after Audrey Hardy, wife of the legendary Dr. Steve Hardy. She has been on the show since 1964!

vining

Miss Vining is named after nurse Amy Vining, sister of Laura Spencer.

emily

Lady Emily is named after Emily Quartermaine, adopted daughter of Dr. Monica and Dr. Alan Quartermaine. She also became a doctor after about 6 months in medical school. Too bad real life doesn’t work that way.

lila

Lady Lila is named after Lila Quartermaine. Anna Lee, the actress who portrayed her was a beautiful, classically trained theatre actress. She was on the show until her death at age 91.

ashton

Lord Ashton is named after Lord Larry Ashton, Tracy Quartermaine’s first husband.

lucy

Lady Lucy is named after Lucy Coe, best known for emceeing the annual Nurse’s Ball and somehow winding up on stage in her underwear each year.

I haven’t missed an episode since I started watching in 1997. We had just opened in the little green house. There was nothing on the TV to watch (back before we had 1,000 cable channels) and I got hooked. Before that I’d make fun of people who watch soap operas – I thought I was too intellectual for such pursuits. As I always say –  watch who you make fun of, that may very well be you one day!

 

 

 

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6 thoughts on “December 11: Mini Pies

  1. The quiche sounds good. I hope to make it soon. Also wanted to thank you for the two Mrs. Crosby patterns I didn’t have. Hope to see you next week. I couldn’t make it there this week. Happy knitting to all.

  2. I have ever heard of a mini pie maker! Now your secret is out! And I agree that for kitchen gizmos to be a success, they must be quality ones. thanks for the recipe, can’t wait to hear how your chicken pot pies turn out.

  3. My whole family was hooked on As The World Turns, for about 40 years!!! It was like a member of our family died when it ended

  4. I watched General Hospital many years ago but when the Cassadines, I think, tried to make it snow in Port Charles they lost me. Scorpio was on their trail for sure. So many soap operas have been canceled impressive they are still on the air.

  5. Thank you for the recipe. My pie maker came yesterday and I am so excited to try it. thanks for the tips!!

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