Friday, July 06, 2012

Pie!

Not only have I never made pie before... I've also never really tried it.

I know. Just like back with the onion fiasco, I'm missing out.

But if there's any redemption to be had here, I have had cream pies! Chocolate cream, coconut cream - definitely have had one, two or y'know six slices of those before... It's the fruit pies that get me. I don't know what it is about them but I prefer my blueberries in a jam, my apples fresh and crisp and my strawberries covered in chocolate!

Maybe it's all the pictures on Pinterest or the pretty pies at the grocery market recently, but I found my inspiration to give it a shot! And in classic fashion, instead of just testing out how to make a pie for myself, on a day when I have plenty of time, I decided to make my first pie a gift, 4 hours before going to lunch with M's family who happened to be in town. Yup.

It may have been because I repeated to myself over and over again that there was no room for mistakes here, but I actually made a pie. And not just one. Nope. I made 4 mini pies.

Sometimes, crazy just works.

I used super basic recipes. Not that I've ever had pie before but pie crust has never really appealed to me. I should take this time to mention, that not only did I experiment with making a pie for the first time, I also experimented with the moulds for them.



Adventurous much?

Truthfully, I just didn't think that regular pie crust would be able to pop out of the moulds as easily as a shortbread pie crust. Yes shortbread pie crust. How wonderful. The hint of cookie was like my security blanket in this new world of treats.

If you're interested, here's the link to the wonderful recipe I used: Shortbread Crust

When it says it's easy, believe it. 3 ingredients, no need to refrigerate prior to use and tastes great! When you have four pies to make, less than 4 hours and are a beginner, this is a buttery, cookie flavored gift.

As for the filling, I used a basic combination consisting of a pint of blueberries, a dash of lemon juice, flour and sugar, found in the Spice and Spirit cookbook. Again - simple, quick and fool proof!

For the topping, I decided to make a crumble. The shortbread just wouldn't cooperate to make a lattice pattern. I essentially opted for the crumble I usually use on my sweet potato pie.

Now here's where it gets interesting. My main goal was to make individual, small pies. I felt awkward showing up with one large pie and thought that mini individual sized ones would be more casual and cute! (By the way, in my opinion, the kids won out - they got mini Chocolate Cream Filled Cupcakes!)

I made pies in three different forms: a muffin tin, individual tart tins and a fluted mini cake pan.

The winner?






Definitely the muffin tin. It provided a great pie crust to filling ratio, as well as popped out effortlessly. I used vegetable shortening to prep all of the pans and this worked out the absolute best! All it took was a dull knife to pop it out!

Second place, goes to the individual tart tins. These also were easily removed, and without the use of a knife or any other utensil. Due to their disposable nature, you can just peel or cut away the tin without any hazard to the pie. Downside? The shallow nature of the tin doesn't allow for a lot of filling. Having said that though it's still pretty fantastic! This was the option I ended up going with for the gift, given the fact that the pies still had to be packaged and gifted. The muffin tin option would be my go-to for serving as a dessert or on a tray on a dessert table, but as far as transporting goes, the tart tins definitely were the most practical.




Unfortunately, I really had my hopes set on the fluted mini cake pans, but they just didn't pop out at all. Not that it was a complete loss - I mean sitting in the kitchen eating stubborn pie, scraped out of a cake pan isn't a total loss... right?



At the end of the experiment, I had a kitchen full of pie, a gift ready and made with so much effort and love and awesome, awesome recipients who made getting out of the kitchen and going to lunch the perfect way to top off an awesome morning of successful kitchen adventures!


*Given the fact that I had spent the entire morning baking, I didn't have enough time to take a final picture of the gift. I remembered to once we were already in the car, on the way to lunch!

4 comments:

  1. Really lovely! I love little mini pies! Then I can have a whole one! Well done!

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  2. These are so cute. You did such a great job packaging them also. Also interesting to see your experience using 3 different baking tins.

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  3. These are adorable. I love mini foods.

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  4. I love individual pies! They are so cute, great job!

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