RETRO RECIPES: MINI PIES
Summer is officially here! My husband and I spend a lot of time outdoors in the summer, gardening, hiking, picnicking, and we like food that's easy to grab without a lot of mess. Enter the mini pie! These desserts are easy to pack for trips and they look great set out for guests during backyard barbecues. There's no mess of cutting and serving a full pie, and you can make a variety of fillings to satisfy everyone.
Today I'm making a simple blueberry filling, but you can make any filling you choose, be creative!
Filling Pie Crust
4 cups blueberries 2 cups flour
2/3 cup sugar 2/3 cup vegetable shortening
5 Tbsp flour 1 tsp salt
1 Tbsp lemon juice 4 Tbsp cold water
If you choose to salted margarine or butter in place of the shortening like I did, be sure to leave out the 1 tsp of salt from the crust.
Begin by making the filling. If you're using fresh berries, begin by washing them thoroughly and removing all stems. If you're using frozen make sure to thaw them out and drain excess liquid. Add the lemon juice and stir.
In a separate bowl, mix together the sugar, flour. Add to the berries and mix gently until all the berries are coated. Set aside.
Preheat the oven to 425°
In a large bowl mix together the salt and flour. Add the shortening in chunks like so:
Mix together with your fingers until no large chunks remain and you get a sand-like texture.
Add the water and work into a dough with your hands. You may be tempted to add more water just keep kneading until a dough forms. Adding too much water will making your dough soggy and sticky.
The original recipe suggests you use individual tart pans, so if you have them use them! If you don't, like me, simply use a muffin tin. Since there's so much shortening in the dough you shouldn't have to grease your pan, but I do it anyway just to be safe.
Roll out your dough on an UN-FLOURED surface to about 1/8" thick. Adding flour to your dough will make it tough and less flaky. Roll your dough gently and quickly, try not to push down too hard with your rolling pin.
Cut out 12 circles with a 4" cookie cutter.
Place your circles of dough gently into your muffin pan and fill each with about 1.5 Tbs of the berry filling.
With your remaining dough you can cover each pie as you'd like. This recipe doesn't give enough dough to completely cover each pie, so I just cut out shapes with my tiniest cookie cutters. Today I've included a Zelda triforce and a Pac Man ghost for my husband who loves retro video games.
Bake for 25 - 35 minutes, or until they're golden brown. Allow them to cool before removing.