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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

4 Steps to Baking Cute and Tasty Mini Pies

John Ivanko and Lisa Kivirist
Hobby Farms Contributors

Four mini pies can be made from one regular-sized pie crust. Photo by John Ivanko (HobbyFarms.com)
Photo by John Ivanko
Four mini pies can be made from one regular-sized pie crust. 

Why is it that a mini version of a baked good just makes us grin and want to eat it all the more? Lisa made a batch of eight mini pies for our bed-and-breakfast guests instead of her usual two regular-sized pies, and she beamed like she just started her own bakery.

Mini foods seem to be all the rage in trendy food circles, from bite-sized appetizer versions of pizza and corn dogs to teeny tarts. Aside from their adorableness and their ability to transport us back to our Easy Bake Oven childhoods, mini pies are easy as pie—or at least any other pie—to make.

Here are four simple steps to get you started:

1. Prepare and place pie crusts.
A regular-sized, single pie-crust recipe makes about four mini, 4-inch, single-crust pies. Each 4-inch pie is a generous single serving. Lisa used 4-inch tart/quiche pans with a removable bottom, which worked quite well. Be sure to grease the pans very well—even more than you would a regular pie pan—because you want the full mini pie to nicely pop out whole.

2. Add pie fillings.
We didn’t tell our guests, but mini pies proved to be a great and easy way to work through and use up various bits and bobs of sweet leftovers around the kitchen. A quarter jar of leftover strawberry preserves worked wonderfully, as did one chopped-up apple drizzled with a little brown sugar and butter, as well as some frozen raspberries rubbed in sugar. Each 4-inch pie uses a little less than 1 cup of filling.

3. Bake pies.
We baked these single-crust pies at 425 degrees for about 10 minutes, and then reduced the heat to 350 degrees for an additional 30 minutes, until golden brown. The higher initial heat seals the pie and creates a crispier crust. Place a jellyroll pan under the pies to avoid a sticky mess on the bottom on the oven in case the filling spills over. Cool on a wire rack, and admire your mini-bakery!

4. Savor and share.
Mini pies are made for sharing. While each single pie makes a nice individual serving, we ended up cutting them all up when we made them on the farm so everyone could sample different flavors (i.e., no one wanted to commit to just one!). We also wrapped one up for a senior friend who lives down the road. It’s the perfect treat for someone who loves sweets but lives alone and wouldn’t buy a whole pie just for him or herself.

We’re so intrigued and enamored with the whole mini-pie concept, our next step will be to try some mini savory pie anyone, like splitting our Swiss Chard Quiche into four mini pies.

Savoring the good life,

John and Lisa's Signatures

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4 Steps to Baking Cute and Tasty Mini Pies

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Reader Comments
Great idea.
Carl, Livermore, CA
Posted: 5/21/2013 11:13:55 AM
Cute! I should try these for the next family dinner we have. Now if only there was a magic way to make pie crusts easier. . .
Ashley, Brazil, IN
Posted: 11/15/2012 4:31:01 AM
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