I have been obsessed with making individual, hand-held pies over the last month or so. It started in late December when I made some fantastic mini apple pies. It has continued into January when I have now twice made mini pumpkin pies, and constantly daydream of making small coconut custard pies. I’m not sure if this is because these are just so darn cute, or if I am having withdrawal from the fact that my local Shaw’s stopped carrying Table Talk Pies. (Shhh, don’t tell my wife but one of my guilty shopping pleasures used to be to pick up a Table Talk Blueberry Pie once in awhile on my way out of the grocery store.)
I have seen a few different ‘styles’ for individual pies, but the one I have settled on is making them in muffin tins. The trick to this is making the crust thin enough to work with. Starting out with a pie crust for a typical 9″ pie, you need to roll it out to roughly double its normal size. Once you have this rolled out, use a bowl with a 4″ top and cut out small round crusts that you can fit into the muffin tin. I find that with the store bought pie crust I start with this ends up producing about 9 mini pie shells.
One minor quandary is that if you make the pie filling according to your favorite pie recipe, it will yield more filling than you have individual crusts. With pumpkin pie that is easy to deal with as I simply take whatever filling is left and bake it in a small casserole dish – yielding a pumpkin pudding. In the future I’m going to try doubling the pie crust to see if the proportions work out correctly – although suspect that will lead to an infinite loop* of needing more filling which will then need more crust which will then need more filling and on and on….
See below for some additional pictures of the pies in process, and let me know if you have made individual pies (and if so what is your favorite kind).
Recipe: Mini Pumpkin Pies
* Little programming reference for my old computer science friends out there.