Baking Mini Apple and Mixed Berry Pies in Muffins Tins and Mini Cake PansPosted: October 6, 2008
Fall in Boston can sometimes hit you unexpectedly, take this week for instance. Two days ago I was using the air conditioner in the morning, because it was hot, and somewhere around noon I started to realize I was a wee bit cold. I turned the air off, and by 3pm, I was huddled in blankets wondering where this global warming thing had gone. Now in my building, we have no control over the heat, the Wonderful Wizard of Oz speaks on some mysterious day and Poof! the radiator comes on…until then – WE BAKE! To warm my tootsies, I am making mini pies in muffin pans and new mini cake pans I bought today. Oh the joy of tiny things! Did you know if something is small you can eat twenty million of them with no adverse calorie effects? …it is a proven fact, look it up 🙂
I have found that strict recipes and pies do not go well together. Pies were meant to be improvised. I do not know if this works for the real sized pies as I have never made one of those, but for mini pies it is a must. This time I made mixed berry and apple pies as that is what I had in the house at the time of said cold toes. To do this, I grabbed two boxes of Pillsbury pre-made pie crust from the store. I already had a granny smith apple, a lemon, a bag of frozen mixed berries, sugar, butter, nutmeg, cinnamon, egg white (optional) and muffin pan/mini cake pans. I do not measure anything, I just toss stuff in until it looks and smells yummy and call it a day. I did however re-remember (for the eleventy-millionth time) you must drain the berries or they will boil over into a big giant mess.
For the apple pie mixture I shredded the green apple into very small pieces (these are very small pies) and added nutmeg, cinnamon, butter, lemon zest and sugar in the quantities that I like.
The mixed berry pies only had sugar and lemon zest added…but I SHOULD HAVE DRAINED THE LIQUID FIRST, there now I have said it again, maybe I will remember next time.
Once I made the mixtures I filled the pies and made little covers (wish I had tiny cookie cutters, that is my next purchase) or little lattice work covers for them. Cuteness over kill. To help them to stick, use egg whites painted on with a little paint brush and sugar sprinkled on.
I cooked until they were golden brown at 350 degrees. I think it took at least half an hour, but I was checking every 10 minutes because I could not remember how long it would take.
The problem with making mini pies is that you always have pie crust left over. My cousin, who is visiting this week gave me a great solution for this. Make a ball out of all the remaining spare bits and roll them out into a longish oval. Spread butter onto the whole thing and cover with cinnamon, nutmeg and sugar. From the long side roll it like a cigar and pinch the tips. With a sharp knife chop off the tips and discard, then cut thin slices that look like teeny-tiny cinnamon rolls and bake on a baking sheet. Take these out just before you think they look done or they will be over cooked. You can make a sugar glaze for them by taking powdered sugar and a one or two spoons of milk and microwaving for ten to fifteen seconds and then mix and drizzle over the little swirls.
Mmmmmmmm….tasty and warm. Yay for not freezing to death!!!