Thursday, February 9, 2012

Berry Good Mini Pies

Pie...a favorite childhood memory for me!  If there was company coming for mom would bake pie for dessert.  One recipe of her 'flaky pie crust' yielded three regular sized pies. February 9th was my mom's birthday...and though she is no longer here to celebrate with us...I thought I would post pies on her special day.

I still love pie...and could eat a whole apple pie all by little slice at a time!  But these days I often make mini pies...which are a better size for the two of us.  And they are easy to package up...and bring to your friends, your family or a potluck.  Who doesn't want to have a whole pie to themselves?

Mini pie pans (about 4 1/2 inches in diameter) are sold at kitchen specialty shops.  The disposable aluminum mini pie plates can be found at your grocery store...usually in the baking aisle.  Use your favorite pie recipe...and count on making three or four mini pies with the crust and filling for one regular pie.

Here is my all-time favorite pastry recipe...also found on the back of the Tenderflake lard box.


  • 5 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 lb Tenderflake lard
  • 1 egg, slightly beaten
  • 1 Tablespoon vinegar
  • Cold make 1 cup of liquid
  • 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar

      1. Stir flour and salt together.
      2. Cut in lard with pastry blender until shortening is in pea sized pieces.
      3. Combine egg and vinegar in a measuring cup.  Add cold water to make one cup.
      4. Gradually stir liquid into flour mixture.
      5. Mix to moisten...but do not overwork.
      6. Gather into a ball and divide into six portions. (Yield: three regular double-crusted pies or a dozen mini-pies.)
      7. Roll out portions of pastry on a lightly floured surface until dough is about 1/8" thick.
      8. Cut bottom rounds slightly larger than the mini pie pan you are using.
      9. Press pastry into the pans and up the sides.
      10. Spoon in fruit filling (listed below)...or use your favorite fruit pie filling.
      11. Cover with top pastry (cut the size of the pie pan). 
      12. Flute edges to seal and cut slits into top crust to allow steam to escape.  (Or use a mini-cutter to cut shapes our of top crust before placing on pie.)
      13. Sprinkle granulated sugar over the top crust.
      14. Bake at 400°F for 10 minutes.  Reduce to 350° and bake an additional 25-30 minutes.  If you are following the recipe for a regular sized pie, shorten the baking time by about one-quarter for mini pies.

      Apple Berry Filling:

      • 2 cups cooking apples, peeled and chopped
      •  3 cups berries (mix and match ~ blackberries, raspberries, blueberries)
      • 1 cup sugar
      • 1/3 cup flour
      • 1 tablespoon tapioca
      1. Combine 1 cup sugar with flour and tapioca in large bowl.
      2. Add apples and berries. Toss well.
      *Pastry is easier to roll if it has been chilled first.  
      *Any leftover pastry can be stored in the fridge for a week...or indefinitely in the freezer to be used later.