all sorts of recipes, from me to you

all sorts of recipes, from me to you…

Friday, August 10, 2012

Mini Pies ~ Blueberry & Apple Too



I confess, I really like kitchen gadgets and have my share of them.  Then, I read an article about the Breville Personal Pie Maker…







I eyed the Pie Maker for a long time on line, and studied the plethora of reviews, before inquiring about it at Williams Sonoma.  They were a hot little item at the time, and there was even a waiting list for them ~ kind of like years ago, when I was waiting to read a library book that was on the reserve list.  I passed on the pie maker list.

Months later, while at Williams Sonoma, I inquired about the Breville Pie Maker again, and the saleslady told me she had a stack of them in the back.  She said they wouldn’t even be displaying them as people always ask for them and they sell swiftly.  Wow!



Breville Personal Pie Maker



She brought one from the back for me, and explained how it worked, and how great it is for a variety of pies, even savory ones. She needn’t have bothered, as I was sold on it before I saw it!

The other day, I made 4 blueberry and 4 apple pies.  First of all, I heated the pie maker, and cooked the 2 fillings.  The instruction book says to fill the pies with about 1/3 cup filling each.  I think they needed more.  Too full tough, the filling spills out, and then you have a mess.

Next, I followed the advice in the booklet, and used rolled pie crust from the dairy case for the pastry base and puff pastry for the pastry top.  I simply unrolled the bottom crust on the flour-dusted countertop; rolled it out slightly, with a rolling pin, so the included pastry cutter would fit perfectly for 4 pie crusts. 

Each one was inserted into a pie mold and tamped down with the accompanying pastry press.  Scoop the filling into each one, top them with 4 cutouts of puff pastry tops, close the lid and let it do it’s thing for about 12-14 minutes, and ~ VOILA! ~ you have 4 yummy mini pies.

I experimented the first couple of times with how much filling and how long to bake.  I used almost ½ cup filling per pie, instead of the 1/3 cup suggested in the book.  The filling may be heavy enough to push the bottom crust into the maker, without using the pastry press.  Canned filling may be used also.  The pie maker crimped the edges of the dough well when baking.   

The pies start baking the second the bottom crust is inserted, so it requires quick work.  The top crust seemed to bake/brown faster than the bottom so I left the lid open the last minute before removing them.  The longer the pie maker heated, the better it was, by the second set of pies.



Bakes 4 mini pies

Cut-outs for pastry bottom

Dough ready for filling

Apple filling

Ready to bake

Voila!  Second batch baked longer


I think it’s a great gadget. At holiday time, I will be baking many in a wider variety, since we all have our personal favorite ~ pumpkin, pecan, apple, mince and cherry.  But first, I want to bake chicken/veggie pies or quiche from a recipe in the instruction book!

Mom was the “pie queen” and wouldn’t have dreamed of using a store bought crust.  Unfortunately, I have never mastered the art of pie making, like my mom, even after standing by her side, following step by step.  This is the #1 reason why this is a great gadget for me!



Blueberry Filling

Ingredients:

2 cups fresh blueberries, rinsed and dried
¼ cup sugar
¼ cup water
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1½ tablespoons corn starch
1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon vanilla

Method:

In a medium saucepan, combine blueberries, sugar, water and lemon zest and corn starch.
Stir to combine and cook until thickened, without crushing berries.
Remove from heat and stir in butter and vanilla.
Allow to cool before assembling pies.
Filling for 4 mini pies

Apple Filling

Ingredients:

4 large apples, peeled, cored and sliced
4 tablespoons butter
¼ cup light brown sugar, packed
2 teaspoons corn starch
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla


Method:

In a saucepan over low heat, melt the butter.
Add apples and cook until almost tender, about 10 minutes.
Add remaining ingredients, except vanilla.
Reduce heat to low.
Stir frequently until sugar is dissolved and apples are well glazed.
Remove from heat.
Stir in vanilla.
Allow to cool before assembling pies.
Filling for 4 mini pies



The Breville pie maker is a wonderful thing and if you like gadgets too and mini pies, you will love this!



Be sure to visit my friend, Linda’s blog, @My Kind Of Cooking.  She has unique tips on Tuesdays and yummy recipes every Friday!


Disclaimer:  I have no affiliation with the maker of the product.  This post is just my personal opinion.





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17 comments:

  1. I have looked at this pie maker many times and always talk myself out of buying one. And every time I see a wonderful post about them like yours I want to jump in the car and drive to WS and get one. With all the wonderful fruit available now I think its time for me to give in. Love the savory little pies too!

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  2. Hi Pam,
    What a great gadget and your pies look so professional and delicious!
    Cheers and hope you have a fantastic weekend,
    Lia.

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  3. Cathy, I know what you mean as I felt the same way for a long time before buying it. it's easy to use and makes good pies. I really like it!

    Lia, thanks! And I hope you have a good weekend also!

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  4. Pam, Nifty little pie maker! Your mini-pies look great. Perhaps hot out of the oven with a scoop of homemade vanilla bean icecream... Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

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  5. that pie looks great! Cool pie making device!

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  6. I got one when a friend gave me a heads up about them. I've made chicken pot pies with it and they were good. Your sweet pies look delicious. I need to make The blueberry and apple next. Cleaned up nice and easy, too.

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  7. how beautifully presented.. who could resist these delectable pies!

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  8. I also love kitchen gadgets but I have never seen or heard of a pie maker before. It looks like it makes a fantastic job. Plum pis is what I need to make at the moment:-) Diane

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  9. i suddenly want a mini pie maker! yum!

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  10. I have their panini press machine which is exceptional, top notch!

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  11. I sooooo want one of these! ;)

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  12. This is fantastic! There's a book I'm eyeing on pies for electric-pie maker by Abigail Johnson Dodge! Check it out!

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  13. Oh my goodness, I so need one of these!! Then again, I'd make pies after pies and would probably gain 100 lbs.... but it would so be worth it!!! Thanks for sharing this great find with us!

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  14. what a cute idea !

    Pies and tarts is something I rarely make. The heart burn afterwards kills me :-)

    I enjoyed looking at yours though

    Love from the UK x

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  15. This is so tempting for me because I love gadgets too! This is certainly good for AZ as heating up the oven to bake a pie sounds like a bad idea about 5 months out of the year. :) Have a great week!

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  16. Lovely pies! They look so tempting. Great choice of fillings.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  17. Hi Pam,
    You did a great job on using the pie maker. I want to share my tips with you. I've found mini pie makers to be tricky to use. They use to burn my pies before I discovered this clever tool. Now I bake golden pies almost every time, no more burning. Some of you can get the mini pie tool for free here. I love my pie maker now and have learn how to bake pumpkin pies in it. Something the manual said we couldn't do.
    Did you know you can use sliced bread for the crust? It works pretty well.

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I'm happy to hear what you have to say, and appreciate your taking the time to comment. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts!

Keep smiling,
Pam