Pretty Little Pies
The world loves pie. I love pie. I love making pie, and I’m often called upon to do so. Today was a pie day and I decided to change things up a bit and make lots of miniature pies in a tartlet pan instead of one big pie. The perfect filling for these minis was a singular cherry and the gel glaze that comes in a can of cherry pie filling.
I made a regular pie crust recipe for a double crust with the following:
- 2 and 1/4 cup flour (1/4 cup reserved for dusting and rolling
- 1 cup vegetable shortening
- 1 tsp salt
- 3/4 cup cold water (I’m talking refrigerated to the brink of freezing)
First I mix the flour and salt, then add the shortening in a big ball. I shave off little curls of shortening until I whittle the ball down to nothing. I smash the curls against the side of the bowl while turning it around and continue to smash and swirl until the mixture is even and pencil shaving like pieces of flour and shortening are all around. I add nearly all of the water and discover that I don’t need it all. I just want the dough to be moist enough to just be pushed together against the contour of the bowl and clean the sides of dough. It helps if the dough is refrigerated at least 30 minutes before rolling. Cold insures flakiness.
I roll out half of the dough at a time, to about 1/16th of an inch, then with a plastic cup (most normal people have a biscuit cutter in the drawer) I cut as many circles I can to use as mini pie shells. I pinch the circles up and poke the centers down into the mini tart pans. I try to pinch little points evenly as I can, then press them down a bit with the back of a fork. The only things left to do are to put a spoonful of cherry pie filling in each mini pie shell with only one cherry per pie, and bake them for 35 to 45 minutes at 425°