Ideas for mini-pies?
Ok, next Wednesday is a absolutely ridiculous "holiday" created by math educators called "Pi Day" (it's 3/14, get it?) Anyway, I teach at a college and usually bring in something for my students. Two years ago I did apple empanada-type pies, last year I did mini key lime pies and mini chocolate pudding pies (but none of them had ever tried a key lime pie before and didn't want to try them!)
This year I'm back to the empanada idea unless I can come up with something better. These are college kids, they'll eat just about anything, so they don't have to be fancy, but they need to be small, portable, and fairly simple to make as I don't have a lot of time the day before to do them. I can always do cookies as they're round and make them just calculate stuff with them but I'd rather not.
Oh, I'm also doing pizza pies this year so this won't be the only food they see all day.
I like to take frozen puff pastry, cut into small squares and fill them with homemade vanilla bean cinnamon applesauce (basically cooked sliced apples in apple juice until soft, puree and flavor to your liking, or just use a good store bought one). Then I fold them so they form triangles, seal with a little egg wash, and bake. In fact, I have even made them, froze them, and baked them from frozen. Just be careful not to put too much applesauce in or it will explode out. When they are done baking, drizzle some white chocolate on the top, and you're done. I like to serve this with some dulce de leche (caramel) sauce to dip in. Yum! Have fun--I wish my school did things like this!
These are quick, simple and really, really good. Below is my Pecan Pie recipe, which I have to say, is about the best pecan pie ever. It is made with dark, not light Karo and is spiced just right. Double the recipe, and then make small tarts with them, or mini pies. I use muffin tins that have the tiny almost bite sized muffins. Press piecrust into each space, fluting it just a touch, then fill about 3/4 with the filling. Cook the same way, though it is a good idea to watch as they might cook a bit faster. As for piecrust, use either your own or store bought; if you use store bought, don’t buy frozen crust, the fresher, roll out piecrust in the refrigerated section.
Each one is about two or three bites, depending. You can top them with a dollop of whipped cream if you like.
WORLD’S GREATEST PECAN PIE
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup DARK Karo syrup
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/2 cups chopped pecans
4 T butter
1 t. vanilla
1/2 t each cloves and allspice
1 t. cinnamon
1 unbaked pie shell
Preheat to 350.
Bring sugar and syrup to a boil. Allow to cool. Add next seven ingredients and mix well.
Pour into pie shell.
I love the "Pi Day" idea. May suggest it to my engineer husband.
How about Cornish pasties (pronounced PAH-stees, not like what strippers wear!)? They are just basic pie crusts (use lard for most authentic representation) turnovers filled with cubed cooked beef, diced potaoes, diced turnip, minced onion and s&p. They are usually rather hefty, but there is no reason why you couldn't make them smaller.
Here's a link to one recipe, with variations: