November 20, 2012

3.14159265359

Or Pi(e).

One of my assignments is to make pie for dinner on Thursday, and as I’ve learned, never make something for the first time when you’re doing it for guests. Culinary disasters lie that way. I am making mini apple pies, and after I read a bit on some blogs, I felt like I should do a trial run.

These mini pies are made in muffin tins, and I have an old one, that I love.  It has rounded bottom cups, which makes it so much easier to clean than ones with flat bottoms. Also, it’s black steel, so it cooks and browns better than shiny aluminum ones.

I cut rounds of pastry dough and placed them in the cups. Three were a little too small before I caught on and cut them one size larger. I used these. I chopped apples into a small dice so that I could pack the pies. I also added golden raisins, but I know that raisins aren’t to everyone’s taste. I should have added a little spice, but I am not a fan of cinnamon. Suggestions?

Then I picked a cutter the size of the cup and made a top for the pies. I cut out small holes for vents. I brushed them with a little milk and sprinkled a tiny bit of sugar on them.

I baked the pies for about 20 minutes at 375* but I probably should have used a 350* oven. The house smelled amazing, and when the timer rang, I pulled the pies out.

Clearly, I need to add more filling, and make the tops a little larger. One of the issues I’d read about was getting the pies out of the cups, but since these cups are more rounded than the usual ones, I didn’t have any problem.

Once they cooled a little, I tried one.

It was okay. I think I need sharper tasting apples. I can’t figure out what kind I used because I got them at the farmer’s market. I might also plump the raisins in some hot brandy or rum before I bake the pies the next time. I will also mix the apples and raisins together. Or maybe add a few cranberries.

Cute, huh?

32 comments:

  1. Hi, Meg
    Last Christmas I made an Apple-Pear Galette to "gift" a neighbor, who later told me it was restaurant quality (recipe was from Real Simple). Recipe called for either Empire, Gala, or Cortland apples. As I recall I used Empire. Any one of these three should give you a great little mini-pie. Good luck and have a great Thanksgiving!

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    1. Thanks, Judy! The apples I had were pretty bland.

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  2. Cardamon is a wonderful spice to use with apples.

    Sandra Bird

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  3. Are you going to use some sort of filling? May I volunteer to taste? I discovered your blog while searching for DeBois textiles. It looks that we are neighbors and both anglophiles!

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    1. Apples and raisins! Would love to meet up. I grew up on St. John's in RP.

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    2. Sounds like we have a plan! Maybe we can try to track some bargain goodies! You bring your pies, I share my bacon and dates rolls! A very happy Thanksgiving!

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  4. They look pretty good for a first run, and I agree, always best to do a dummy run first to iron out the kinks. Can't think of an alternative to cinnamon. I love it, and use it on so many things, as it's very good for you, (antiviral and anti oxidant properties)!

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    1. People tend to overuse cinnamon here. I am not wild about it, even though it's good for me!

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  5. Cardamon was a good suggestion. I recently had apricot preserves infused with cardamon and it was quite interesting. That being said, perhaps the apples and soaked raisins might stand on their own and be scrumptious. Hubby doesn't care for cinnamon so my apple pie goes commando! Another variety of apple that I have used with great results and a nice taste are Honey Crisp. Happy Thanksgiving Meg!!

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    1. Bonnie - I know that apricot jam is used as a base for a lot of things.

      Happy T-giving to all of your family!

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  6. Meg, I giggled at your title. I often use a dash of lemon juice and lemon zest in my apple pie. Ginger and allspice too. I always use granny smith apples for their tartness. Your crust looks perfect!

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    1. I was thinking of lemon juice, or maybe adding a cranberry or two!

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  7. How about some nutmeg?

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  8. Your little pies are adorable! I agree with Sandra, cardamom is fabulous with apples. I make my apple pie with loads of cardamom-- not a spec of cinnamon -- and plenty of fresh, chopped mint. Currants soaked in lemon juice are a nice alternative to raisins but I do like the brandy/rum idea. Using a variety of apples will give more depth and texture. And definitely mix the apples with whatever spice and a little sugar to coat all pieces, this gives the spice a little extra time for its flavor to bloom.

    All that being said, good quality cardamom (or with an "n" on the end) is very expensive. Ginger works nicely, add a few drops of vanilla to the mix.

    Happy Thanksgiving!

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    1. Mint! I hadn't thought of that. I also like the idea of several types of apples.

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  9. Don't like cinnamon - I don't believe it!!! I love all of the suggestions above and can't wait to hear how they turn out. Especially like the idea of cranberries. Or do apple & pear?
    We did the crossword puzzle last night -it was really fun!

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    1. Shocking, isn't it.

      Glad you liked the crossword!

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  10. Don't speak to me of Crossword Puzzle, I am terrible when it comes to them(did yours last night). I too do not like cinnamon all the suggestions sound wonderful. Hmmm I like lemon in anything + mint! Can't wait to see the finished product. xxpeggybraswelldesign.com

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    1. I think that I don't like cinnamon because so much food has too much cinnamon.

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  11. Firm Granny Smith apples make great pies. I love cinnamon (really good for you,too)-but try some nutmeg and of course, soaking the raison in brandy will really add some pop. Have a wonderful T Day.
    Mary

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    1. I picked up a couple GS apples today and will mix them with the others I bought. And I also got some cranberries.

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  12. Bonnie G's suggestion of the Honey Crisp is also good. HC is a newly "designed" apple that just appeared in the markets the past few years. I personally like it for a simple homemade apple sauce--a very tasty snack. Above the apple bins at my Farmer's Market, they have huge posters which list every apple imaginable and what each is good for, i.e., pie, sauce, juice, etc. P.S. The galette I made called for apricot preserves, ginger and cinnamon.

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    1. Our farmer's market has the posters, too. But I got the apples days ago, and can't remember which was which!

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  13. Very cute and quite civilized! :) Have a wonderful and warm Thanksgiving, Meg!
    Very best,
    Loi

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  14. Dear Ms. Meg: A little brown sugar, candied ginger (very small dice) and a small pinch of salt to the filling might be nice:)
    Happy Thanksgiving baking,
    Shari

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  15. I can't believe you're not wold about cinnamon! Try some cloves or nutmeg.

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    1. Funnily, I had some pumpkin ice cream earlier this evening and i realize that i don't like the flavour of pumpkin pie spices.

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  16. Pumpkin pie spice for pumpkin pie. Ugh for coffee. Hello google apples for baking the American Apple Board will fill anyone in. I prepared a strudel recipe ala baklava soaked far too many raisins in apple brandy chopped up far too few apples sprinkled almond meal in leu of walnuts lemon extract instead of zest melted apricot jam and butter every thing better with butter cinnamon yada yada some co workers lied it one --my critic said it lacked a wow factor I thought give it 24 hours hah!

    happy thanksgiving everyone!!!!

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