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Preview: The Mini Pie Revolution Headquarters

The Mini Pie Revolution Headquarters



Defeating The Cupcake One Baker's Dozen At A Time



Updated: 2017-11-27T07:39:18.393-05:00

 



The Mini Pie Revolution Event #3 Round-Up

2008-03-28T19:45:01.544-04:00

Boy, oh boy, do we love pot pies! We decided to organize the round-up by filling type, and are very happy to see such variety and imagination at work here. Thanks to all of our talented revolutionaries for rolling up your sleeves and showing us what you've got!Chicken Pot PiesKaren of Gluten Free Sox Fan’s Blog made these delicious-looking gluten-free Chicken Pot Pies with step-by-step instructions. Achieving a flaky crust and a thick gravy filling is always a challenge when cooking gluten-free, so kudos to Karen for a great entry!Holly of PheMOMenon made jumbo cupcake tin-sized Chicken Pot Pies, chock full of vegetables and homemade gravy. Usually topped with biscuits, Holly adapted her recipe for a top and bottom crust. Looks tasty!This is Giz of Equal Opportunity Kitchen's first MPR event and first pot pie. As an intrepid cook, she did a little research to understand the basics and then created her own recipe for these rich Chicken Pot Pies. She marinated the chicken breast with herbs and olive oil and then combined it with a melange of vegetables, including the inspired addition of cauliflower. Delicious!Jen, of Beware The Killer Chicken, was wandering around the internet minding her own business when she found The Revolution. As she was making Turkey Pot Pies for a party anyway, she promptly made a tiny one just for us. Her crust is made of scallion biscuits (yum!) and her filling is her own creation, featuring a little habanero pepper to heat it up.Cakelaw of Laws of the Kitchen made Chicken and Leek Pot Pies topped with filo and poppy seeds. She added a hot pepper to the mix of vegetables, binding it all together with thickened chicken stock. Delicious and pretty as a picture!Rachel of Fairy Cake Heaven was coming down with a cold, but that didn't stop her from making these classic Chicken Pot Pies. She adds a little soy sauce to the filling-- an idea we really like.Beef and Pork Pot Piesno_relation of Holopis Kuntul Baris, created this single serving Australian Meat Pie for Pi Day and for TMPR. The filling was "Manwich, but homemade," and the finished pies were served over homemade cornmush. Tasty!Inge of Vanielje Kitchen made these mouthwatering Steak and Mushroom Pot Pies, sourcing the meat from trusted local butcher. She mentions that the beef is free range, well-hung and properly butchered (okay, I know perfectly well she means "well-aged" but guess where my childish mind went?). As if the rich filling weren't enough, Inge also topped her pot pies with homemade puff pastry. Yum!Marla of Bella Baita View celebrated Pasquetta (the Monday after Easter) with a Spinach Picnic Pot Pie. She used an oil based pastry (so much healthier than butter or shortening!) and added flavor to the mellow spinach and ricotta with speck (cured ham). Perfect for a picnic!Gretchen of Canela & Comino combined two traditional dishes to bring us Empanada Pot Pies! Her savory beef filling is spiced with red pepper, cumin and olives. Yum!Tina of Sweet Designs literally turned pizza on its head, with Pizza Pot Pie. Her filling features sausage, pepperoni, mushrooms and cheese and her topping is a basic pastry crust. Simple and delicious!Fish Pot PiesYour hostess of Redacted Recipes, and co-leader of The Revolution, decided to make Fish Pot Pies, blithely ignoring tradition by topping them with pastry instead of mashed potatoes. The British half of the household pronounced them delicious, proving once again that the "special relationship" between England and America is still strong.Meatless Pot PiesJules of Domestic Goddess in Training created a Purple Sprouting Broccoli Pot Pie just for herself after a successful trip to the market. Spring onions for a little bite and creamy cheddar to bind it all together, and you have the perfect meal.Cooking Up A Storm made these adorable Tiny Timballos, filled with pasta, peas and hard boiled quail egg, all bound together with a creamy bechamel sauce and enclosed in an asiago-flavored pastry.Chris of Mele Cotte made savory Sweet Potato Pot Pies, combining mellow sweet potato with corn in a cr[...]



Give the Gift of Pie!

2008-03-17T15:06:06.403-04:00

Because we always think pie is needed, here are some damned cute pies or pie-related items, we think you or someone you know will love, all from Etsy.

(image) Pie Recipe Triptych


(image) Cute As Pie Necklace


(image) Pecan Tartlet and Pies Crochet Pattern


(image) Silkscreened Sweetiepie Onesie




New Banner!

2008-03-10T08:23:32.130-04:00

(image)

Banner Detail

We are thrilled to tell you that the wonderful talented Jessie of Cakespy has designed a new banner for us, which we think really captures everything this blog is all about.

Notice the little cupcake being used as a canon ball? Brilliant! Thank you, Jessie!




The Mini Pie Revolution Event #3: Pot Pies

2008-03-10T08:50:57.423-04:00

(image) The Mini Pie Revolution is taking a break from sugar and we want to see your very best pot pies in single serving form!

Wikipedia says that a pot pie has a bottom and a top crust, but we disagree. We believe that
a pot pie only needs a crust on the top to qualify, though we certainly do approve of crust on the bottom, too!

With meat or without meat, vegan or not, we just want to be inspired by your version of a comforting home-cooked pot pie.

Naturally we don't expect you to make them mini-muffin tin sized-- this isn't dessert after all, it's lunch or dinner! We think a single serving pot pie is about the size of a jumbo muffin cup, a small tart pan, or a ramekin.

To enter:
Bake your mini pot pies from scratch (they must be single-serving). Remember they need a crust on top (biscuits are just fine!)

Photograph your mini pot pies and post about them on your blog, including a link back to this event announcement, before midnight EST, March 26. Then email Ann (at redactedrecipes@gmail.com) the following:

1) A 150 X 150 mini pot pie portrait
2) Brief description of your mini pie (just the name of the recipe and a one-liner about why it's special is fine)
3) The title of your blog and a link to your blog
4) A link to your mini pot pie entry
5) A link back to this event announcement
6) Make sure your e-mail's subject head is "The Mini Pie Revolution." Please send us your
entry by Midnight EST on March 26, and we will post the results on March 28.

(image) Feel free to use the logo at the top of this post, or this smaller version.

This is a single-serving and and single entry event, so please don't recycle your posts for other events!

Thank you to Andrew of Spittoon Extra and The Daring Bakers for helping to get the word out!


Note: during the last event a lot of our mini pie bakers neglected to email us. We found a lot of posts through technorati, but very likely missed some, so please, please, please do send us the requested information!



Happy Valentine's Day! It's the Small Tarts Have Big Hearts Round-Up!

2008-03-20T10:42:07.821-04:00

It's Valentine's Day and not too late to bake some flirty and fetching little tarts for your beloved! The Mini Pie revolutionaries have been busy creating all sorts of tiny tarts, so have a look at these delicious little two-bite tarts! How can you resist?Thanks to all of our revolutionaries for sending in your gorgeous creations! Once again were amazed by the range and creativity we're seeing.Our very first entry comes from Sarah, at What Smells So Good, with these delectable-looking Choco - Ginger Mini Tarts made appropriately Valentine's Day-looking with strawberry or cherry preserves. Sarah describes this tart as "spunky, sweet, and just a little fruity, but is easy enough to create that it gets along with pretty much everybody."Tina of Sweet Designs made these sinfully rich Dark Chocolate Tarts garnished with whipped cream. The filling is decadent and rich, requiring five egg yolks! As Tina's husband said, "Mmmmmm!"Deeba of Passionate About Baking took our description of slightly naughty topless tarts to heart with these Chocolate Strawberry Tarts. A combination of chocolate, strawberries and Valentine sprinkles, these little tarts look irresistible and we almost expected them to leap up and start dancing the Can-can!Holly at Phe\mom\enon created these rustic Caramel Cashew Creme Brulee Tartlets, based on a dessert at a favorite restaurant, for her husband's birthday. We think the cashew nut crust and sugary bruleed top is over the top-- in a really good way!Marija of Palachinka made these stunning White Chocolate and Cranberry Tartlets, garnished with pistachios. Completely topless, these tarts look about as refined and lady-like as you can get! Her perfect-looking shells are made from ground walnuts.Chris, of Melle Cotte, made these delectable Blackberry Tarts with a chocolate crust. We love the combination of tart barely-sweetened blackberries and the cookie-like crust (I know this because it's the recipe we both used for the last Daring Baker's challenge) modified with cocoa powder.Susan of The Well-Seasoned Cook has been fascinated by face cards ever since she was a child, and particularly by the Queen of Hearts, who clearly needs some sugar in her life. Have a look at Susan's beautiful Almond Cherry Tarts. If these can't make the Queen smile I don't know what will.Aparna, of My Diverse Kitchen, got creative with a surfeit of grapes nobody was going to eat and created these lovely Cardamon Flavored Grape Mini Pies (though we would argue they are tarts). Even her daughter, who dislikes grapes, gave them a thumbs-up!Aran, from the very new and very beautiful blog Canelle et Vanille, created a classic flavor pairing with her Chocolate Mousse and Raspberry Tarts. We're crazy about slightly naughty look of the tiny droplets of peach jam on the tips of the raspberries.Ann from Redacted Recipes was in a chocolate-raspberry mood, too. These little White Chcolalate Raspberry Tarts are made up of a rich chocolate pate sucree filled with raspberries and white choclate ganache. A lattice of dark chocolate on top preserves their modesty.My good friend Manggy of No Special Effects says "I love you" with the food he makes. His original interpretation of a classic Filipino dessert cake into Crema de Fruta Tarts results in these stunning peach and custard beauties. Manggy observes that tarts are shallow, but we think there's a lot of depth of flavor here.Kaykat, of Cooking from A to Z, sent us these spicy little Chocolate Mousse Tarts with greek Yogurt, which she dressed up with a drizzle of chocolate mixed with a touch of cayenne and cinnamon to heat things up.Ben from Heights Eats made Lavender Lime Tarts, using the little tartlet pans he won from our first event! Nice to see you back, Ben! The hearts on top were piped on with a Chocolate-Orange ganache. Yum!The fabulous Helen, of Tartelette, continues with her obsession of all things Herme and whipped up these melt-in-the-mouth Chocolate Coffee Tartelettes. Filled wi[...]



Events of Note

2008-02-05T09:08:27.243-05:00

Here are some food blog events featuring our favorite... PIE! Please follow the links and consider entering one of these events with a mini pie!

(image) Kitchen Parade is hosting Pi Day! Recipes For Homemade Pie with submissions due anytime between March 10th and 14th. We approve of any pie-related events and suggest you make 3.14 tiny pies to spread the word about the Mini Pie Revolution!


(image)
The next Sugar High Friday is being hosted by Vampituity and is also all about pie. Entries are due February 22nd. Another great opportunity to get more mini pies out there!



Your Letters: Seven Species Pie

2008-01-24T14:12:34.355-05:00

Today, January 23rd, is America's "National Pie Day." Here, at the Mini Pie Revolution HQ, we appreciate any pie-themed celebration. And yet, we have to wonder: what's so nationalistic about pie? Pie types prove regional, but pie itself ignores cultural, geographical, and political boundaries.To celebrate International pies, we're posting a letter and recipe sent to us by a reader in Israel. His letter proves what we at HQ have always believed - that world peace (and the end of dinner table discord) depends on every eater getting an equal piece of mini pie.We were interested to note a great technique several of our participants used for our first event: that of rolling out the pie crust and placing it on flattened muffin tin liners!"I used to bake a "once-a-year" Arbor day (In Hebrew callled TU-B'Shvat) cake and cut it into eatable portions. We all enjoyed consuming it, but I always experienced a few complaints, such as "I always get a smaller piece!" - "Why did you give me the corner piece?" - "She got more crust that I!" etc. So this year, I decided that everybody would get an equal portion, a miniature pie. Then I stumbled upon your web site. Though I don't do these things for prizes, I like to contribute where I can. Therefore, I'm attaching a recipe for mini pies made from all of the "seven species" mentioned in the Holy Scriptures, where it is said: "You shall eat bread where aught is lacking therefrom." Humbly, Shmuel in Israel" Seven Species Arbor Day (Mini) Pies"A land of wheat and barley and grapes and figs and pomegranates, a land of olive-oil and honey (dates). A land where no food shall lack when eating bread where nothing is missing from it, a land whose stones are iron and from who's hills shall copper be mined." (Parshat Ekev Devarim 8 : 8-9) 4+ cups of flour1 T baking powder1 t baking soda1/2 cup sugar (white or brown)1/2 cup oil (be sure to add 1 T olive oil!)1/3 cup dark beer (barley)1/3 cup honey1/3 cup pomegranate juice (or grenadine)1/2 t allspicea pinch of saltDate jam or spread18 - 20 figs300 grams raisins2 eggs, beaten1/6 cup sugar mixed with 1 t cinnamon, for toppingThe utensils include: measuring cups and spoons, a large bowl, flour sifter, rolling pin, spatula, wooden spoon, a small pan, a sharp knife, a muffin baking tin, cookie cutters, and cupcake liners (I used size number 3). Some people don't like the fig seeds, so in order to accommodate their wishes I boil up the figs while making the dough. This softens them up, making much easier to slit them in half.The dough is kneaded thoroughly, rolled out thin, cut out in circles, and spread over the bottom and sides of each cupcake liner A dollop of date spread is applied over the bottom layer of the dough.By now, the figs are soft enough to slice open and scrape out the seeds. This is a time consuming part of the preparation, but the figs are soft (and though a bit messy) not difficult to de-seed. Over the date spread, we place a few raisins then half a fig. A smaller circle of dough is now placed over the fig and pinched all around to join the bottom layer, sealing the fruit into the pie. (Karyn adds that you might want to pierce the tops of the pies with forks at this point.)Place the filled pies into the muffin tin, and sprinkle them with the cinnamon-sugar topping. Bake for about 15 minutes at 180 C , (about 400 F) or until the crust begins to tan nicely.Remove from the oven and Voila! You have bread "where nothing is missing from it." If you increase the number of figs to thirty and roll the dough thinner, you can produce sixty mini-pies. No more complaints of "I didn't get and end-crust" or "Why do I always get the edge?" "She got a bigger piece," etc.. Now, all the portions are equal. [...]



Your Letters

2008-01-20T13:29:17.581-05:00

(image)
After receiving his letter in December, we wondered how Old Guy In Oregon's mini pie-making day went with his grandchildren. Happily we recently received a follow-up with a few photos. We're glad it went so well.



Mini Pie Revolution #2: Small Tarts Have Big Hearts!

2008-01-15T14:59:51.470-05:00

When we think “Valentine’s Day,” our minds jump to Sweet Tarts, those awful heart-shaped chalks with their cutesy messages: “call me,” and “be mine.”Well, here at the Mini Pie Revolution HQ, we know that Valentine’s Day requires tarts of a different kind. Grandmothers everywhere would not lie – the stomach leads to the heart, and nothing inspires love like a filled pastry crust. For Valentine's Day, we want to see your sweetest tarts!“But what are tarts?” you ask. “What’s the difference between tarts and pie?”Tarts, being sexy little things, like to go topless. Some tarts leave a little more to the imagination with strategically placed whipped cream or garnishes. No tart likes complete coverage!As per the Mini Pie Revolution’s definition, mini tarts should be baked in mini-cupcake or mini-muffin tins, but you can use tartlette pans, too. A mini tart should be a single one or two-bite serving, but we’re not size-ists here at The Mini Pie Revolution HQ – we're not going to pull out tape measures!Tips and fun facts:You can find crust recipes and "cheats" in our sidebar, along with other helpful information. Check out the round-up of our last event to see just how adorable a mini tart (or pie) can be!The smell of lavender and pumpkin pie is said to increase male arousal (from the, erm, baseline state) by 40%.For women the most arousing scent is Good and Plenty candies and cucumber, with pumpkin pie coming in third, behind baby powder. (We at the Mini Pie Revolution HQ do not condone experimenting with baby powder in pies. Do what you will with the Good and Plenty and the cucumber.)To enter:Bake your mini tarts from scratch (they must be mini-sized). We want sweet tarts this time (as arousing as Rocky Mountain oysters are supposed to be, we don't want to see them in pie. Or anywhere, really).Photograph your mini tarts and post about them on your blog, including a link back to this event announcement, before February 12. Feel free to use the logo in our sidebar, too, if you like. Then email Ann (at redactedrecipes@gmail.com) or Karyn (at Kosmicfish27ATaolDOTcom) the following:A 100 X 100 mini tart portrait Brief description of your mini tart (just the name of the recipe and a one-liner about why it's special is fine) The title of your blog and a link to your blogA link to your mini pie entryMake sure your e-mail's subject head is "The Mini Pie Revolution" Please send us your entry by Midnight EST on February 12, and we will post the results on Valentine's Day. Note: during the last event a lot of our mini pie bakers neglected to email us. We found a lot of posts through technorati, but very likely missed some, so please, please, please do send us the requested information! Thanks to Andrew of Spitoon Extra for making sure this event is listed at Is My Blog Burning?[...]



The Mini Pie Revolution Round-Up!

2008-01-01T10:52:35.985-05:00

What a great way to start the New Year! When we decided to host our very first blog event, we were nervous. You know how it is... what if we throw a party and nobody comes?!But you did come to our party, and you brought fabulous, adorable, creative, and scrumptious mini pies with you! Viva la revolution! Entries were added to this round-up as they arrived (via email or as we found them via technorati), so please don't read anything into your place on the list. Check out the entries, then learn which mini pie won the judges' hearts, minds, and stomachs. Our first entry comes from Sara at Cupcake Muffin, who combined two classic flavor-parings and whipped up these adorable little Apple-Pear-Rum Raisin Mini Pies with Crumb Topping. Fabulous!CakeLaw from Laws of the Kitchen made these luscious little fruit-packed Blackberry-Apple Pies. Don't you just know they're going to explode with blackberry flavor at first bite?Redacted Recipes is not eligible for a prize, of course, but Ann offered up these tiny Christmas Mince Pies in the name of The Revolution.Gretchen from Canela and Comino ruminates on the sneaky seductiveness of the tiny pie and offers up a delectable batch of Peanut Butter Fudge Cups. How seductive can you get?! The fabulous Zenchef of Chefs Gone Wild sent us these gorgeous Macau Egg Custard Tarts. Well, he sent us a link. Ann felt he should have have hand-delivered a few of them personally, seeing as how they're in the same city. :-)Suganya over at Tasty Palettes went for a savory pie with a healthy low-fat crust and created these beautiful Cornmeal Crusted Tomato Tarts. While not exactly single-bite-sized, these lovely four-inch tarts can be held in the hand. Glorious Food and Wine put together these lovely little Mini Mince Pies, using star-shaped cookie cutters to shape the crusts. Adorable, no?Carla from But did they eat it? created super-healthy Mini Chocolate Pies, featuring avocado and tofu. And in answer to her own question, (did they eat it?) she reports that yes, they did!Adele of Tales of The Basil Queen took time out from studying law to create a savory new recipe with these wonderful Chicken, Fig and Mushroom Pies. They look like just the thing for dinner!Katy of Sugarlaws dreamed up these fabulous-looking Peppermint Tarts with Pomegranate Glaze, using crushed candy canes dissolved in yogurt. She brilliantly added a sprinkling of crushed salted pistachios over the pies' tops.Mince Pies are popular this time of year and we received another splendid batch from Joy, at Almanzo's Belly. Joy took the time to make her own filling and provides the recipe and some step-by-step instructions with photos.Cara of Cara's Cravings made these yummy little Sweet Potato Mini Pies, topped with a walnut streusel, which she took to an office potluck. Lucky coworkers!The CookMobile sent in these lovely Mini Egg Pies along with an innovative tip for using a tortilla-maker to flatten the dough (avoiding over-manipulating it into a too-tough crust). Clever!Sarah, of Sweets by Sarah, finds that mini pies solve the dilemma of really wanting a single piece of pie without having to deal the left-overs. You make mini pies, eat one, and share the rest with friends! Her Triple Berry Mini Pies look like summer. It's nice to know that warm weather exists somewhere!Fragole & Cioccolato contributed to la rivoluzione in two languages with these Mince Pies All’Arancia (Orange Mince Pies). Adding orange zest and juice to the pastry, and marmalade and Grand Marnier to the mince filling, gives these pretty pies distinction.Sarah from What Smells So Good? submits "Mincemeat Tarts with Flair", a new-age twist on an old English "favourite"!The artistic Ronell of My French Kitchen made these mouth-watering Turkey and Fois Gras Mini Pies using puff pastry to enclose the rich filling. Mmmmm...Ben[...]



Tiny Pies

2007-12-28T20:09:52.417-05:00

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No doubt you've seen this already, but we feel you should watch it again, paying close attention to the ultra-tiny pies. We would also like to add that no insects were harmed. Lots of information can be found here.

More than two hundred and twenty five miniature desserts, including Lemon Meringue pie, Coconut Custard pie and Cranberry Jelly pie, were specially crafted by an expert team of miniature props creators.

And here is the recipe for the miniature Lemon Meringue Pie:

0.7478 mllilitres cornstarch
0.1478 milllilitres tablespoon flour
0.176 mililitres cups granulated sugar
0.2 millilitres water, boiling
0.004 egg yolk, beaten
grated rind of .02 of a lemon
0.1478 millilitres butter
0.025 mililitres salt
0.075 millilitres unstrained lemon juice

Under microscope: Sift together cornstarch, flour, and sugar. In centrifuge mix in boiling water, continuing to mix until mixture becomes smooth. Cook the mixture in top of a double boiler for 30 seconds. Be sure the water in the double boiler is simmering before the 30 seconds count begins.

Meanwhile, beat a .25 millimetres egg yolk. Stir the hot mixture into the beaten egg yolks (to temper), then slowly combine the egg yolks entirely with the remaining hot mixture. Pipette in the grated lemon rind, butter, salt, and lemon juice.

Stir constantly, continuing to cook until the egg yolks become smooth and thick.

Pour the filling into the baked pie shell. Cover with meringue (see below) while still warm, but not hot.

Meringue:
.005 egg whites, stiffly beaten
.0025 teaspoon salt, scant
.09 tablespoons granulated sugar
.025 teaspoon lemon juice

Place salt and lemon juice in bowl and mix in and centrifuge egg whites. Check under microscope that mix is stiff, but not separating.

While centrifuging, gradually pipette in the sugar.

Spread meringue on top of lemon filling with a spatula.

Bake pie at 300°F until the meringue takes on a delicately golden color with lightly browned tops.




Handy, Recycled, and Pie-Oriented!

2007-12-26T12:58:32.494-05:00

(image)
What more could we ask for? This little notebook is made from a recycled apple pie box box, and is just the right size to carry in your purse or pocket. Use it for lists! 50 white pages. Available from ivylanedesigns at etsy.



A Sneak Peek!

2007-12-20T08:42:55.459-05:00

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We've got mini pies popping up all over the place! Here is a sneak peek at some of the little darlings we've been collecting. If you haven't already joined the revolution, now is the time! Be sure to check back on New Year's Day for the round-up and complete list.



The Mini Pie Gift Guide

2007-12-16T19:36:05.106-05:00

Not done shopping for the holidays? Never fear! The Mini Pie Gift Guide is here!

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These fluted-edged Cuispro Cookie Cutters make the perfect tops and bottoms for your mini pies.

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Non-Stick Mini Muffins Tins will make whipping up batches of tiny tarts and pies a breeze.

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Star-Shaped Cookie Cutters let you create adorable tops for your mini pies.

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This adorable ornament can be bought at SoManyWeeds.


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This wooden block would make a great paperweight for a true pie lover. Available at FartsyArts.



Your Letters

2007-12-15T11:22:48.446-05:00

howdy-

I'm an old guy out here in Oregon who's gonna be lucky enough to have his granddaughters (8 & 10) stay for a few days until the whole family comes over for Solstice. So I thought that I'd bake some pies with them (and give them a bunch of pie making stuff and baking booksfor the holidays - any ideas on good books or tools?)

so then I found your website - beaucoup cool.

I am a stew and italian sauce cook if I had to describe myself (I'm making a deep sauce and bracciole for our Solstice meal) and have never made a pie crust. My questions -

How long should I bake mini pumpkin or fruit pies? (425 for 10 min and then 375 for 40 min?

How do I keep them from sticking to the bottom of cooking tins?

How do I remove them without brutalizing them?

Do I pile the filling up high - esp. fruits, and let it run wild?

Do I give the kids the ritalin before or after the pies go in the oven?

What else would you do with chocolate chips to make them pie-worthy?

Thanks for your help.



Dear Old Guy in Oregon,

1) Temperature and baking time for mini pies: If you are using muffin tins (or mini muffin tins) we recommend setting the oven to the standard 350 or 375 F and then setting the timer for an initial 15 - 20 minutes. Check them frequently after that-- the filling will be fine, you just want the crust to brown nicely.

2) The sticking issue: We use non-stick mini muffin tins and rely on the butter-rich pie crust to do the rest.

3) Non-brutal removal techniques: This is very much dependent on the pie crust recipe you use (Ann's current favorite is this one from African Vanielje and Karyn swears by this one) and the depth of the muffin tin-- another reason why we favor mini muffin tins, as they are very shallow. Additionally, we let them cool before we even try to lift them out.

4) How much filling: If you are making an fruit mini pie and you intend to put a crust on top AND you are confident of your sealing technique AND you use an egg wash AND you remember to poke a vent hole, piling the fruit high should be fine.

If you're going to leave the top bare or lattice your crust you will probably have a bit of a mess if you pile the fruit too high.

5) Ritalin before or after the pies go in the oven? As we are not physicians we will leave that to your own discretion. :-)

6) What else would you do with chocolate chips to make them pie-worthy? We have been thinking about using that old Magic Bars cookie recipe on a regular shortcrust. Maybe try that?

In solidarity,

Ann and Karyn

PS/ If you send us photos of your pies (and grandchildren) we'd love to write a little follow-up about it... Good luck!




Preheat Your Ovens - It's The Mini Pie Revolution

2007-12-02T14:41:48.994-05:00

(image) Maybe you've always preferred pie to cake. Maybe you like tiny things. Maybe you feel, in your gut, that the cupcake's so last year. Well now it's time to preheat your ovens, fill your cupcake tins with mini pies, and aim your cameras at the delicious results. If you're not with us, you don't get any mini pie.

Your Mission

Bake a mini pie from scratch. Mini pies should be baked in a cupcake or muffin tins, but we'll let you get away with other pans if the resulting pies remain miniature. Just how small are mini pies? Aim for mini cupcake or cupcake-sized pies. No mini pie should serve more than one person. Still, we're no size-ists here at The Mini Pie Revolution HQ. We're not going to pull out tape measures.

We prefer that you use legal ingredients, as clever as "pot" pies might sound. So no endangered animals or mind-enhacing drugs, people! Your mini pies can be sweet or savory, single-crusted, double-crusted, open-faced, baby-faced or ugly-faced. We only ask that the pie has some sort of crust (pastry pie dough, as in apple pie) or other topping (mashed potatoes on shepherd's pie, cornbread crust on Mexican pot pie, etc.). No completely naked pies, as that is indecent and illegal we'd have to call the pie authorities.

Really, the sky's the mini pie limit. Have you always wanted to make sushi pie? Here's your chance! Eggplant custard pies? We won't say "no." Do you want to miniaturize your favorite tried-and-true gooseberry pie recipe? Go ahead! Simply put, your mini pie can be anything and everything you want to bake.

The Strategem

Create your mini pies. Photograph your mini pies. Write about your mini pies on your blog. Include a link back to this event announcement. Then:

E-mail Ann (at redactedrecipes@gmail.com) or Karyn (at Kosmicfish27ATaolDOTcom) the following:

1) A 100 X 100 mini pie portrait
2) Brief description of your mini pie (just the name of the recipe is fine)
3) The title of your blog and a link to your blog
4) A link to your mini pie entry
5) Make sure your e-mail's subject head is "The Mini Pie Revolution"


Please send us your entry by Midnight EST on December 25, and we will post the results by January 1, 2008. Let's make 2008 the year of mini pies! The winning mini pie baker will be chosen by Ann and Karyn and will receive a fabulous prize. So get baking!


Feel free to use the Mini Pie Revolution Logo in our sidebar on your post or on your blog.



A Subversive Guide To Basic Pie Crust and Cheats

2007-11-30T21:46:36.064-05:00

"Sedition is a term of law which refers to covert conduct such as speech and organization that is deemed by the legal authority as tending toward insurrection against the established order."Lately I have been attracted to pies. Little pies. So much so that Karyn and I have hatched a seditious plot to overthrow the cupcake overlords. But before you mark me as some sort of Pie Subject Matter Expert, and in the spirit of full disclosure, I am compelled to admit that I have, in the past, made many more cakes and breads than I have pies. Oh sure, I have a few favorite pie and tart and quiche recipes, of course I do. But historically my first whip-something-up impulse has not been about pie. There. I said it.I can explain. I suffer from Fear Of Pie Crust, and I experience fits of anxiety whenever I make one. People like my pies. They even, occasionally, compliment the crust. But my Inner Pie Child still nervously expects the dough to stick to the rolling pin or to the counter or to crumble into pieces as I try to move the dough to the pie dish, or to shrink, or to be tough or soggy or both. Luckily, some of these fears are assuaged by the mini pie concept. Making a batch of mini pies (yes, mini pies come in batches! How cool is that?) means the dreaded transfer of dough to pie dish is completely eliminated. You're just moving little circles into little muffin cups! How easy! And the shrinkage problem just doesn't seem to be a factor with mini pies... or it's just not as noticable.Here's one of my mostly foolproof recipes and some cheats I swear by:Basic Shortcrust Pastry With Cheats IncludedThe lowdown on shortcrust pastry is that you must have twice the amount of flour to fat (so for a single pie crust you'll need about 2 cups of flour to one stick of butter and a half cup of shortening or lard). You must use butter AND shortening or lard. Sorry, but the shortening or lard is key. All-butter crusts tend to weep butter and are not as tender, in my opinion, but maybe that's just me.The fat needs to be at room temperature if you're mixing by hand, or really, really cold if you're cheating and using a food processor (my preferred method). This distinction is important. Don't mix them up and try to use cold hard fat with your hands or softened fat with the processor. It won't be pretty. I speak from experience, so trust me on this.You need a pinch of salt. I know a lot of people swear you should just use flour and fat and water, but I think the pastry tastes flat without a little salt.The last ingredient is ice water. Really, the colder the water, the better. How much water varies, and this is where it gets tricky, as you need to go by feel.Making the Dough:(Cheater Method)1) Cut the butter and shortening into small pieces and put it in your freezer for about 10 minutes so that's it's seriously cold. Sift the flour and a pinch of salt into your food processor and pulse. Add the cold butter and shortening and pulse about 6 or 7 times-- it should look good and crumbly.2) Tip the crumbles into a bowl and start adding water as described in step 2 below. This is because you will get a much better feel for how much water you need if you use your hands. If you're in a hurry or just really lazy you can ignore this advice and add the ice water one tablespoon at a time, pulsing until the dough starts to come together. You can test it by pulling a piece off and pinching it to see if it holds together. If it doesn't you'll need a little more water. This is a much less reliable method and one I seldom resort to.(By Hand Method)1) Sift the flour and a pinch of salt into a bowl. Cut the softened butter and shortenin[...]



Usurp Authority: Make Your Own Pastry Pie Crust

2007-12-02T14:43:00.508-05:00

So you want to join the revolution, but you’re still clinging to your last box of cupcake mix. Why? Because cupcakes, you say, don’t bake in crusts. Store-bought crusts don’t appeal, and nothing seems scarier than recreating that dense, flour-dusted hockey-puck of a crust you made way back when. Never fear! Yes, pastry pie crust can prove temperamental. But a few simple tricks will have you turning out pie crusts so good, your friends will wonder just when you spent time on an Amish homestead.Choose Your Fat WiselyPastry pie dough’s a simple creature. It contains flour, liquid, fat, and salt. The flour’s easy. Use all-purpose flour (some books will say to use half all-purpose flour, half pastry flour). If you’re feeling fancy, feel free to test out polenta or gluten-free flours, but when it comes to pie, simplicity never hurt anyone. I use ice water for the liquid, though you might find some recipes that call for chilled milk, cream, vinegar, or buttermilk. When it comes to pie dough, fat’s the key. Lard, shortening, or butter? That’s the question – and the answer depends on how you like your pie.Lard’s what Grandma used. Lard, or rendered pork fat, makes for tender, flaky pie crusts. I don’t eat pigs, so I’ve yet to use lard. My mother claims she never liked lard crusts – she says they tasted too animal, too greasy. Professional food writers like lard pie crusts’ texture, but dislike it’s flavor.Vegetable shortening’s what Mom uses. Like lard, it creates a flaky pie crust. Unlike lard, vegetable shortening won’t taste like animal product, so it works better in sweet pies. Vegetable shortening comes from hydrogenated oil, so be prepared to eat your trans fats and like them, too. Even if the label says there’s no trans fat, read the ingredient list: if the list says: “hydrogenated oil,” you’re consuming trans fat.Butter’s what I use. It creates a better flavored pie crust, but the flavor comes with some textural drawbacks. With butter, you’re more likely to create a soft pie crust. And if something goes horribly wrong, the crust could go greasy. Some bakers will mix butter with shortening for a flaky pie crust that tastes like butter. Personally, I just make an all-butter crust and use special fancy tricks to get a flaky texture.Special Fancy TricksSpecial Fancy Trick Number One: whatever fat you choose, keep it cold. Keep the fat in the refrigerator or the freezer until you’re ready to make your dough.I make pie crust by hand. To make pie crust, I use a metal mixing bowl, a knife, a fork or a pastry cutter, a tablespoon, and a rolling pin.First, measure two cups of flour into the mixing bowl. Special Fancy Trick Number Two: use a new bag of flour. Older flour might have absorbed moisture, which will result in mini hockey pucks. Special Fancy Trick Number Three: don’t scoop the flour out of its bag or bowl with your measuring cup – this will pack the flour. Instead, use two measuring cups. Use one cup to remove the flour from the bag, then gently shake the flour into your second measuring cup. You want level cups, but do not pack the flour.Put the measured flour in the mixing bowl. Pour a little salt into your palm – no more than a tablespoon, and throw it into the mixing bowl with the flour. Here, you can either sift the flour and the salt together (the proper method), or fluff the flour and salt together with a fork (the lazy cook’s method).Chop up a stick and a half of cold butter into one-tablespoon measurements. Drop the cold butter into the mixing bowl. Using a pastry cutter or a fork, cut the butter into[...]



The Mini Pie Manifesto

2007-12-02T14:43:19.680-05:00

The history of all hitherto existing bake sales, PTA functions, potlucks, children’s birthday parties, weddings, vegan cookbooks, Hostess snack boxes, and SNL rap parodies is the history of cakes and their “cup”-sized brethren. The cupcake stands in direct opposition to the flaky-crusted, fruit-scented, best-with-vanilla-ice-cream pies that define everything good and wholesome and pure in this world.The History of The Cupcake OppressionPeople have been loving pies since before 2000 B.C.. People loved pies so much that they called their loved ones “honey pie” and “cutie pie.” Eve sinned for an apple (or was that a quince?) pie. Shepherds wooed their shepherdesses with shepherd’s pie (it’s in Arcadia). The British ate mince meat pies every Christmas, Ancient Greeks built monuments honoring spanakopita, and Gwenyth Paltrow christened her daughter after Vermont’s State Pie. Soon afterwards, Europeans “discovered” America away from the Native Americans, and populated places like Boston Cream, the Florida Key Limes, and Kentucky Derby, which they named after pies.Cupcake domination began in nineteenth century America, when bakers started to make cakes in one-cup measurements. Pretty soon, Little Debbie started selling cupcakes at Magnolia bakery , and the blogosphere went crazy, and major newspapers said, “Hey, cupcakes are awesome.” But cupcakes aren’t awesome - they have crushed the voiceless pie class for far too long.How have cupcakes continued to reign supreme? In the 17th century, Oliver Cromwell banned pie-eating on Christmas. Betty Crocker, being a proper capitalist, used the opportunity to fill every Wal-Mart shelf with cake mixes and Funfetti icing. Wal-Mart shoppers (being a wily race) realized they could make a lot of cupcakes quickly without having to do much more than heat up their ovens. Pretty soon everyone thought that cupcakes were cute and easy – even easier than pie! So while people confined pies to county fairs, the freezer section, and binge-eating contests, the cupcake became the go-to treat for children and adults worldwide.The Cupcake’s AppealThe cupcake class perpetuates a mythology to maintain its class status:Cupcakes lovers say that cupcakes are sweet.Cupcakes lovers say that cupcakes are easy.Cupcakes lovers say that cupcakes appeal to children and adults.Cupcake lovers says that cupcakes come in cute single-servings.The weapons with which the cupcake felled the pie are now turned against the cupcake itself. To make cupcakes, Modern Industry created cupcake tins. In manufacturing cupcake tins, Modern Industry also created the cupcake’s downfall. Cheap bakers who didn’t feel like buying tart pans filled them with pie crust and fruit-flavored filling. The mini pie was born. And the mini pie beats the cupcake on all counts.The Mini Pie RebuttalMini pies can be sweet or savory. Mini pies can contain eggs, meat, chocolate, custard, pulses, vegetables, and fruit. Mini pies can be made with fresh, seasonal ingredients all year long. Mini pies can be eaten at breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner, dessert, or snack-time. Mini pies span races, cultures, and continents, and they look cute and tasty no matter where they’re made.Mini pies are so easy-as-pie, they literally take down the cake. Mini pie dough can be made ahead of time and frozen in pie tins, allowing cooks to pull together mini pies in mere minutes (not including baking time).Mini pies prove social creatures: they like sides. Cheese, ice cream, custards, coffee, wine, whipped cream, fruit sauce, chocolate drizzle – mini pies [...]