Introduction: Mini Pi Pies
My office has pizza pie and pie every year to celebrate Pi Day. Each year I try to think of something new and this year I made Mini Pi Pies - I made mini pies which are easier for serving pie at work and instead of traditional toppings I used pie crust to make a Pi symbol on the top of the pie. You could use this same design with just about any pie filling I imagine.
5 cups pastry flour
1 lb lard
1 can 7-Up soda
N.B. This is a big recipe for pie crust - you will have a lot leftover. Whatever you don't use you can put in the freezer for future pie.
I made two types: apple and strawberry
2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and diced
1 T butter, unsalted
3 T brown sugar
about 1 pound fresh strawberries
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 T lemon juice
ice cream (for both pies)
caramel sauce for the mini apple pies (to go with the ice cream)
whipped cream (for the strawberry pies)
Step 1: Step 1 - Make Pie Crust
I have pie crust pre-made in the freezer - I like to make more and keep it on hand for later use.
This is the very easy pie crust recipe I use:
5 cups pastry flour
1 lb lard
1 can 7-Up soda
How to make it: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Cut the lard into the flour. Add 7-Up and mix. Put it in the fridge for at least an hour before using.
Step 2: Step 2 - Prepare the Bottom Pie Crusts
Roll out your pie crust and cut out the round bottom pie crusts - you might have a special tool for this. I had to find, by trial and error, something I could use for this and settled for the lid of a juice pitcher which gave me the right size to fill my muffins tins.
Grease your muffins trays with cooking spray - I use a piece of parchment paper wrapped around my fingers with some shortening on it and rub it all over the muffins tins.
Place your pie crusts inside the muffins tins just as you would a normal sized pie. I found it easier to pinch up the edges while I put them in the muffins tins. You want them to overlap slightly as they will shrink down.
Pierce the bottom of every mini pie crust before putting them in the oven that has been preheated to 425 degrees. Bake for about 5-9 minutes depending on your oven, or when the edges are golden.
Take them out of the oven to cool.
Now for the pie filling...
Step 3: Step 3 - Pie Fillings
I don't have any pictures of these multiple steps - this recipe is meant to be used with any of your favourite pie fillings but here are the ones I suggest in the ingredients list. This will make approximately 18 Mini Pi Pies.
Apple Pie Filling
Peel, core and dice apples and put in a bowl. Mix in lemon juice.
Melt butter in saucepan. When melted add brown sugar and stir until brown sugar has dissolved in the butter.
Let cool for a moment but not too long so it hardens. Add to apples and mix.
Strawberry Pie Filling
Cut half strawberries into small pieces and heat in saucepan for 1-2 minutes.
Mix cornstarch and sugar in a bowl. Add to strawberries. Add lemon juice to saucepan and cook for about another 7-10 minutes or until it has thickened.
Cut the rest of the strawberries - you can slice them for a more sophisticated pie filling or halve them for a rustic appeal. Up to you.
Mix strawberry mixture with fresh strawberries.
Fill mini pie crusts with filling. You can fill the apple pies so that they are slightly overfull. The strawberry filling will bubble and overflow if you fill to high so leave a bit of expansion room - I learned this the hard way.
Step 4: Step 4 - Make the Pi Symbol
Once your pie filling has been added you have to make the topper.
To make the Pi symbol to put on top of your Mini Pi Pies, you simply roll out more of your pie crust and cut this into thin strips. I had a bit of pie crust in the freezer with cinnamon in it - I used this up for this step.
Using a knife you can easily cut the pieces in the length that you will need to cover the pies. One will be really long, another slightly shorter and another slightly shorter than that one. The longest one makes up the top part, the second longest one makes up the line on the side that curls up slightly (right) and the shortest one is evidently for the line on the left.
Repeat for every single mini pie.
Step 5: Step 5 - Bake and Enjoy
Bake your Mini Pie Pies in the oven at 425 degrees for another 7-10 minutes. When the Pi Symbol is cooked and starting to turn golden you are done. Allow to cool.
Eat and enjoy! You can serve with ice cream and this makes them extra delicious. Pour some caramel sauce on top of the ice cream for your Mini Apple Pie for an extra treat.
Happy Pi Day!