Everyone has a different favorite at Thanksgiving. For some, the turkey is the star, and for others, like me, the side dishes are the best thing to look forward to. Whatever the favorite, everyone expects some kind of pie at the end – it’s the all-American way. But, a large slice of pie after a filling Thanksgiving dinner can seem like a daunting challenge. Although, the idea of mini pies seems more inviting and do-able – not to mention, they’re pretty darn cute! The trick to keeping the pies shape? I used mini nonstick tartlet pans (can be found here or here) and once the pies were cooled, they popped out of the tart pan smoothly, without sacrificing the pretty fluted edges. Go ahead, make a “test” batch this weekend…you won’t regret it.
Pear & Apple Mini Pies
Recipe makes 5 mini pies
1 large apple, sliced thin
1 pear, sliced thin
1 Tablespoon sugar
1 Tablespoon flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
juice of 1/2 lemon
pinch of salt
Pie Dough Recipe: I used this dough recipe. If you make more than 5 mini pies, or like to have a thicker layer of pie dough in your mini pies, make more dough by doubling the recipe.
Egg wash (1 egg + tablespoon water)
Mix all filling ingredients together in a bowl. Set aside in the refridgerator while working on pie dough.
Roll the dough out on a floured surface until thin. Place an empty mini tart pan, face down, on the dough, and cut a circle around it – make sure there is about a 1/4″ border from the tart pan and where you cut [because the depth of the tart pan, you want to have extra dough so it covers the bottom of the tart pan as well as the edges].
To remove the excess dough on the edges, roll your rolling pin over the tart pan.
Add filling to the tart pans, and begin rolling out the dough for the top of the pies. I made a few different dough styles to make them fun and ecclectic, but you can only do one if you like – up to you.
For the classic pie topping, repeat the process of cutting out a circle around a tart pan, with an extra border. Remove the excess dough by either pressing down your fingers on the fluted edges, or by using a rolling pin.
For a lattice pie topping, cut thin strips of dough with a pairing knife, and weave them to make the lattice pattern.
For the leaf pie topping (first picture, bottom left), follow the classic pie topping directions (above), then with some extra dough cut out leaves with a piecrust cutter (like this). Or, do what I did and simply cut out oval shapes and indent them with a pairing knife for the leaf creases. Start with one leaf on top, dab a bit of eggwash on the bottom of it, then add a leaf to the left and right of it. Dabble some more egg wash to the bottoms of those leaves and repeat once more.
Brush egg wash on the tops and edges of all the pies, and sprinkle with sanding sugar.
Bake at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes, or until golden-brown. Cool for 15-20 minutes, then remove from tart pans by securing your hand on the top of the pie, flipping the tart pan over, and removing. Easy as pie!
Serve warm or at room temperature, with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or dollop of whipped cream.
If you try this recipe, I’d love some comments or pictures on how they turned out for you! Happy baking!