I am a mini whore. And what I mean by that ridiculous statement is, I love anything that is miniature. So for Christmas, when a friend bought me the Breville Personal Pie Maker, I practically swaddled the thing up and sang it a lullaby. Mini pies!!! How precious!!!
I hate to report that it took me almost 8 months to actually use it but it was well worth the wait. While assembling your components might take a second (unless you go with the store-bought route), the actual cooking of the pies takes NO time and is almost fool proof. No stick, no mess, perfectly shaped pies. Mini things!!!
The cherry filling I used came from the Grand Traverse Pie Company's Cherry Crumb Pie - Mario Batali told me (the Food Network) that eating this pie is a religious experience, so I assumed the filling must be good. Here's the recipe...
Cherry Pie Filling
(Makes 1 large pie or 8 mini pies)
2 cans pitted tart red cherries
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/3 cup cornstarch
Pinch of salt
1 T butter
1/4 tsp almond extract
1/2 tsp vanilla
Drain the cherries and reserve one cup of the liquid. In a saucepan, combine 3/4 cup of the sugar, the cornstarch and salt. Stir in reserved cherry juice. Cook and stir over medium heat until thickened and bubbly. Remove from heat and stir in the remaining sugar, butter, extracts and cherries. Let cool.
Breville recommends a pie crust bottom, and for that I used this recipe...
...and a puff pastry top. Store bought goodness...
Filling the mini pies...
My "I know someone is taking a picture of me so I better appear focused" look...
p.s. This Australian chick was very helpful and I only laughed at her accent a little.
p.p.s. Sister Hannah, this ridiculousness is for you.