I have figured out a sure-fire way to impress people, and it doesn't involve having a degree from Harvard. My method is far more pleasurable and much less expensive: make mini pies.
I'm telling you. If you present a classic pie recipe served in individual, cupcake-sized portions, you are going to win friends and influence people. It's as easy as that.
Personally, one of my favorite parts about mini pies is that there is a high crust to filling ratio. I am a crust (and carb, in general) freak, so I always want more pie crust. In the mini portion, the amount of pie crust compared to filling is upped, which means that crust fiends like me can have some carbs in every bite. EVERY BITE!
I made this batch with cherries, which are currently in season and just fantastic. Dressed up lightly with a kiss of sugar and a little flour to thicken the mixture, the true cherry flavor shines through, and tastes terrific paired with the buttery crust.
It is my strong suggestion that you pair these mini pies with ice cream or whipped cream, but then again, I understand if you go without, because then they are health food.
For the crust:
One batch all-butter pie dough recipe (sufficient for a double crust pie)
For the filling:
- 1 pound cherries, pitted and diced into small pieces
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 tablespoons flour
- Pinch of salt
1 egg, beaten
- A cupcake baking tin
- 12 cupcake liners
Preheat the oven to 400 F. Line the cups of your cupcake tin with liners (I like silicone cupcake liners for this baking project).
In a large bowl, toss the diced cherries, sugar, flour and salt, making sure everything is combined. Set the mixture to the side for the moment.
Roll out the pie dough, one ball at a time, on a floured surface, until it is about as large as you would roll it to fill a pie plate. The edges don’t have to be perfect.
Slice off a bit of the crust (maybe a handful-worth) and set to the side, to use for the lattice toppings later.
Cut circles of dough about an inch wider than the circumference of one of your cupcake liners. Re-roll the scraps to get a few more cutouts.
Press the circles into the cupcake liners, patting them into shape as you would a pie crust.
Spoon the cherry mixture into the pie shells. Using the leftover dough, make mini lattice tops.
Brush the tops with your egg wash, and sprinkle with sugar, if desired.
Bake for 20 to 30 minutes or until the tops and sides of the crust are browned. Remove, let cool in the cupcake tin, and then serve.
Psst! You could also use the same ingredients to make pie pops!