Jul 25, 2012

Mini Blueberry Pies

Mini pies are the latest craze at our house. The kids love them because they are kid-sized and easy for them to make. The grown ups love them because they are cute and make it easier to eat the correct portion size (if there is such a thing when it comes to dessert). And because our blueberry bushes have really taken off this year, mini blueberry pies were inevitable. Try them!

What You Need:

2 cups fresh or frozen (not thawed) blueberries
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3/4 teaspoon granulated or brown sugar
1/2 tablespoon butter

Pie crust dough (we used my Perfect Pie Crust recipe)

Muffin pan
Mixing bowl
Mixing spoon
Knife
Wide mouth canning jar, or round 3 or 4 in. cookie or biscuit cutter
Cookie cutter (optional)

How to Do It:

1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

2. Make the pie crust dough and roll it out; it doesn't need to be a neat little circle, which makes it much easier for the children to do on their own.

3. Using the top of a wide mouth canning jar, or biscuit or cookie cutter, cut 7 circles from the dough. Roll out each circle, making it slightly bigger and thinner, then pop one circle into one cup of a muffin pan, pressing it down so it conforms to the muffin cup. Repeat with the other circle. Set aside the remaining dough for later use.

4. In a mixing bowl, gently stir together the blueberries, lemon juice, cinnamon, nutmeg, and sugar. Spoon this mixture evenly into the 7 mini crusts. The filling should just reach the top of each cup; it's okay if the berries mound over slightly.

5. Place a small piece of butter on top of each mini pie, spreading the 1/2 tablespoon of butter evenly between them.

6. Roll out the dough scraps and use cookie cutters to make fun shapes to place on top of each pie. Or cut out rectangles to make a lattice top for each pie. Or make more circles to top the pies with (just be sure to cut two or three slits in the top crust before baking the pies). Or leave the mini pies topless.

7. Bake the mini pies for about 15 to 20 minutes, or until the crust is golden and the filling is bubbly. I started checking ours after 10 minutes, then checked every 3 minutes after that. Allow the mini pies to cool in the pan. To remove the pies from the pan, gently use a spoon to lift them. I find this easier to do if the mini pies are mostly cool, but not room temperature.

Of course, you can turn any pie recipe into a mini pie recipe. This recipe is actually a quarter of my ordinary, full sized pie recipe. Try making several different types of pies in one muffin pan. Use a graham cracker crust, if you like (though it won't hold up as well as a pastry crust.) Have fun!

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