How to make pie crust… and Mini Cherry Pies

My distaste of sweets is well known and well documented.  Less documented, my non love of thanksgiving food. Yep, that was the least offensive way I could word it. I know I am one of the few and far between, but thanksgiving food doesn’t really do it for me. I could take or leave turkey, mashed potatoes are just eh and sweet potatoes with marshmallows on top barely earn a flick of my eye.  The only exception to this rule is pie, and specifically, cherry pie. Both of my grandmothers make incredible pie crust and cherry has always been my favorite filling. The obvious answer was to try to make mini pies. Why wouldn’t I?

Below is my Aunt Karen’s pie crust recipe, complete with my mom’s suggestions. I actually had to call her halfway through making the crust to ensure I wasn’t screwing it up. I had heard rumors that pie crust is finicky. It actually wasn’t that bad, but maybe because I had such good suggestions. Also worth noting, I bought a flour sifter specifically for this. I was excited. I can’t imagine I’m going to use it again soon, but you never know when a sifter is going to come in handy.

Pie Crust (recipe courtesy of Aunt Karen, honorable mention to my mom)

2 cups sifted flour
1 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup shortening
1/3 cup milk (plus several additional tablespoons as needed)

Chill all working utensils prior to starting. Mix together sifted flour and salt.

Cut in shortening with 2 sharp knives until mixture looks like coarse cornmeal. You can also use a pastry blender. I used 2 steak knives which I pulled across the mixture in an opposite motion.

I think that keeping the knives close to each other while cutting makes it go faster. It might have been my imagination. Either way, I managed to cut the shortening into tiny sizes. Remove 1/3 cup of the flour/shortening mixture. Mix the milk into this separated portion. and beat well until smooth and incorporated.

Mix into the remaining flour/shortening mixture until a dough is formed. This is a rather dry dough. I had to add a few tablespoons of milk (slowly and sparingly) until the dough formed a ball.

Roll half the dough between 2 pieces of waxed paper.

Chill for an additional 15 minutes. Did you figure out that everything has to be cold at all times for this to go smoothly?

My friend Kayla (you’re the best!) sent me a set of biscuit cutters as a housewarming present. They worked perfectly for cutting out crust to put in a muffin pan. I have a feeling these little biscuit cutters are going to get some serious mileage. The pie crust has a high fat content, so you shouldn’t need to grease the pan.

Now here’s where I messed up. I pushed the bottom layer into the muffin tin, and added the cherry pie filling (from the can. I know.)

I then added the pastry tops, and tried to seal the edges. Bake at 425 degrees Fahrenheit for around 12-15 minutes or until slightly brown on top.

See where I went wrong? I didn’t seal the edges of the crust together well enough and the pie filling seeped out the side in the oven. Still tasted good though, and that’s all that matters.

Even with the seepage issue I think they’re pretty darn cute. Thanks for the biscuit cutter Kayla!

-k

One thought on “How to make pie crust… and Mini Cherry Pies

  1. These are really well pit together. I like the diversity of the crusts. Doesn’t look as though the dough have you any trouble. Good job!

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