So, pie we meet again. I think everyone has an archenemy in their life. This doesn’t have to be a person. It just has to be something that gives people grief. Mine is pie. I don’t know what it is about pie, but we just don’t get along. I can make large 3 layer cakes, I can butterfly and debone a chicken, and I can make frittatas without a problem. Once you want me to make a pie for dessert, or a chicken pot pie or a quiche, then all bets are off.
My first experience with pie happened shortly after I got married. I decided I would make a peach pie. So, I followed a recipe. I used refrigerated pie crust (because who makes pie crust from scratch right?). Well, the pie was a disaster. I had liquid seeping out of the pie and the crust was horrible! In fact, I think it created liquid, which is something that as an engineer I know is impossibly. But this pie seemed to be defying the laws of physics. My engineer husband agrees with me. After that disaster I wrote off pies. Who really needs pie when you can make cake? And I can make a good cake.
It wasn’t until I joined the original Tuesdays with Dorie that I had to face my fear. This time though, I did so with a good friend. She was an expert at making pies. So, we did it. We made an apple pie. It was good, but again, I think cake is better. Even if I go out to eat, I’ll pick cake over pie. There is only one exception and that is for cherry pie, and it has to be from a specific restaurant in Door County, Wisconsin that is world famous for cherries. This place puts 5lbs of cherries into 1 pie! It’s spectacular. And the crust is so flaky and flavorful. So, that is my only exception.
Fast forward 9 years (gulp!) from my peach pie debacle and here we are. Now, I have to say that I still struggle off and on with pies. But I’ve found that my main problem lies with the refrigerated pie crusts. What is supposed to be fool-proof, just doesn’t work for me. So, now whenever I need a pie crust, I go to Dorie Greenspan or America’s Test Kitchen. Those two sources have provided me with excellent recipes. I’ve also learned a few tricks, such as that the food processor is my best friend. And the butter should be frozen. Heat is the enemy of pie crust.
So, onto this week’s TWD recipe. It is Apple Pielets (aka mini apple pies). I made a half batch, which amounted to 6 little pies. Dorie’s pie crust came together and worked beautifully for me. My only comment is that Dorie called for us to cut out 3″ circles to put in the muffin tin. Next time I would go with 4 or 5 inch circles. I had to put in more crust to make the pieletes reach the top of the muffin tins, and I used regular sized muffin tins. I also only baked these for 35minutes, instead of the recommended 45minutes. I don’t like dough that is too brown, unlike Dorie. I’ve learned to keep a watchful eye on the recipes in this book, because she tends to estimate what she refers to as the “French bake”.
In the end, my whole family enjoyed the recipe. We ate them a la mode with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Overall, while delicious, I don’t know if I would make these again. I think I would just go for a regular 9″ pie next time. That way I get more filling, which is my favorite part. But if you prefer the crust to the filling, then by all means, I recommend this recipe. (P.S. My son ate his with his fingers. That was one perk of the small stature, which he enjoyed. Maybe I’ll put one in his lunchbox tomorrow for a surprise!)
Please go see how other’s enjoyed the recipe. Enjoy!