PIE. We need to discuss pie. Seriously. And I will but for now, I have a wee little pie post. My friend Brad who had me teach him how to make pies a year or so ago, sent me a post to a recipe for mini pies cooked in tiny Mason jars. I loved the idea. This week I made a pie for my boss and had an extra dough ball and I didn’t want to make a whole pie for Grant and myself and thought I’d give the little pies a try. I am not so good at following directions so I just used the recipe as an idea and threw together my own concoction with great success!
Here’s my basic pie dough recipe I learned from our friend Britt who was a pastry chef in Seattle and now lives in Idaho.
The key to a good pie is in the crust!
Makes a double crust for a ten inch pie, or 2 ten inch tart shells.
2 cups bleached all purpose flour (unbleached works just as well, I currently use White Lilly, though)
8 oz (2 sticks) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes (I use organic butter)
1/2 tsp sea salt
6-8 tablespoons ice water
Place flour, butter, and salt in food processor fitted with the steel blade and pulse 24 times. (I just use my hands instead of a food processor and it works just fine! You get a good work out and there’s less to clean up. If you use your hands, be gentle- your objective is to make the butter into little crumbs or grains, not to mush it all together, do not over mix. Slow down.) The largest pieces of butter should be the size of grains of rice. Transfer mixture from food processor to large bowl. Sprinkle with 6 T of ice water. Make your hand into a claw as if you are trying to grab a basketball one handed, and using your rigid claw hand, stir dough briefly until the liquid is incorporated. Squeeze a handful of dough in your palm. It should have just enough moisture to stay together. If it seems dry and crumbly, add more water a teaspoonful at a time until you can squeeze it into a ball that doesn’t crumble when broken apart.
Wrap in plastic wrap and chill in refrigerator for at least 15 minutes. Roll out onto floured surface as quickly as you can. Balls of dough can be stored in fridge for a week or so or you can also freeze them.
To make the pie-in-a-jar, pinch off pieces of the dough and mold to the inside of the jar, all the way around. I made 2 pies-in-a-jar using about half of one dough ball.
And then for the pie filling, I mixed the following in a bowl and then poured into the dough which was formed in the jars:
diced pears (2), 1/4 c sugar (I use organic evaporated cane), vanilla, cinnamon, pinch of salt, fresh grated ginger
And, lastly, I topped the filling with crumbles made by mixing these three ingredients together: brown sugar, flour, butter.
Then I baked them at 375 degrees for 50-60 minutes.