Today is Saturday, and like so many others, each weekend I desperately cling to the idea that I’ll do something creative, or at the very least productive. This is usually preempted by my desire to sleep half the day away. This morning, however, my body decided to rouse me at a more socially acceptable hour (with the help of my dog, who wanted desperately to go out) and what follows is a random series of events that ended in pie. Sound good?
After weeks of begging I finally acquiesced and went target shooting with my dad. It’s really important to him that we do these kinds of things together. It’s really important to me that I get to shoot things. Win-win. Then, off the hardware store to help my mom pick out paint for her kitchen. And dining room. And living room. And foyer. There will be photos documenting the transformation, worry not.
I’ve spoken briefly about my love affair with Pampered Chef products. This love has been exponentially increased recently because I just had a Pampered Chef party and got all sorts of brilliant goodies. The best of the best of them is the Deep Covered Baker, which I call the “Magic Pot” because it is, well, magic. I kind of thought it was before, but now I’m convinced. One of the things that the Pampered Chef people swear that this dish can do is cook chicken in the microwave.
*Pause for Reaction*
I know, right?! You are all shaking your heads in disbelief and screaming at the screen, “SIMONE! PLEASE SAY YOU DIDN’T COOK A CHICKEN IN THE MICROWAVE!!!!”
I most certainly did. And it was AWESOME.
I took a whole fryer and after discarding all the icky parts, washing and drying and lubing it up with some Canola Oil, a couple cloves of garlic, salt, thyme, and paprika, threw it in the Magic Pot. 20 minutes later a perfect, beautiful AMAZING chicken stared up at me. I kid you not. I can’t even talk about it.
Anyway, I tell you all that to say this, I made pie. Now, I’m an experienced pie baker, so it wasn’t like I was trying to make a pie for the first time or anything. This isn’t that story. I recently acquired a cup-pie pan, so this is that story. A cup pie pan is exactly what is sounds like; a pan in which you can make 4 individual sized pies. It’s a revelation. I got mine from Sur La Table but I’m sure other companies make them. It’s basically the same as trying to make a whole pie, only you do it four times.
Now any experienced pie maker will tell you that there is only so much control you have over your crust. The rest is left up to God and the universe, but mostly the relative humidity of your kitchen. Try as you might, there are some days when a pie just does not want to be made. This was one of those days, but for you, I fought back. Ready?
CHERRY CUP PIES!
For the CRUST
Here’s What You’ll Need
2 Cups All-Purpose Flour
2 Tb. Butter (Chilled)
2/3 C. Shortening (Chilled)
1 tsp. Salt
Sift together the flour and salt. Add half the shortening and half of the butter. Use a pastry cutter (IF you have one. Don’t worry about it. Two knives will do the same job. You can even use your fingers. Just be quick, you don’t want the butter to melt) to cut the butter in until the butter is pea-sized. It should look like this:
Fancy. Now add the rest of the shortening and butter and keep working it until it looks like cornmeal. That won’t make sense until you see it. Then you’ll go, “Ah…okay.” Trust me.
Okay. Then sprinkle on up to 4 Tb. of water and fluff it with a fork until a dough starts to emerge. Turn it out on a lightly floured surface and knead a couple times to bring it together. Divide the dough in half and put the other half back in a bowl, covered in a damp cloth, and throw it in the fridge. Working quickly, roll out the dough to about 1/8″ thickness and cut 4 rounds it it. Most pans come with a tool for this very purpose. Drop the crusts into the pan and fill with your favorite pie filling (I used Cherry Pie Filling right out of the can). Repeat with the top crusts and crimp the edges together to seal. Mine looked like this:
Bake at 450F for 5 minutes and the drop to 350F for 20-30 minutes or until golden brown and bubbly. Mine seemed to really resist getting brown, so after about 30 minutes, I hit them with the broiler for just a couple more. Cool until just warm before serving.
Have a great weekend!