Thursday, December 1, 2011

National Pie Day: Mini Pies & Two Bite Chocolate Cream Pie

Today is National Pie Day. I grew up with Tasty Cake Cakes & Pies, so Mini-Pies are not new to me. What is new is that they have become the new Cupcake or Macaron. They're part of the "small-food" movement. Call them what you will from personal pies to cutie pies to pies in a jar! They're delicious and fun! You'll find them springing up at bakeries and farmers' markets and online. You can also make them yourself! Mini-Pies are perfect for parties and holiday gifts. 

I collect unique cookie cutters, bundt pans, and pie tins. I actually found a set of Mini Star Tins that are perfect for mini-pies. They were probably for individual cakes or jello... not sure, but mini-pies are adorable in them. Look in your baking pans. You might have some great shapes!

Want to find out more about Mini-Pies? Check out Dani Cone's Cutie Pies: 40 Sweet, Savory, and Adorable Recipes (Andrew McMeel 2011).  Great recipes and tips for mini pies from Cutie Pies (single-serving pies baked in a muffin tin), Flipsides (handheld turnovers- pie on the go), Pie-Pops (pie on a stick), Pie in a Jar (baked in mason jars), Petit-5's (baked in a mini muffin tin), and full size pies.

More great Advice and Step by Step Info for Pie in a Jar:

Tiny Tarts: How to Make Pie in a Jar: SquawkFox.com  
Our Best Bites: Single Serving Pie in a Jar

And did you know that Keebler makes a Ready Crust Mini Graham Cracker Pie Crust?

And, since this is a chocolate blog and today is National Pie Day, here's a wonderful and easy recipe for Mini Chocolate Cream Pies from Sunset Magazine, February 2010. I especially like this recipe because it has a chocolate cookie crust, as well as chocolate cream. 

Two-Bite Chocolate Cream Pies

Ingredients:
Cooking-oil spray
About 30 chocolate cookies--Nabisco Famous Chocolate Wafers
3/4 cup sugar, divided
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt (Kosher or Sea Salt)
2 large eggs (1 separated)
1/2 cup chopped bittersweet chocolate (65-75% cacao free-trade)
1 tablespoon (sweet) butter
2 tablespoons cornstarch
5 teaspoons Dutch-processed unsweetened DARK cocoa powder, divided
1 cup milk
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

Preparation
1. Preheat oven to 350°. Spray 2 mini-muffin trays (12 muffin cups each) with cooking spray. In a food processor, whirl cookies into fine crumbs. Measure; return 1 1/2 cups crumbs to food processor, along with 1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp. sugar, the salt, and 1 egg white. Pulse to blend evenly.
2. Spoon 1 tbsp. crumb mixture into each muffin cup. Press crumbs over bottom and up sides of cups. (Use a wine cork or a shot glass to press the crumbs into the tiny muffin cups.) Bake until set, 15 minutes.
3. Put chocolate and butter in a microwave-safe container and heat in 30-second intervals, stirring often, until melted. (or heat in the top of a double boiler)
4. In a small bowl, combine 1/4 cup sugar, the cornstarch, and 4 tsp. cocoa. Pour in a few tbsp. of the milk and whisk into a smooth paste; whisk in remaining milk. Transfer to a small saucepan and cook over medium heat until thickened and large bubbles appear, about 3 minutes.
5. Put reserved yolk and remaining egg into a medium bowl. Whisk in about 1/2 cup hot milk mixture. Scrape egg-milk mixture into milk mixture in pan and cook, whisking, until just starting to boil, about 30 seconds. Whisk in melted chocolate and butter.
6. Spoon hot filling into chocolate shells. Press plastic wrap over surface of mini pies to prevent a skin from forming. Chill until set, at least 1 hour and up to 2 days.
7. Remove pies from trays. Whisk cream with remaining 2 tbsp. sugar into soft peaks. Spoon a dollop of cream onto each mini pie. Dust pies with remaining cocoa.

Have some pie today!

2 comments:

Casey said...

Putting coconut and chocolate INSIDE of chocolate chip cookie cups!! :D genius. I love your blog and just wanted to pop in and say hi! I am starting a bloghop inspired by chocolate, I would love if you submitted a recipe to it!

Janet Rudolph said...

Would love to submit a recipe. Just let me know where and when!