This is a really fun recipe I use for the Holidays and parties! ^-^
The steps listed below will make approximately one/one-and-a-half batches of twelve mini mixed-berry pies. Just use a regular muffin tin, and you can use paper muffin cups if you like, but if you don't I recommend spraying the ENTIRE muffin tin (not just the cups) before putting in the dough to help them come out easier.
The Oven will need to be pre-heated to 350 degrees before the pies can go in the oven.
2 1/2 cups flour
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons of salt
1/2 cup shortening (I generally use Crisco)
3/4 cup butter (chilled)
6 Tablespoons of ice waterMaking the dough
1.) Cut up butter into medium-sized cubes and return it to the refrigerator for later use.
2.) Cut up the shortening and drop in chunks into a bowl of ice water.
3.) In a separate bowl (large), combine flour, sugar and salt and then mix well.
3.) After they are chilled, remove the shortening from ice water, the butter from the fridge, and then add them both to the flour.
4.) Using a pastry cutter (or two knives), cut and stir the butter and shortening into the flour. Don't over-mix, there should be some small lumps of butter and shortening in the flour mixture. This will keep your crust from turning our rock-hard after it's cooked.
5.) Add 6 Tablespoons of ice water to the flour/butter mixture. Using a spoon or rubber spatula, (or both :3), press and stir the water into the flour, folding it over until all the water is incorporated. If the dough is too dry and crumbly still, add up to 2 more Tablespoons of ice water. Remember, you just wan't to get the mixture to hold together, if you add too much water, the dough will get sticky and unmanageable.
6.) Lay out some plastic wrap, then separate the dough and form it into two discs.
7.) Wrap the two discs up in the plastic so that they aren't touching each other, then place them in the fridge to chill for at least 30 minutes. (you can leave it in longer if need be, it won't hurt it.)
4 cups of assorted fruit
1/2-2/3 cups sugar
2 Tablespoons of corn starch
1 Tablespoon of lemon/orange juice
*Always wash fruit before preparing. If you are using frozen fruit or berries, always be sure to wash them with warm water to get rid of the ice. The excess water can ruin the maceration process.*
1.) In a large bowl combine the fruit, sugar, corn starch, and lemon juice.
2.) Mix the ingredients in the bowl gently, then set it in the fridge for at least 20 minutes in order for the fruit to chill, absorb flavor, and for the juice to thicken.
Making the crust
1.) Clean/clear out a work surface and thickly powder it with flower. (So the dough doesn't stick)
2.) After the dough has chilled, take out one disc (take out the other one when needed.) roll it out on your well-flowered work surface. (DO NOT roll out the dough too thin! Because the pies are so small, they can crumble up and die upon their removal from the muffin tin if the dough is not thick enough. About 1 1/2 or 2 cm. thick will do nicely. )
3.) I used a 4 1/2 inch bowl to cut out the circles of dough that would fit into a regular size muffin tin. ( 12 circles are needed. You should have extra dough. )
4.) Fit the circles into the muffin tins carefully so that they don't rip at the bottom (this can be a frustrating process.) Make sure some dough hangs out over the edge of the tin or paper muffin cup. (this makes it look nicer and it keeps the filling from spilling over in the heat of the oven.)
Putting it all together
1.) Fill up 2/3 of each muffin-tin-pie-crust with the fruit filling.
2.) Roll out more dough and cut it into strips to lay on top of your mini pies in the classic under-over cross hatch style. (You can also cut out whole tops for your pie using a glass that is the size of the top of the muffin tin. Just make sure you add slits of some sort after you have sealed the cover onto your pies so that they don't explode :3 )
*For Crumb Topping*
1/4 cup of brown sugar
1/4 cup of flour
2 Tablespoons of room temperature butter
(Mix these ingredients in a bowl with a fork until mixture is crumbly, then heap spoonfuls of your topping onto your mini pies and cover the fruit filling. This is a great substitute for a top crust.)
3.) Put the muffin tin pies in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to chill again. (It helps with the baking process afterwards, trust me. This is also a good time to get your oven pre-heated to 350 degrees.)
4.) After they are done chilling, remove your pies from the frig and put them in the oven to bake for 35-40 minutes or until the top of the pie is golden.
5.) After they are done baking, remove them from the oven and let them cool for at least 15 minutes before trying to remove them. Hot out of the oven they are apt to fall apart.
Viola! You now have twelve, cute little treats that you can show off and be fancy with at holiday parties
OH, and since the US is like the only place that doesn't use a metric measuring system, Here are the conversions for the measurements listed above
1 cup= 2.4 deciliters
1 teaspoon= 5 milliliters
1 tablespoon= 15 milliliters