Sunday, August 21, 2011

Mini Chocolate Cream Pies

I woke up this morning and decided to make miniature chocolate cream pies to take to church.  I volunteered to start making a little something for our churches coffee house service.  They're trying to go for a coffee shop feel with an acoustic set rather than the big band and we have tables set up and serve coffee and refreshments.  Last week I brought the pioneer woman's vanilla bean scones but this morning I woke up with chocolate cream pie on the brain....

After searching the kitchen I discovered I did have all the ingredients I needed...surprisingly the recipe I have for cream pies does not contain any cream at all.  I wonder if instead it should be called a chocolate meringue pie.

I've been hearing all about personal pies and pies-in-a-jar and pie pops.  I actually looked at how one lady is making the pie pops yesterday, but other then that I'm not sure what others are doing for small pies but here's how I did mine.

I made my new favorite crust which is 3 cups flour, 2 sticks butter, 1T sugar, 1t salt and enough iced water to make it feel the way its supposed to feel.  I stuck the dough in the freezer for a little while, but I don't really think it's necessary for these little guys.  There is way too much going on in such a tiny little specimen for you to really discern whether the crust is perfectly flaky or not.

Roll out the crust as you would normally but use a circular cutter to cut it for your personal sized pies.  I used the bowl off this chopper thing I have which is about 3" diameter.  Don't worry if you can't find the perfect sized cutter, you can always use an under sized one, you just make your crust a little too thick, then cut, then roll it out which makes your circle bigger.

Plop the crust into your muffin pan and work it to the bottom with the excess coming up the sides.  If you want deep dish crust then just use a bigger cutter.  *You need to remember to poke holes in the bottom of your crusts to keep them from bubbling....Mine still bubbled a bit but not as bad as they would have, I just pushed the bubbles back in while it was still hot.

These little guys get baked at 450F for about 12 minutes.

Go ahead and make all your little crusts before you start on the pie filling, otherwise it's a juggling act trying to do it all at once.  The recipe I used gave me enough filling for 24 pies and a sandwich.  Fortunately I managed to squeeze out 24 crusts so it worked rather well.

I used the filling recipe from the Better Homes and Gardens cook book, but it whatever filling you choose should be just fine.  If making in bulk you might even cheat and use some instant pudding.

Spoon the filling into the crust and top with meringue, then bake at 350F for about 12 minutes (until the meringue starts to brown).

 And then  with your leftover pie filling you make a peanut butter and chocolate sandwich!!!!!

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