In recent weeks I've tried out some recipes I previously pinned and I've decided that from now until Christmas I will review one recipe per week, in case you're looking for ideas for the holidays.
Please know as you read this review that I am by no means a culinary expert. Most recipes take me at least twice as long to prepare as the time it says it will take. I haven't spent my whole life in a kitchen. I am, however, pretty good at following instructions on the sides of packages and will make my own judgment call on ingredients lists (which may or may not turn out good).
All that to say, if I can do it, you probably can, too.
Okay, on with the recipe review...
Cherry Pie Poppers
Here is the Pinterest pin: Cherry Pie Poppers
...which leads to this recipe: Hershey Kiss Cutie Pies and Cherry Pie Poppers (I didn't try the Hershey Kiss pies, but they sound good, too!)
I'm not going to repeat the recipe here because you can get it through Pinterest. I'll just let you know how it went for me.
This is a great recipe because you get to use pre-made ingredients, which is awesome if you're not so savvy at baking (I'm not). Just grab a package of pre-made pie crust and a can of cherry pie filling (or another flavor if cherry isn't your thing).
The basic idea is you cut a circular piece of pie crust and place it in a mini muffin pan, add pie filling, then top with a smaller circular piece of pie crust. Cut the top, brush with egg, and bake.
I didn't have circle cutters (as you might use for cookies or biscuits), so I used parts from an Avent baby bottle. The cap for the bottle worked great as the bottom pie crust - the part you slide into the muffin tin to make the bowl.
For the top of the pie, the recipe calls for a smaller circle, so I used the blue and white leak guard ring that comes with the bottles. If you're not familiar with Avent bottles, you're probably confused right now. Here's a picture:
The size of these items worked perfectly for the size of my mini muffin pan. If you don't have "proper" circle cutters either, look around the house. Maybe the lid from a wide-mouth drink might work, or a small drinking glass or jelly jar. Or just tear out circles with your hands. It will add to the homemade appeal.
Also, when you run out of room to cut circles, be sure to squish the dough back into a ball and roll it out flat again to get more out of it. Just make sure that you keep an even number of big bottom circles vs. little top circles, otherwise you may end up with open-faced pies. (And if you do, call them "tartlets." People will think you did it on purpose.)
Anyhow, I sprayed the muffin pan with a non-stick spray (which I don't actually have, but I made this at a friend's house and she did). My muffin pan claims to be non-stick, but I figured it couldn't hurt to make sure.
Filling them looked something like this...
I made sure to get one cherry and some sauce into each little pie. Then I put the caps on...
Now, remember when I said I'm not a culinary expert? Right. Well, the recipe called for brushing the tops with egg. I even brought eggs and a brush with me to do just that.
Then I forgot.
These things happen. I've forgotten a lot worse (like the time I forgot to put water in the rice cooker... or the time I forgot to turn the oven on... or...).
I'm pretty sure the point of the egg is to make the tops brown as they bake.
Mine didn't brown, so they look a little naked, but I assure you they were fully cooked.
I should also mention that when I first pulled them out of the oven, they had kind of exploded. I was certain the whole thing was a bust. Cherry filling was oozing up and out everywhere while little pie hats teetered on top.
As they cooled, however, the cherry filling settled back down into the cups (mostly) and the little pie hats came back down like lids.
Maybe mushing the top and bottom dough pieces together would help? (I say that with a question mark because I have no idea- it's just a theory.)
In the end, they were quite delicious! I'm not a huge fan of pie. That being said, if I'm going to eat pie, I prefer cherry pie or something with berries. These little pies are perfect for me because I get two bites of delicious cherry pie and if I want more I can grab a second. It's not a long-term pie commitment.
Verdict: Yum! Make again. Remember the egg wash. Maybe add a dash of sugar on top to counteract the inherent tartness of pies. Try with different pie fillings like blackberry or raspberry, or mix them together!
Follow me on Pinterest here: http://pinterest.com/smhutchinswrite/