Since starting this Blog, my family has grown accustomed to me being in the kitchen and baking something new and different almost every night. It's funny how much they look forward to it. My son, Nick, will pop his head out of his room, take a deep whiff, venture into the kitchen and ask "what's tonight's masterpiece, Mom?". Really, those are his exact words. On the nights when I'm tired from work and don't feel like baking, I hate to see their disappointed faces when there's nothing baked so most of the time I'll muster the energy to get up and bake. Sometimes I'll have to come up with something on the fly based on the ingredients I have in my fridge and pantry. Last night I had a couple of packages of refrigerated pie dough and some blueberries that needed to be used up so I made these adorable mini blueberry pies.
How cute are these?
One of my favorite short cuts is using refrigerated pie crust even though I have made pie dough from scratch. I admit that I like the taste of homemade better, but when you're in a rush, sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do and the ready-made dough is a great option. I've used it many times and get compliments on the taste so don't feel guilty using it.
Adorable Mini Blueberry Pies
Makes about 24 mini pies
2 boxes of your favorite brand ready made pie crust (2 crusts in each box)
2 cups of blueberries, washed and dried
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon zest
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon flour, mixed with a little water to form a slurry
1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Egg wash: 1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water
A mixture of granulated sugar and cinnamon for sprinkling
Make the Blueberry Filling:
In a medium size saucepan, combine the blueberries, lemon zest, lemon juice, water and sugar. Stir to combine.
Cook and stir over medium heat for a few minutes until the berries break down. Gradually pour in the flour slurry while stirring to prevent lumps from forming. Continue to cook and stir for a few minutes more until the mixture is thickened. Remove from heat then stir in butter and vanilla extract stirring until butter is melted.
Spoon mixture into a glass bowl and allow mixture to cool completely before assembling pies.
Tip - filling can be made the day before and refrigerated until ready to use!
To assemble the pies:
In a small bowl or ramekin, beat 1 egg with 1 tablespoon of water.
In another small bowl or ramekin, combine 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar with 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon.
Tip: Use sugar in the raw instead of more texture if you prefer
For the bottom crusts -
Bring one package of crusts to room temperature per the instructions on the package.
Working with the crust one at a time, roll out slightly to about 1/8" thickness.
Cut into your desired shape using a cookie cutter. The cookie cutter I used had scalloped edges and was about 3 1/4" wide. You should get a total of 24 bottoms using one box of pie crust (12 per crust).
Place the bottoms onto prepared cookie/baking sheets lined with silpat or parchment paper. I used 2 baking sheets fitting 12 pies on each sheet.
Brush the edges with egg wash and place approx 1 teaspoon of the cooled blueberry mixture in the center. The filling should be thick enough to make into a mound.
For the top crusts, use the same process as above, but CUT THE SHAPES OUT FIRST then slightly roll each top out so that it is slightly bigger in size than the bottom, this helps to cover the filling better. If you roll the dough out first, then cut the tops, they will be the same size as the bottom and won't fit on top of the bottoms as well.
Gently place the tops on each pie and seal the edges with your finger tips. Crimp using a fork to create a stronger seal.
Lightly brush the tops of each pie with egg wash. Then sprinkle with a little of the cinnamon-sugar mixture. Cut a few small slits in the top of each pie.
Bake at 375 for approx 15 minutes or until crust is golden brown. Remove from baking sheets and place on a cooling rack.
Leftovers should be stored lightly covered at room temperature for up to 2 days. I don't like to tightly cover my pies because it can make the crust soggy.