So my new obsession is with pies, i have been making them to sell at the local produce farm stand, Gary the groceryman gives me his overripe fruits and I make them into pies. I had made a chocolate bottomed raspberry pie and a blueberry crumbletop, both of which were serious tasty and sold out ( i saved one for myself of each cause i couldn't resist. Anyway I was thinking if I were at a farm stand I'd be looking for a mini pie or a cute little personal pie, a big pie is a lot of comitment and only really gets bought by big families or big pie affecionatos ... so i tried to find little pie tins... i tried 5 stores... no luck. What I did find was a baking tray that makes a dozen cupcakes. So when I got a bunch of peaches from the market I had been working on a foil frame for a suncatcher and it occured to me that I could just build my own pie tins. Peaches fit perfect in a cupcake tin, except they are a bit too tall and also there needs to be room for the pie crust, so I got a plastic cup that fit in the cupcake tin (one of those cocktail fancy plastic cups) And I used it as the template for the foil, forming it around the outside of the cup being sure to include a lip at the top and making sure the bottom fit comfy into the cupcake tin. Since the result is larger then a cupcake would be I made 6 of these filling every other cupcake spot on the tray.
OK so that being done pie crust is next
I used the equivalent of three pie bottoms of homemade pastry
3 cups flour
3 sticks of butter (1 1/2 cups)
15 shakes of a salt shaker (like almost a teaspoon)
1 or 2 tablespoons of white granulated sugar (optional)
The thing about pie crust is the flakiest tastiest pies are prolly made near the artic circle.. all the ingredients like to be cold during the process and you should take breaks to ensure that the butter has not melted! I keep my flour in the freezer and the butter in the fridge up til the moment of use. Ok so combine all the dry stuff, then take a little bowl and fill it with filtered water an a few ice cubes. then take the butter out of the fridge and use two knives to cut it into the flour, when the pieces are small get your hands in there and quickly bust up the larger pieces so that it looks all crumbly in there. Now get a tablespoon and add about 7 tablespoons of very cold water, add it slowly while gathering all the crumbles together into a ball, as soon as it will form a ball you have enough water. don't knead it or work it as a ball just separate the ball into 3 pieces and smoosh them into 3 round flat balls and stick immediately into fridge ( or freezer) and let it chill and relax for at least a couple hours, on a hot day or if you only have an hour instead of several you might want to put in the freezer...
Roll out the dough on a clean floured surface til its like half a centimeter thick, (leave the other 2 dough balls in the fridge til you are out of the first) put them in the tins and gently press and pinch them into the shape of the bottom and sides, take a fork and score them onto the lip of the cup (this acts as an achor so the walls don't slide down in the oven) 2 balls should fit all 6 cup bottoms and the last one can hang out in the fridge for when you are making the lattice tops
When all 6 bottoms are formed stick the whole tray in the freezer for at least half and hour maybe an hour...
Now you can think about the middle...
a handful of rasberries (optional)
half a cup brown sugar
4 tablespoons dark honey
4-5 shots of Bourbon ( i used makers mark)
3/4 stick of butter
3 heaping tablespoons of flour
Ok so 6 of the peaches will remain whole and fit neatly in the middle of the pies. Get a knife and carefully cut out the pit, I've done this before without cutting all the way through but this time the pits were good and stuck in there so I just cut to the bottom and took out the middle cylinder core and left the rest of the peach whole and unharmed, skin on. The recipe calls for 8 so you have two chances for messing up.. Set the best 6 aside.
In a pot throw in the sugars and honey and butter, whatever peach bits you were able to get off the pits, and cut up the remaining two peaches, plus raspberries if you got them. cook on medium. Depending on how much you like flames you can either throw the bourbon in at the beginning to simmer its spirits off, or you can wait til its nice and bubbly in there to toss it in and ignite. Either way there is a lot of it in this recipe so it would be safer to wait a couple minutes after you throw it in before igniting (just so you get to keep yer eyebrows ;) I let all this simmer for 15 minutes til it was a bit thicker and bubbly. Then add the flour, stirring inbetween tablespoons so its worked in well, the result should have about the consistency of melted chocolate. Remove from heat.
Prebaking the shells helps them get flaky like the top and stops them from being soggy bottomed pies as is all too often the problem with fruit pies. You don't need them to brown but you will see they get a little puff going and look like they are adjusting to their shape even getting a little bit of crisp. When that happens take them out and let them cool a couple minutes, then its time to fill them.
While they are cooling roll out the last of the dough and stick it back in the fridge as a sheet.
Each little pie gets one peach, the center pit hole gets filled with the happy syrupy goodness, and top it with cinnamon. Pretty.
The last of the dough gets cut into strips that you criss cross over the tops (4 strips per pie) and whatever is left I formed into hearts for the middles (though you could put initials or stars or leaves or whatever looks good to you)
Your oven should be preheated to 350 now - Stick them in there for about an hour or til the room fills with the smell and the pie tops brown (no oven door opening no peaking, watch through the oven window if you want to drool)
Thats it - serve warm with ice cream :)
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