You knew I was going to do this didn’t you. Because I am a pastry fiend. I love pies. Not so much the American sweet pie. Though some of those are nice in really tiny doses. Savoury pies. Meat pies. Vege Pies. You will all remember that at home in New Zealand someone who is getting a little chubby is described as ‘Putting On the Pies’. Or if you are a horse they will say you have been ‘In a Good Paddock’ but I digress.
My Fathers Mother had a pie shop in Napier, NZ, during the war years (WW2). My Fathers Father was away at war for almost 6 years. So she had to make her own way. Her pies were made in beautiful oval tins. Both of my Fathers parents died before I was born but I do still have my Paternal Grandmothers cookbook. In fact we grew up in their house on the beach. We had stacks of pie tins in the baking cupboard when I was a kid, though those have been lost. However genetics and my Grandmothers cookbook have won out and I am carrying on the pie tradition for her.
Make or buy your pastry. Refer here if you need the easiest butter pastry recipe in the world. Dads Mum did not have a food processor and her pastry was made from shortening or lard but I use butter.
Now I have to add here, that I have struggled with taking shots of these tiny pies. The pies above are cooked, and will be thoroughly heated and browned just before eating, but still. Roger very sweetly commented to me yesterday that he liked my shot of the dishwashing liquid and this pretty much says it all. I am more than happy to agree with him! He knows what he is talking about. I take shots of dishwashing liquid very well. What I like the most about Roger is that he is bloody honest. My food photography is a work in progress.
I roll out the pastry thinly and then using a small wine glass I press out as many small discs of pastry as I can (well what else would a small wine glass be good for?) Line the little muffin tins/chocolate molds with the pastry discs, cover with a wet cloth and return to the refrigerator (keeping your pastry chilled is essential) , cut all the lid discs and wrap these in a damp cloth and pop these in to chill as well.
Fillings: I am leaving it up to you to work out the portions as it really does depend on your personal taste. Each pie will be one bite, so design a filling that will have a real taste pop in the mouth, make it a taste sensation in that bite. I have so many variations. Here are a few. My grandmother made good hearty meat pies. They were filled with well cooked beef stew. I have posted this recipe before for you. Though I am fairly sure that Grandmother would not have added cheese.
Chicken and Apricot Pies. Cut the chicken strips into tiny pieces. Marinade in Wine, Lime Juice and Black Pepper. Pan fry until browned, add cooked onions, deglaze with a little juice from the canned apricots so the chicken and onion pick up all the tastiest bits, toss in a handful of chopped coriander and sliced apricots turn off heat. Cool before packing into pie shells.
Caramelised onion and leek with gruyere cheese Pies. Soften onions and leeks until melty, about 30 minutes, add a little honey or balsamic vinegar and stir as it darkens. Spoon into shells and top with a paper thin slice of cheese. No pastry top needed.
Bacon and Egg Pies. Spoon cooked and chopped bacon and onion into the bottom of the pie shells. Pour in egg and cream mixture. Mix plenty of pepper into the egg mix. Sprinkle finely chopped fresh or dry parsley on top. (I dry my parsley by picking big bunches and stuffing them in a brown paper bag, then the bag goes in the back of the fridge for a few months.)
Mince Pies. Browned and slow cooked ground beef, with finely chopped onions, thyme and seasonings.
Curried rosemary lamb and mushroom.
Chickpea and spinach with cumin and paprika.
Mozzarella and basil with a cube of tomato. Let your mind go free!!
Fabulous Cheese and your home-made chutney! Tuna and Parsley Sauce! Brie and Walnuts!
You see where I am going don’t you. Design your own fillings. Create your own teensy weensy tasty savoury pies. Serve hot, but not too hot.
John is a bit sad that the Teensy Weensy Pie Trials are over as he and his workmates have been having very fancy lunches this week! But it looks to me like they have been in a pretty good paddock! Celi’s Diet Coleslaw from now on!
Toot Toot (just because I can)