It only seems appropriate that I bombard y’all with photos of pie (again if you already follow me on twitter/instagram) on pi day. To be honest though, pi day was the furthest thing on my mind when I asked A and JP if they wanted to get together and bake some pies. I was just hoping to lower the cost per use on my Breville mini pie maker!
This simple idea of getting together and having wine while making a few mini pies seemed to snowball and somehow we ended up with a list of
9 10 pies: Beef, Chicken Pot Pie, Chocolate, Key Lime, Lemon Meringue, Pecan, Pumpkin, Sour Cherry, Strawberry Cream Cheese and Quiche (which I forgot about until right now). While we did not make it through the entire list, we did manage to make 7 of the pies, but we were all completely exhausted afterwards.
Note to self: if you plan on doing a “master class” pie baking day, remember to defrost your meat the night before so you can multi-task better.
A handled making all the pie crust making using her “not so secret” family recipe (I will have to ask her if I can post it one day) and she made it look so easy!
Once we had our crust made, we just went to town making the sweet pies while the meat defrosted for the savory pies. First up was the pumpkin pie, which was pretty straight forward since I bought pumpkin pie filling but after tasting this pie – I am going to say it was my least favorite of the bunch. We probably should have tasted it before cooking as it definitely need more flavor for my tastes.
We followed that up with the mini sour cherry pies so the mini pie maker could get to work. I got the sour cherries from my awesome friend Michelle last year and we just reduced it down a bit and it was amazing. I really liked these pies and definitely wish I had more cherries so I could have more! The mini pie maker didn’t work as well as I had hope for these as I couldn’t get the tops all perfectly golden.
The lemon meringue pie is my favorite of all the large pies we made but I am a huge lemon fan! Again, this was super easy and quick, but we did forget that meringue shrinks after cooking so we underestimated the amount we would need to put on the pie.
The key lime pie was not bad and Argenplath Mama liked it but it needed a bit more tartness for my tastes. The lack of tartness could also be my fault because apparently I cannot buy juicy limes – we had 6 limes and they were so dry that I had to add lemon juice to the mix to make up the amount we needed. My grocery fail makes me a little sad but it really also means I have to make more pie (soon) to compensate for this.
Another huge hit with everyone I shared my pies with were the strawberry cream cheese mini pies/tarts. A used to make these in the summer and I would walk over to her place for pie and it is definitely one of my favorite pies ever. I just didn’t know it was this easy to make (recipe here)! I took 3 of these home and didn’t even get to eat them myself – I don’t know why I decided sharing was the way to go :p – but these are again on my “to make soon” list or I will ask if A wants to make me pie (even though winter has come back today).
After all the sweet pies, and the use of the microwave to help us defrost our meat (just learned that a microwave can do that! Downside to never owning a microwave – you look really dumb when that blows your mind), we tackled the savory pies. We followed a recipe from the pie maker for the beef pies and it was pretty much all beef. The flavor was not bad although we realized maybe adding some veggies would have been a good idea (next time). We made some mini pies but also made a large version for our friends V and R – it is a very hearty stew-ish kind of pie.
We didn’t really have a chicken pot pie recipe so we made one up on the fly (when did I start subscribing to Argenplath Mama’s a bit of this and that style?!) and it was amazing! It was straightforward and super tasty, I can’t believe we got such great flavor in that filling. A bonus was after the first round of mini pies, the pie maker seemed to work a bit better and get the crusts all very golden. We had a few mishaps with overfilling the pie and having some gravy leak out but it was still very delicious… so I guess the lesson with the pie maker is that like the waffle maker – the first pies are never the best ones.
So at the end of the day, we made a lot of pie and will probably never make a list of pies to bake this long again. As you will notice, we did have to nix chocolate and pecan off our list. And we completely forgot about the quiche, despite that being the impetus for our purchase of 30 eggs!
So What Would Argenplath Pay?
I don’t know if I can put a price on this “master class” of pie baking as we bought several ingredients that we still have extras of (i.e. flour), but I suppose if I had to guess, I would say we paid maybe $25 each ($75 total) as the meat for the savory pies were the most expensive component. In the end, I don’t know if the cost of doing pie day would prohibit me from doing it again because no one makes pie crust quite as flaky as A and there’s something to be said for just hanging out in the kitchen with your friends drinking wine and eating pie (with the occasional late night jaunt down the street to get the cat back in the house – but that’s a story for another time).