My friend Keerin was coming over to watch Game of Thrones (I'm pretty much obsessed) and I wanted to make some food for us. She is vegan and I do not cook vegan food that much so I was trying to think of what I could make. I knew that I had a bunch of fresh and frozen vegetables, but I didn't want to make something boring. That's when it hit me - we could play with my mini pie machine!
What the heck is a mini pie machine, you ask? It's a fun little electrical device, kind like a panini press - except that it makes adorable personal sized pies! The machine comes with a cutter to cut the perfect size circles for the base and top. You use puff pastry for the tops and you can either use puff pastry or pie dough for the bottom. I am not a big fan of store bought-refrigerated pie dough is general, but it works great for this because it is a bit tougher. All you do is press a circle of dough into the bottom of one of the four wells using a tool that is included, spoon in the filling, lay a circle of dough on top, and close the lid. The pies cook in about 8 minutes - so fast! Because the cooking time is so short, the filling needs to be precooked.
Fear not if you do not have this machine, though (and I assume most people don't because it is silly and extravagant) - You can just fold circles of dough over filling into half moon hand pies and bake them in the oven.
So, because the pies are personal sized and because they cook so quickly - I knew that each of us could play around with filling combinations. I had frozen peas, corn, green beans, spinach, and butternut squash - so I microwaved those to pre-cook them (I cut the green beans into bite-sized pieces). I cut up some carrots and parsnips and microwaved those, and then I drained a can of chick peas (gotta have protein!). I also had some fake beef crumbles and Keerin brought some fake cheese.
I used these little cups to approximate how much filling could go into each pie (1/3-1/2 cup) and we mixed up our fillings! I added salt and pepper and a little corn starch to each cup, and I also had curry powder that we put in some of them.
I had the pastry rounds and the cooling racks all ready to go!
This is me pressing the bottom rounds into the base.
And here I am putting in the filling - you can see that some of these were too full, oh well! My favorite pies I made were one with chickpeas, sweet potato, parsnip, carrot, and curry and one with peas, carrots, corn, soy crumbles, and fake cheese.
We ended up making about 16 savory pies. I also bought a can of apple pie filling for sweet pies, and we experimented putting mashed banana and chocolate chips in a few others (yum!). That sounds like a lot for 2 people, and it is, but these mini pies are super easy to freeze and then you can reheat them in either the pie machine or the oven (or the microwave if you must).
We had so much fun creating our own pies! This is a great idea for friends, kids, or families where everyone likes something different.
I ended up with a bunch of left over veggies...
So I added them to sauteed onion, chicken stock, and frozen shredded chicken to make soup!
And when I got tired of soup - I turned it into chicken pot pie!