As you might recall, several weeks ago I attended Pie Party Live in New York City. It was a great experience where every attendee had to bring a pie. I am not a good pie baker so there was some stress in the weeks leading up to this gathering. I hate to admit it, but the pies I bake usually start with a crust from a box. I will make a home made unique filling but rolling out pie dough is just not my thing. I have tried it many times and every time the results are the same. My dough falls apart and I end up with a great big mess on my kitchen table. Again, I decided to be ambitious, said a few prayers and started out making Martha Stewart's Pate Brisee. I figured that Martha is the queen of pie so how could I go wrong with this crust? My plan was to make hand pies which consisted of mixed autumn fruit fillings. I made the dough in the food processor and chilled it. I was very hopeful that this was the day I would finally be proud of my pie crust. I put the dough in the refrigerator and made a filling consisting of apples, pears and fig jam.
After the dough was chilled, I started to roll it out. Fail! Here we go again. For some reason, the dough was soft and had a cookie dough consistency. I refused to throw the dough out. What was I to do? I needed a plan. And I needed some pies to bring to the party.
I put the dough back in the fridge and headed to the grocery store to buy some puff pastry dough. I figured I could make hand pies with that. I didn't think driving through McDonalds and buying a few dozen apple pies was an option.
As I was driving, a few ideas came to me. Earlier in the week I had made a huge batch of Concord grape jam that was sitting in my refrigerator. I had always wanted to make Concord grape pies. Why shouldn't I make itty bitty pies with the jam? I wouldn't even have to roll out the dough as I could press it with my fingers into mini muffin tins.
Yes, the light bulb went off. Itty Bitty Concord Grape Pies it was.
First, to make the jam, I used the recipe from The Hungry Mouse. Click HERE for her instructions. I loved her way of making the jam. As I have mentioned before, I have this love affair with Concord grapes. This jam made my kitchen perfumed with Concord grapes. The consistency was perfect for these teeny pies.
I also ended up using the autumn fruit filling in hand pies with store bought (cough, cough) puff pastry dough. But the real hit was the Concord grape pies. I definitely will be trying these again. Maybe next time, I'll use strawberry jam.
Itty Bitty Concord Grape Pies
Pate Brisee (from Martha Stewart)
2 cups Concord grape jam or jelly
powdered sugar for dusting
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Make the Pate Brisee but the dough does not have to be chilled. Form one inch balls with the dough and press into a mini muffin tin to form a pie shell. Fill each shell about ⅔ full with jam. Bake for about 25 to 30 minutes, or until the tarts are golden brown and the jam is bubbling. Cool in the pan for 30 minutes before removing to a rack to cool the rest of the way. Dust with powdered sugar before serving. This makes about 50 to 60 mini pies.