Tuesday, 25 November 2008

TWD: Thanksgiving Twofer Pie


Even though I do not celebrate Thanksgiving, but I thought it'll be great to join in the fun of baking some Thanksgiving twofer pies this week.

Since there is only two persons at home, I wanted to make two mini pies for both of us, but I ended up messing around in the kitchen the whole day and came up with 8 pieces of pie crusts instead. The first 6 pieces of crusts were baked in 3 batches, as I tried to prevent the crusts from shrinking by experimenting with different amount of rice. But the attempts were not successful because the crusts shrunk to half the height of the pie pans. I have a bottle of pie weights but they've gone missing just when I needed them, and the rice seems to be not heavy enough to hold the crusts. I almost gave up the idea of making the pies completely, but I remember that Dorie has a sweet tart dough that won't shrink even when it's baked without pie weights. So I made a small batch of the dough which is enough to fill two small pie pans.

It's a great recipe indeed, the crusts didn't shrink this time and I managed to bake the Thanksgiving twofer pies successfully!

Thanks to Vibi who chose the recipe for this week, it was a mess but the pies are delicious! And until my pie weights are found, the sweet tart dough recipe will be the one to turn to when I need to bake some pie crusts!

Recipe of Thanksgiving Twofer Pie can be found here.

Sweet Tart Dough Recipe
(Adapted from Dorie Greenspan's Baking: From My Home to Yours)

Ingredients:
1½ cups plain flour
½ cup icing sugar
¼ tsp salt
1 stick plus 1 tablespoon very cold (or frozen) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 large egg yolk

Method:
1) Put the flour, sugar and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer. Using a paddle attachment, turn the mixer on for a few seconds to combine the dry ingredients.
2) Scatter the pieces of butter over the dry ingredients and mix over low speed until the butter is coarsely cut in, you should have some pieces the size of oatmeal fakes and others the size of peas. Add the yolk, continue to mix the batter slowly until it forms clumps and curds.
3) Turn the dough out onto a work surface and very lightly and sparingly, knead the dough just to incorporate and dry ingredients that might have escaped mixing.
4) To press the dough into the pan: butter a 9-inch fluted tart pan with a removable bottom. Press the dough evenly over the bottom and up the sides of the pan, using all but one little piece of dough, which you should save in the refrigerator to patch any cracks after the crust is baked. Don’t be too heavy handed- press the crust in so that the edges of the pieces cling to one another, but not so hard that the crust loses its crumbly texture. Freeze the crust for at least 30 minutes, preferable longer, before baking.
5) To partially or fully bake the crust: center a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 375 degrees F. Butter the shiny side of aluminum foil and fit the foil, buttered side down, against the crust. (since you froze it, you can bake it without weights). Put the tart pan on a baking sheet and bake the crust for 25 minutes. Carefully remove the foil. If the crust has puffed, carefully press it down with the back of a spoon. For partially baked crust, patch the crust if necessary, then transfer the crust to a cooling rack. To fully bake the crust, bake for another 8 minutes or so, or until it is firm and golden brown. Transfer pan to a rack and cool the crust to room temperature before filling.

21 Comments:

Snooky doodle said...

wow these tarts look wonderful. Nice job :)

pinkstripes said...

Your twofer mini-tarts look gorgeous. I really liked this recipe. It's so worth the work.

steph- whisk/spoon said...

they are beautiful! maybe i'll try that crust, too.

Y said...

Yummy. No one needs thanksgiving for an excuse to make these :D

Stardust said...

The pies look like to die for, but they sound so deadly complicated too. =( You've done a really great job!

I wonder how they taste like. =P

Allie said...

These are just beautiful.

Have you ever used beans as pie weights? I used to keep a pound of pintos around just for that purpose.

Isabelle said...

tu vas dire que je t'écris toujours la même chose, mais je n'ai pas d'autre mot que "superbe" !!

Heather B said...

Great job! Your mini pies look delicious!

vibi said...

Thank you soooo much Grace, for participating with me this week, particularly since you don't celabrate Thanksgiving!
Your tartelettes look to die for, as usual your picture are out of this world!

Ingrid said...

Great photo! I'm glad that it worked out for you!
~ingrid

didally said...

These small tarts looks so appealing. I suppose the baking time have to be reduced for the small pie crust? I am considering to make small versions instead of a large pie.

daphne said...

They are gorgeous! And hey.. at least u hv extra pie crusts =) The pecans looked beautifully brown!

Food For Tots said...

I dun celebrate Thanksgiving but can hear your lovely pies shouting at me - "Santa Claus is coming to town"! ;)

The Food Librarian said...

Beautiful!!! I love Dorie's tart dough and feel like I'm on an episode of Seinfeld when I use pie dough - all shrinkage. I might have to use the tart dough instead! :) Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!

Passionate Baker said...

wowww...your little mini pies look adorable!!
so cute!
great job!
<3

Tracey said...

Your tarts look amazing! I love mini versions of pies and I'm sure yours were delicious!

Piggy said...

Snooky doodle - Thanks. :-)

pinkstripes - I like this recipe too. Isn't it great to combine two kind of tarts into one?

Steph - Thanks. :-)

Y - Yes, the tart tastes really good and I'll definitely bake again soon, be it thanksgiving or not!

Stardust - Hmm.. The tarts are crunchy on top, because the pecan layer is slightly caramelised, and the pumpkin layer is the yummiest part, the spices bring out the flavour of the pumpkin!

Allie - I know that beans can be used as pie weight but I've not tried it yet. Thanks for the tip, I'll buy a bag of bean later!

Isabelle - Thanks. :-)

Heather B - The pies are yummy indeed, I love Dorie's recipes!

vibi - Thanks for picking such a great recipe!

Ingrid - Thanks for dropping by!

Didally - yes, I took the pies out from the oven before the time was up because I can see that the top of the pies has turned brown. but I didn't check how much time I took to bake these. You can monitor by observing the colour of the pies when they're in the oven, once they turn golden brown, that means they're done.

Daphne - yeah, the extra pie crusts were useful actually, I used them to make fruit tarts. ;-)

Food for tots - I was in a festive mood when making these pies too!

Food librarian - Happy Thanksgiving to you too! Give Dorie's unshrinkable tart dough a try then, it's easy to work with, and tastes great with the filling too.

Passionate baker - Thanks. :-)

Tracey - I like mini pies/ tarts too. :-)

Beachlover said...

your pecan pie look lovely.

Engineer Baker said...

As always, those photos are fabulous. I love Dorie's sweet tart dough, it's foolproof! What did you do with all of the shrunken pie crusts though?

squawmama said...

WOW Great recipe... This will be heading for the recipe file and I'll be making it really soon... Thanks

(((HUGS)))
Donna

Fit Chick said...

Your tarts are wonderful! Nice job, the pomegranate jam sounds so good.