A good close friend of mine, sent me and my family a mini pie maker from Smart Planet. Called the Personal Pie Maker. (note: I do not have any affiliation with said Small Planet, I am just reviewing what I think of the product and its performance.)
The product come with a instruction and recipe booklet. I however did not use any of their recipe’s I used my tried and true recipe’s.
The recipe booklet asked for pre-made pie crust. I made my own.
I love it. It is cute, created pies in a very short amount of time, is perfect for my kids to help out with, and they love having their own pie to eat. Large pies tend to take 40 to 50 minutes to bake. This machine cut it down to 12 minutes. Plug it in, set a timer in the kitchen and forget it.
Here is the best part. On a night I had to go to work, where I usually make dinner, feed the kids and husband after he gets home from work, then shower and head out to work, I was able to make 4 little pies for our dessert at the same time. I had left over dough in the fridge and left over filling.
Those smiles are pie happiness smiles. They know somethings fun and tasty is coming. =)
On to the tried and true recipes that I use:
For the pie dough. (note: this is a flaky beautiful dough, if you don’t like flaky dough on your pie you may want to use another dough)
Note: Yield -This entire recipe will make you 8 mini pies. The pie maker makes 4 at a time.
1 1/2 sticks cold unsalted butter, cut into pea-size pieces
1 cup flour
Pinch kosher salt
1/4 cup ice water
For the crust: Combine the butter, flour, and salt in a food processor. Pulse until the mixture looks like Parmesan cheese. Drizzle in half the cold water and pulse until the mixture forms a rough ball, adding the remaining water if needed. Remove the dough from the food processor, form into a disk, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
2 tart apples (in this recipe I used pink lady apples)
1/2 cup of sugar
2 tbl butter
pinch of salt
1/4 cup water (sub apple juice if you have it)
1 tbl cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tbl flour
Peel, core, and small dice two tart apples
In a frying pan, melt butter add apples, sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Saute till slightly tender add flour and saute for a minute. Add a little water/or apple juice at a time to just to make the filling slightly loose.
The filling will be tart with a note of sweetness.
We are going to take a trip back into time. Fasten your seat belts, and come with me. I loved culinary school, and Baking and Pastry. However, like every school there is homework, tests, and the dreaded finals. In my plated dessert class we were asked to come up with some plated desserts of our own creation. This is my most favorite one, out of the three I made for this final exam.
So June 30th 2006 we had our Plated Practical Final.
Ok so here was the requirements for this final:
This is the first final we have had to work with a partner on. My partner and I were given the type of restaurant that the Chef instructor wanted us to prepare for. We got the high end restaurant in an art museum. Some other categories that we could have gotten was, a B&B in Savana Georgia, an over Priced bistro in Napa, a Lodge in Tahoe, a restaurant in Arizona.
I was pretty pleased with our restaurant topic. We had to come up with a name, decor, ambiance, and description of the place and type of food. The desserts had to reflect the restaurant type.
For those of you who don’t know, Baklava is: Courtesy Wikipedia
“Baklava (pronounced /ˈbɑkləvɑ/ or /bɑkləˈvɑ/), (Ottoman Turkish: باقلوا) is a rich, sweet pastry made of layers of filo pastry filled with chopped nuts and sweetened with syrup or honey. It is characteristic of the cuisines of the former Ottoman Empire and much of central and southwest Asia.”
Iran they use rose water syrup in their Baklava.
But that is neither here nor there… on to the pictures.
I brushed with butter individual layers of filo dough, layered them about 6 sheets thick, then cut and baked them off. I made a rose petal Ice cream, that I layered in between the layers of filo, I made a honey pistachio sauce, and candied some rose petals. (recipes to follow)
Note: my favorite dessert ever, is Baklava. I love it. I can only eat like 1 or two pieces as it is very sweet, but it is so good.
Can you guess what grade I got for this practical final? Yep that is right I got an A, even though I got a good grade, you know what makes me the most happy is that my conceptual dessert came out just as good or better than I imagined. The creaminess of the ice cream gave this dessert a different dimension, and showcased the rose very nicely.
Rose petal Ice cream
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 dash salt
- 2 egg yolks broken up and lightly beaten
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 2 rose’s edible (note, make sure from your grocer, or florist that no pesticides were used for these roses)
“Roses (Rosa rugosa or R. gallica officinalis) -Flavors depend on type, color, and soil conditions. Flavor reminiscent of strawberries and green apples. Sweet, with subtle undertones ranging from fruit to mint to spice. All roses are edible, with the flavor being more pronounced in the darker varieties. In miniature varieties can garnish ice cream and desserts, or larger petals can be sprinkled on desserts or salads. Freeze them in ice cubes and float them in punches also. Petals used in syrups, jellies, perfumed butters and sweet spreads. NOTE: Be sure to remove the bitter white portion of the petals.” http://whatscookingamerica.net/EdibleFlowers/EdibleFlowersMain.htm
- Place milk and cream in a sauce pan, heat till it starts to bubble around the edges of the pan, you don’t want to scorch the milk. Add the salt and sugar, and washed dried petals. Stir till sugar desolves.
- Slowly temper in the milk/cream mixture slowly into the eggs till they come up to temp, do not pour into the egg mixture without tempering, or you will have scrambled eggs.
- Pour the tempered egg mixture back into the pot and continue cooking till you get to a temperature of about 160 degrees. The custard will start thickening, it takes about 10-12 mins.
- Remove the whole lot, place the pan in an ice bath, or place the whole mixture in a metal bowl in an ice bath. Do not let water from the ice bath get into the custard. Continue stirring till it comes to room temp.
- This is the holding point. You can refrigerate saran wrapped, for use later in the week.
- Strain the mixture, and an use your machine per instructions. After the ice cream is extruded gently fold in more rose petals so that they run through the ice cream.