Baking smaller versions of tarts in a muffin tin can be great fun. I have uploaded proof of this on this blog when I made miniature leek pies, and with this post I want to prove how much I enjoy using my muffin tin for mini pies. Sweet blueberry pies, this time.
Last summer I made blueberry pie – a large, traditional blueberry pie. I blogged about it here. Now it was time to try and make the same kind of treat in a smaller version. I still had some blueberries from the same harvest in my freezer, so I thought I’d get to use them and have my parents taste them.
Mini blueberry pies (yields 6 muffin-sized pies):
- 85 g butter
- 40 g sugar
- 140 g flour
- 1/8 cup ice water
This is a basic butter-based sweet shortcrust. With the help of a hand mixer with the dough hook attachment, combine butter (at room temperature), sugar and flour. Once it resembles sawdust, add ice-cold water, little by little, until a single ball forms. Your dough is ready to be used. Since I wanted to make closed mini pies, this quantity allowed me to make 6. I used 2/3 of the dough for the bottom parts and 1/3 for the lids.
- 250 g frozen blueberries
- 80 g sugar
As my mom was rolling out the dough and dividing it onto the muffin tin holes, I combined the blueberries with the sugar and let them reduce on medium-high heat for about 15 minutes after they reached boiling temperature, until I got a nice liquid jam.
Distribute the filling into every mini pie, then cover each pie with the little shortcrust lids. Make sure to press the bottom and top shortcrusts together so that the filling is safely sealed inside. I helped myself with two toothpicks to do this. Lastly, I carved a few cuts on the top part to allow steam to leave the pie without cracking it. Bake the pies in the oven at 180°C for about 20-25 minutes.
A pretty outcome, eh? This was the result of my second attempt at making this recipe…
What happens if frozen blueberries are not reduced to a jam before they are baked inside your tiny pie crusts? I made a first version of these pies just filling the crusts with frozen blueberries coated in sugar. That’s what you do when you use fresh blueberries, what could go wrong? Furthermore my mom and I even got super creative and made the upper part of the pies in different pretty shapes. Everything seemed so perfect, until about 10 minutes into baking time, when something did go wrong, in fact.
The juices of the fruits started boiling and the fruity filling of my mini pies turned into an angry jam that started overflowing. Taking them out was not an option as the shortcrust was not yet cooked, so the only thing I could do was just leave them be and complete their baking in their dark blue bubbling business. Once baked, I took out of the oven this mess:
Lesson learned: frozen blueberries need to be reduced beforehand. For my second batch I decided to stick to one shape for the top part and make all pies identical. The unsuccess of the first batch got me so frustrated I felt like creativity did not pay off. Thankfully, the second batch (pictured all through the post) came out as expected and deserved a proper photoshoot.