Things have been too much “sweat” and not enough “sweet” around here, so let’s see if I can lighten things up a little bit this time.
When I was a kid, my mom was all about making things seem magic for me. This has pros and cons.
Pro: I have a great imagination. Con: I believed in Santa until I was WAYYYYY too old to believe in Santa, and I cried for an entire day when I learned the truth. Pro: My mom was always down to help stage elaborate tea parties for my dolls. Including buying petite fours from my favorite Tucson bakery. (La Baguette Parisienne, if you’re wondering. They don’t have a Web site, but they do have a Yelp page.)
My affinity for tiny, cute deserts has deep roots, so these mini-pies were a lot of fun to make. I think Oliver was ready to kill me by the 1,000th time I called him into the kitchen to show him how “adorable” the pies looked in various stages of production.
I made sweet (peach and apricot) and savory (potato, broccoli, basil, carrots) ones and both batches were gone within a day — they make really great lunches.
The steps and ingredients here are really simple. For the crust I actually got a little bit lazy and used a frozen batch of nutty pie crust I had sitting around from when I made this pie back in early May.
It was frozen, so the crust took several hours to thaw, but once it was thawed enough that I could actually work with it, I rolled it out and then used my tiny pie-tins to guide the circles I cut it into:
Once each tin was filled with the bottom pastry, I stuck them in the freezer so they would hold their shape (it gets hot in my kitchen and we don’t have A/C), preheated the oven to 400-degrees and got to work on the filling. I kept it really simple: peaches, apricots and nectarines, diced into small cubes and drizzled with agave nectar. That’s it. Once the pastry had enough time — about 15 minutes — to firm up in the freezer, I brought the pies back out and filled them.
As you can see from the photo, I tried to get a little fancy with the edges (top row, right) but my big, meaty fingers had a hard time with how small the pies are. I defaulted to lattice tops because it seemed easier. If you’re smaller or have a more delicate touch than I do, you may have better luck.
(Oh, a quick note about the savory pies I made — it’s the same exact process really, just slightly different filling. I used potatoes, peas from our garden, basil and carrots. You have to pre-bake the potatoes until they’re soft enough to mash, but you don’t have to pre-cook any of the other veggies. I mixed them all together in a big bowl using olive oil the same way I use agave for sweet pies. It worked great.)
Once the pies were filled and I’d figured out a top crust that my hands could manage, I popped them in the oven for about 30 minutes, rotating them after 15. I glazed the tops with agave halfway through as well so that they’d be pretty and shiny.
They turned out pretty, pretty good if I do say so myself: