Happy (belated) Father’s Day!
I know, I know, I’m a bit late. But! I have an excuse. My parents were here this weekend for my graduation ceremony, and these mini pies were in fact made in time to be presented to my father on Father’s Day. So I’m just late in giving them to you. Sorry.
We had a HECTIC weekend, if I’ve ever had one. I worked Friday morning (which means I got up at 4:30 AM…) and got home around noon. AJ and I headed straight for Costco, then to Whole Foods, then home to put groceries away. We were out the door by 2:00 on a mountain bike ride, and an hour and a half later we got home just in time to greet my parents as they showed up.
My mom really wanted to go shopping for a graduation dress with me, so we hurried downtown to try a few on, but unfortunately couldn’t find anything that fit me right (I ended up wearing a dress that I wore to winter formal one year in high school!). Then we hurried home again and the big food production began. We had 10 people over for dinner and I made three lasagnas. Yes, three of them. One was vegan, the others were most assuredly not (though they were vegetarian). Both were so delicious – keep an eye out for a post about them in the future!
Anyhow, Saturday there was a hike, a graduation where I had to stand the whole time because they ran out of seats (??), and a party for a friend who also graduated. There was a mini nap on the couch, some leftover lasagna, and then at 8:00 at night I decided that it was prudent of me to make blueberry pies for my dad for Father’s day because 1) my mom&dad picked the berries by hand at a little u-pick on the way up, and 2) he’s been raving about a blueberry pie I made for my birthday 3 or 4 years ago ever since I made it.
So when the pies were all good and done it was all of 9:40 pm and I was not about to take pictures, edit them, write a post, and post them in time for Father’s day. So here you go, one day late!
To my dad and my soon-to-be father-in-law, Jim, Happy Father’s Day! I am so fortunate to have you two in my life, and I am excited to continue life’s journey together. I hope you’re enjoying your pies, Daddy. And Jim, I promise to make some for you next time you’re down!
So about them pies. Try to find the best blueberries you can. The better the berry, the better your pies will be. I added a touch of raspberry vinegar I found at the grocery store and I’ve been trying to find a use for. It adds a tiny extra layer of flavor, but if you don’t have it then just sub lemon juice and you’ll never know the difference.
The crust is my favorite pie crust and I can’t tell you how many times I’ve made it. Using half shortening and half butter gives it amazing flavor and the most wonderful flaky crust you’ve ever had. Even when I accidentally add too much water (which can ruin a crust), it always turns out well. Whatever you do, work quickly, don’t knead the dough, and roll it out as few times as possible (even twice can make it tough). I think I borrowed & adapted the recipe a long time ago from Martha Stewart… which pretty much means that it’s a winner. Yes, I love Martha, criminal and all.
Mini Blueberry Maple Pies (vegan)
A recipe for Mini Blueberry Pies that are so cute you might just have to make them! Sweetened with maple syrup, they’re the perfect gift for a loved one or a treat to keep to yourself! I’ve provided some pretty thorough instructions on how to make the crust, so this is a great place to start for beginners.
- Prep Time: 50 mins
- Cook Time: 40 mins
- Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
- Yield: 12
- Category: Dessert
For the pie dough:
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup shortening
- 1/2 cup cold butter
- 6-7 tbsp ice cold water
For the filling:
- 4 cups blueberries
- 1/3 cup maple syrup
- 2 Tbsp powdered sugar
- 1 Tbsp cornstarch
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- Pinch salt
- 2 tsp raspberry vinegar, or lemon juice
For the Dough:
- Combine the flour, sugar, and salt in a large bowl. Combine about a half cup water with 4-5 ice cubes in a measuring cup. Set aside.
- For the next steps, work quickly. The trick to good pie dough is to keep it cold. So the quicker you work, the colder it stays, and the better it turns out.
- Add the shortening to the flour in a few pieces and work it into the flour mixture using your hands. To do this, grab a handful of the mixture, bring it a few inches above the bowl, and work the mixture in between your fingers as it falls back into the bowl. Continue to do this until the mixture looks like sand, with some shortening chunks about the size of peas.
- Cut the cold butter into tablespoon-sized chunks and distribute them about the flour. Work them into the flour/shortening mix just as you did the shortening. When you’re done it should again look kind of like sand, but with a few more pea-sized chunks this time.
- Add 3 Tbsp of water and toss the dough with a fork. Add 3 more and toss again (please don’t knead the dough!). It should stick together when pressed between your fingers. If you’re worried, you can add another, but every time I add 8 Tbsp it is too much. Try at your own risk.
- Divide the dough in half, shape each into a fat disk and wrap separately in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before rolling out.
For the filling:
- Combine all ingredients, toss well.
To make the pies!
- Preheat the oven to 400F and generously oil a muffin pan.
- Remove one pie dough disk from the fridge. Roll out between two large sheets of plastic wrap until it is 1/8″ thick. Cut circles 4.5″ in diameter (I use a small bowl as a template and cut around it with a knife) and carefully remove from the wrap. Place inside well-oiled muffin tin cups, crimping the edges as needed to make it fit. Your first disk should make enough for 6 mini-pies. Place the mini-crusts in the fridge as you roll & cut out your second disk of dough.
- Once all the muffin tins have been filled with the dough, add a heaping 1/4 cup of the blueberry mixture to each cup. They should pile up in each cup but not be overflowing. If desired, cut a small square of leftover dough and place on top.
- Place the mini pies in the oven and immediately turn the heat down to 350F. Bake for 35-40 minutes until nicely golden on the edges and the filling is bubbling.
- Cool in the pan for 5 minutes and then very gently remove them from the pan. It helps to twist them in their cups to release any fruit juice that stuck between the pan and the pie. Transfer to a wire cooling rack and let cool before serving, if you can stand it. Enjoy!