It all started with an innocent birthday gift: a lattice pie mold. I was immediately taken by the picture on the box and my head was swimming with possibilities. Darling little pocket pies! You could freeze any extras and just pop them in the oven when you felt like fresh apple pie! You could bring them to potlucks and not worry about portioning! I could not wait to add the results as proof of my mantra that anything delicious is somehow even more delicious in miniature.
But everyone, I am here to warn you: do not let the cute distract you. This pie mold does not want to be your friend. This pie mold does not want to simplify your job of making adorable pocket pies. I am pretty sure this pie mold wants you to hate pie.
I should have probably been warned after reading some of the reviews on the website. They complained about the mold not cutting out shapes big enough to accommodate being crimped while actually having filling inside. They complained about the edges not being sharp enough to cut entirely through the pie crust. These are all true statements and if I had just listened, I probably would have saved myself a lot of headaches. But I’m pretty stubborn and when it comes to baking, I’m not content to hitch a ride to hell in my own hand basket. In those cases, I like to weave it myself.
After reading the reviews, I had the brilliant (not really) idea of pre-cooking my apple filling. My reasoning was that the apples would cook down, take less space for a really apple-y punch and not end up watery. So a-peelin’ I went.
Apples! Unfortunately, not the variety that Brian taught me to use, but that’s what happens when you buy apples from Costco without counting how many you actually need.
I stuck them all in a Dutch oven and cooked these suckers down until they were about half the volume they originally were. Sometime in there, I also added some sugar and vital apple pie spices, like cinnamon. Cinnamon? More like cinna-win!
I am truly sorry I subjected you guys to that. Please don’t hate me.
After setting aside the filling to cool, I started making the pie crust. I followed the instructions on the box the pie mold came in, because I figured they must have chosen to include a recipe for a dough that would always work with the pie mold. I think my reasoning was flawed (or I was too hopeful of my lackluster pie crust skillz), because the dough was pretty difficult to work with at times.
The dough broke all the rules of flaky pie crusts by needing lots of flour to be rolled out. I was a bit dismayed at how much I was having to add and I knew my crusts would turn out tough. Also, like people said, it was really hard to cut the dough out. For the lattice part, I resorted to painstakingly poking the little bits of dough out with a toothpick.
When it came time to crimp the two ends together, just the very ends crimped together because the cut outs weren’t large enough. I think a small part of it was how much filling I put in and another, slightly larger part of it was because I wriggled the pie mold around after pressing it into the dough to make sure it had cut all the way through, compressing the sides.
I finished making the pies and stuck them in the freezer to set. Then I decided that working 3 hours to make mini pies that I was fairly certain would not turn out well wasn’t enough, I should try all over again with a different crust recipe. Which is what I did the next day.