Saturday, March 19, 2011

Little Tiny Pies

Two things I wanted to do once I was back on my feed: use the jar of Low Country Produce Colonial Chutney that Fishy sent me last month as winner of the Haiku Monday she was hosting; and give the Breville Personal Pie Maker I bought from Williams and Sonoma last Christmas another go. The instructions caution to use pre-made, store-bought puff pastry only, but fork that. I never follow instructions. So the first time I attempted a meat pie for S.B.'s supper, I used my own pie crust, which didn't quite have the texture I was looking for. Also, I didn't make my filling juicy enough. Dry pies are not only no fun to eat, they also make S.B. grumpy.

In the interim, however, I was inspired by a Karmic Kitchen post to try my hand at a savory galette. I used Julia Child's recipe for the crust and my mother's recipe for the filling, basically a variation of the classic Alsatian onion tart filling.

I have to tell you, this is a GREAT crust, similar in texture to what I consider a perfect pot pie or craw fish pie crust: buttery and near puff-pastry flaky.

So, I figured, maybe this would be the perfect crust for the fussy little tiny pie machine? Last night, I gave it a go.

One recipe Julia Child galette dough
Two large chicken breasts, pre-cooked, cooled to room temp, and cut into quarter inch chunks
One 16-ounce jar Low Country Produce Colonial Chutney, room tempertaure
Salt and pepper to taste (the chutney is pretty well-spiced, but some folks want extra)
Four ounces goat cheese


Heat the little tiny pie maker.

Place cut up chicken, entire jar of chutney, and salt and pepper in a bowl and mix thoroughly.

On a clean, lightly floured surface, roll out the pre-chilled dough to about 3/16". Use the small side of the cutting thingee that comes with the little tiny pie maker to cut out four pie bottom rounds:

The reason why my dough looks so "rustic" is that I battled an invasion of pantry moths last November and have not yet replaced my stock of corn meal; instead, I just Cuisinart-ed a bunch of plain Doritos chips. Works great.

Set aside and re-roll dough to same thickness. Use the larger end of the cutting thingee to cut out four pie top rounds. All dough is now gone.

Place bottom rounds into the pie maker, and use the press thingee to push the dough firmly into place so that it comes up over the edge (you can see by the photo that I forgot to do this, but not to worry, the pies sealed anyway). Fill to the brim with the chicken, top each pie with 1 ounce of the goat cheese, and place the pie top rounds over the filling. Close lid and wait the 5-10 minutes it takes to seal and cook the pies.

When done, carefully scoop pies out with a thin, flexible plastic spatula, place on plate, and eat.

The filling was delicious. The crust, while tasty, didn't have the same texture as it did when I cooked it as a galette in the oven, leading me to conclude that there is something about this particular gizmo that isn't all that kind to crust. Plus, it undercooked the lower right hand pie, which didn't happen the first time I used it. Hmm.

I'm not quite ready to eBay this puppy yet, so I think I'll make S.B. some little tiny peach pies and see what this does to a sugar dough.