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.

What:
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

How:

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.




Verdict:
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.

13 comments:

Aunty Belle said...

first, what charmin' plates ya has, Moi!

Thangs that come to mind: is ya miffed that the assumption is folks want to use pre-made commercial puff pastry an not perfer their own dough? Whas' wif Williams Sonoma on that?

about the chutney? to make yore pies, is that Low Country version similar to what we buy in stores or is it of particular taste?

I googled fer Child's galette dough --do ya' use it fer only savory galettes?

Uncle loves meat pies--which we only find at ethnic food fairs. I would try yore pie. Looks yummy.

Enjoyed this post!

moi said...

Aunty: The Low Country Colonial Chutney is made with tomatoes, peaches, onions, peppers, and a bunch of spices. Definitely better than most I've had. I linked to both that site and to the JC galette dough recipe. You can make these little pies in the oven, too, using ramekins. Oh, and if you feel like sharing your pot pie recipe, that's next for me, too :o)

Intuitive Eggplant said...

Sorry to hear of your dough and pie-baker gizmo frustrations. But that filling sounds divine! I was intrigued by that Low Country Colonial Chutney when I read about. Matching it with chicken and goat cheese sounds delish.

foam said...

i swaney! must i always be starved when i visit a food blog? it never fails .. :)
these pies look mighty delicious. i'm not sure that i've ever had chutney. it would be very interesting to try in these combinations.

moi said...

Eggy: Most definitely a top-notch chutney. Get yourself some!

Foam: That's okay; I'm always starving even when I'm not visiting a food blog :o)

Boxer said...

Tiny pies!!!! I wanted to try a savory one when the Nephew and I were making them last Fall and now I think I might. I have to admit, I use store bought crust; Marie Callender already in the pie pan and then I pull it out and claim it as mine. Bad, right? I have the Julia Child cookbook and I think I'll give real pie dough a whirl because I used to make them as a kid. I have tiny little pie tins I bought at Sur La Table, but don't give up on your gizmo... I think tiny fruit pies will be more forgiving.

Either way, you've inspired me.

Boxer said...

What is the plate you've used. Franciscan?

moi said...

Boxer: I haven't had a Marie Callendar pie in ages, although I buy her pot pies for S.B. all the time.

Good guess on the plate, but the maker is Southern Potteries in Blue Ridge Tennessee. The pattern is called Crab Apple. My mother found four of these square plates at a garage sale in Cuba about fifteen years ago and gave them to me. Little did I know the square plates are impossible to find, but the large round dinner plates are plentiful, so I started to collect those instead. The first one is Fire-King Jade-ite in Swirl pattern. Got a bus load of that, too :o)

Nicole MacDonald said...

I have one of these pie makers and I use the premade pastry sheets. They work a treat *grin* and I've had no issues with dryness. though I use puff pastry and they don't really recommend that either.. how long do you cook your pies for? I just do them for 5-7mins.. Love the look of your pies, may have to copy recipe :)

The Arrival, Book 1 of the BirthRight trilogy available now

Aunty Belle said...

i WILL SHARE THE CHICKEN POT PIE--SOON.

moi said...

Nicole: Welcome! I have yet to try the pre-made pastry, but maybe I'll give it a try since you report success. I cook mine for about 5-7 minutes, too. My first attempt with another pie dough came out fine; this one, one of the pies was undercooked, and I have no idea why.

Aunty: That would be awesome!

Boxer said...

Only a man can eat those MC Pot Pies, check out the calories per tiny package.

The top plate, swirl? I have an entire collecction of ones made by Metlox who were famous for ripping off larger and more established pottery companies.

Aunty Belle said...

oh! I forgot how much I loved them cute cherry plates.

Ahem!! mayhap youse got a new recipe up yore sleeve?