Mini Custard Pies (Mini Pie Revolution)
Posted by bakinghistory on December 25, 2007
Mrs. Fanny L. Gillette
3/4 lb (1-1/2 cup–350 g) butter, cold
1 lb flour (3.5 cups–454 g) + extra as needed
ice water as needed
1 tsp (6 g) salt
3 heaping tbsp (45 g) sugar
1 heaping tbsp (10 g) flour
1 pinch salt
2 cups (488 g) milk, scalded and cooled to lukewarm
1 tsp (5 ml) vanilla paste
grated nutmeg to taste
Make the Pie Paste
Take a quarter of the butter and place it into the bowl of a food processor, add the flour and salt and process until the mixture resemble wet sand. Pour a thin stream of ice water into the food processor bowl pulsing until the mixture turn into to a stiff paste. Wrap the dough in wax paper and leave in a cool place, but not in the refrigerator. In my basement in this season the temperature is about 60°F, and I find it ideal to keep the dough at that temperature.
Meanwhile, dredge the board thick with flour, and cut up the remainder of the butter into thin slices, lay each slice upon the flour, and dredge with another thick layer of flour. Then roll out the butter slices into thin sheets and lay them aside.
Take the dough previously prepared and roll it out thin (1/8 inch–3 mm) , cover it with a sheet of this rolled butter, dredge on more flour, fold it up in thirds, roll it out again, and then repeat the process till all the butter is used up. Wrap the final dough in wax paper and let rest for at least 30 minutes in a cool place.
Make the pie shells:
Roll the dough thin (1/8-inch–3 mm), then with a biscuit cutter cut out rounds to line the cups of mini muffin pans (butter the pan cups before lining them). Preheat the oven to 450°F (230°C) , line each pastry shell with a small piece of aluminum foil and fill with dried beans. Bake the empty shell for about 5 minutes, then take the pans out and let cool on racks. Make sure the shells are throughly baked, otherwise put them back in the oven for a little longer, until ready. If the shells are not completely baked in advance, they will become soggy once filled with the custard.
With the pastry scraps you can make tiny cutouts to decorate the pies once they are baked. Place the cutouts on a cookie sheet and bake them separately until golden.
Make the custard filling:
Mix the sugar and flour, then beat the yolks until pale yellow and light, adding little by little the flour-sugar mixture. Then add salt, vanilla and nutmeg, and next the egg whites slightly beaten. Finally add the milk in a thin stream and mix well.
Assemble the pies
Pour the custard mixture into the cooled pastry shells and bake in the preheated oven (300°F–160°C) until the custard is set. A higher temperature will make the custard curdle.
Cool the pies in the pans placed on racks. Refrigerate leftovers.
Note: This pie paste recipe makes the flakiest, lightest pie shells ever. It is worth trying.