questionshas anyone tried making mini pies?

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I've never tried it, but my grandmother used to make cherry tarts. If I remember correctly, she made the crusts by turning a cup cake pan upside down and laying the crusts on top of the pan. She poked the crusts with a fork but I don't remember anything else about baking times or how she greased the pans or anything. For the filling, I think she just used canned cherry pie filling, so it was never baked. The tarts never looked very pretty but they did taste good.
I would think that you could bake the pie filling separately and then fill the individual crusts.
I've also seen blog posts, most by "Not Martha" about baking mini pies in jars. Here's one link:
http://www.notmartha.org/archives/2008/06/05/pies-baked-in-tiny-jars/

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I've made them successfully in silicone cupcake pans. That keeps the crust from sticking, and they're a little flexible.

They weren't as pretty as full pies, but I have kids who like different pies, so if I'm feeling generous I'll make mini pies in the silicone pans.

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I've made tarts for years. I just make them on a cookie sheet. I use a standard pie crust recipe. I think that not all fillings work well with tarts, but fruit fillings are just fine. You need to use less liquid in your fruit, or else it will just run out and burn. I usually fold them over, and use the tines of a fork to gently mesh the edges. I use a toothpick to prick the top crust a few times (to let the steam escape).

I don't think muffin tins would work as well, since it keeps the crust too moist.

Here's a video of making strawberry tarts.

http://www.videojug.com/film/how-to-make-strawberry-tarts

[Edit] After watching that video, I'm leaving it in, but I don't recommend it as a method. It looks very complicated.

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Give this recipe a shot.

http://allrecipes.com/recipe/pecan-pie-tarts/

I've adapted it for many different versions and they have turned out wonderful. Admittedly, I'm a terrible baker, but trying to get better. Give me a grill or a skillet ... heh. But, even I can make some tasty desserts with that recipe. Good luck!

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I've made these before: http://www.squawkfox.com/2010/06/24/pie-in-a-jar/

They actually turned out really well and you have the option of taking them out and serving them or just serving them from the jar.

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Have you tried blind-baking the pie shells before you fill them? If they're wet and sticking that's usually the problem, the crust is not fully cooked while the contents and/or top are done or overdone.

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@phoenixgirrl: I'm going to have to pick up some silicone pans. Been wanting to try them for a while.

@zuiquan: I've only ever blind-baked pecan pie crusts (only because the recipe told me). I'll have to try that.

@agingdragqueen: those pies in a jar look nifty - those are now on my list...

Thanks for all the tutorials and advice! Now to find a free evening to test this out...

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I've always had amazing success using these little jobbers: http://www.amazon.com/Norpro-Tartlet-Tins-Set-Of/dp/B000SSVA80/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1338323275&sr=8-1
I just make sure I'm using a richer pie crust recipe so the fat content helps to ease the tarts/pies out of the tins. Plus, cooling completely is key. This all butter crust recipe is just fabulous: http://simplyrecipes.com/recipes/all_butter_crust_for_sweet_and_savory_pies_pate_brisee/ Butter is NOT all that bad for you.

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I use this recipe for crusts in the mini cupcake pan, it's from pampered chef and works great, then I fill them afterwards:

Basic Dough
Ingredients:
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 package (3 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1 cup all-purpose flour

Directions:
In a bowl, beat butter and cream cheese until smooth. Add flour; mix until a soft dough forms. Cover; chill at least 1 hour or overnight. Preheat oven to 450°F. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Place each ball of dough in cups of ungreased Mini-Muffin Pan. Dip Mini-Shaper in flour; press into dough to form shell. Pierce shells with a fork; bake 10-12 minutes or until light golden brown. Carefully remove from Mini-Muffin Pan to Stackable Cooling Rack. Cool completely. Fill as desired.

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Not the same thing, but I've had great success with mini cheesecakes made in a muffin tin. No tricks, just spritz with oil spray, press in a tablespoon of graham cracker crust, add filling and bake. They come out perfectly and are very cute!

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I don't use a bottom crust when I make pie, but I've had good luck making small top-crust-only pie in ramekins. Actually, ramekins are perfect for individual-servings of fruit crisp: the topping survives well in the fridge for a few days, and the ramekin is just the right size for a crisp made from one large apple.