Thursday, November 17, 2011

Tiny Pies and a Big Girl Sous Chef

Hannah and I made some mini pies to take to a Thanksgiving celebration.  More on those later, but bear with me while I wax sentimental for a few minutes.  Baking together has been something that we Hannah and I have enjoyed since she could stand on a chair at the kitchen counter.

Her participation has evolved from banging together her own mini utensils, to actually participating in the making of things.

Of course, licking the beater has always been part of the bargain.  (I'm going to have to buy another stand mixer when Lydia is big enough to help.  Whoever made those with only one beater must have been an only child.)

But yesterday, I realized that Hannah was really helping.  She knows how to level the top of the measuring cup with her finger.  Although, because her finger is so tiny, using her whole hand works better...

She can stir things, using a full-sized spoon.  And most of the time, most of the ingredients stay in the bowl.

When I was chopping the apples, Hannah helped.  Look at her dice: not too shabby for a three-year-old, huh? 

Well, all of this, as I said, was to make some mini pies.  We made pumpkin and apple.  I looked at many recipes online for pies in muffin tins, and finally used the pumpkin pie recipe on the can of Libby's pumpkin, and my favorite crumb-topped apple pie recipe.  I baked them according to the temperatures and time listed in the recipes, and even though they're miniaturized, they came out just right.  One hint I picked up from reading other's experience is to liberally grease the muffin tins: a big help in getting the little guys out.

I also used pre-made crust - pie crust is not my forte.  With that confession out of the way, I will say that this is the first time I can remember using canned pumpkin.  I am in the habit of roasting and pureeing my own pumpkin, then keeping it in the freezer to use throughout the year.  But last year's pumpkin is gone, and as you can see, this year's pumpkin is still adorning the kitchen counter.

The little pies look lovely, and Hannah and are very excited to share them with our friends this afternoon.  

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