Whimsical and Homespun Art Creations with a Little Rural Living Thrown In

Monday, November 15, 2010

How to Make Pie in a Jar

In past years, I have used up orchard apples by making and freezing 8 inch apple pies. They were so nice to be able to take out of the freezer and enjoy all year long, but with my son getting older and being gone most of the day, left over pie began to be a problem. I have a terrible time with tolerating waste, so I found myself eating more than I normally would. ~Which in turn, meant more hours on the treadmill later! :( So, I was on the hunt for a solution to my dilemma.

While on vacation in Kentucky, I purchased some single serving baked pies from the Amish that were very good. They made a circle out of the pie dough, added filling, closed the dough making a half circle, and baked. This idea was great! I was excited for the apple season to begin. The only possible problem would be storage. I figured... I would flash freeze, throw them into a bag, and hope they wouldn't find there way down into the bottom of the deep freeze! It was a great plan, ready to go into action, until I read an article about pies in a jar on http://www.ourbestbites.com/ . I was sold completely on this idea. Over to Amazon I went, and three days later my 36 half pint Kerr jars arrived!

This process is so smart and practical! You simply make a pie in a 1/2 pint wide mouth Kerr jar and freeze. The best part of the whole process is that you bake the pies in the same jar! You heard me... WOW! No more waste!! And better yet, everyone can pick their own favorite flavor. Genius!

Here is the beginning of my pies. I mixed up a two crust 10 inch pie dough from my favorite recipe. (It gave me enough to do six jars with a little left over.) I took a piece of dough and pressed it onto the sides of the jar and bottom. I spread the dough pretty thin, since my family is not big on lots of crust.

I rolled out the remaining dough and used the band from the jar to cut the top for my pie. The dough was rolled thin but easily movable.

Okay, I cheated and used cherry pie filling! One can made four individual pies. I set the crust on top of the jar and gently pushed it down onto the filling. It naturally formed a bowl with the dough of the top crust circle joining the dough on the sides of the jar. I pinched the dough sides to form a good seal and removed any excess above the jar mouth. And they were ready to be frozen.

Here are the peach pies that I made. Okay, I cheated on them too! I used peaches from a can and this recipe http://hillbillyhousewife.com/deepdishpeaches.htm . The only changes I made to the recipe was to halve it, cut the peaches into small chunks, and use a little more nutmeg to taste. It worked out wonderfully.
One word of caution... Make sure to set your different flavors in their own area for identification or work with one flavor at a time. Once the crust goes on, it gets tough to identify. (I do not put slits or air holes in my pies to be frozen.)

I put my finished pies on a cookie sheet and set them in the freezer to flash freeze the top. Then, I put the lids (with a flavor label) and bands on them, set them back into their card board box, and stacked them in the deep freeze. (Before baking them, I let mine sit an hour to adjust to the climate with the lid on, and then remove lid and bake.)

I will be working on apple, apple/cranberry, and pecan this week. I'll throw some pics up when they are finished. Pies in a jar are a practical solution for individuals living alone, families with picky kids, or families that just can't seem to finish that 8 inch fruit pie. ;)

And just think of the possibilities. I make my own pot pies from scratch all the time. Why not in a jar?

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