Monday, July 16, 2012

Pistachio Mini Pies with Sourdough Shells

Sourdough Biscuits have already proven to be not so great at becoming biscuit cups. So I got to thinking about other ways I could make them, as I'm pretty fed up with the mess egg scrambles leave behind. Then I came across a new sourdough recipe site, and I came up with the idea of mini pie shells. And while I've got a whole host of new toys coming in from Amazon this week, including this Microwave Egg Poacher, I had to give it a try.

Normally, I don't like experimenting too much with a recipe right off the bat. But there were a lot of things I couldn't test out for my intended use without changing. For one thing, I figured a double crust would be too much, so I opted to halve the recipe...sort of. Once again, I ran into the problem of halving an odd number of thirds. So I made the decision to start with 3/4 cup and add more if necessary. The other major change was to use oil instead of shortening. This wasn't so much of a health swap (although that is a plus) as much as I didn't want this to be a flaky pie crust. I needed it to hold together well.

When I first made the dough, the consistency looked right with only the 3/4 cup of flour. So I kept it that way, let it rest for the prescribed half an hour while I scrubbed the counter and began the process.

Two things became apparent right away: It wasn't holding together well enough when rolled out as thin as pie crust should, and as such, there was no way that (when baked in a muffin tin, at least) it would hold even one egg scramble, let alone with cheese.

Disappointing, yes, but I did what any good chef would do. I dug up some pistachio pudding mix from the pantry and made mini pies!

Here is the recipe, as I made it:
Sourdough Pastry Crust
adapted from Sourdough Recipes
Makes 6-8 tart shells
3/4 cup Flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/3 cup cooking oil
1/4 cup fresh sourdough starter

  1. Mix dry ingredients in a small mixing bowl. Add oil and mix until the dry ingredients are incorperated.
  2. Mix in sourdough starter. Add additional flour or a small amount of water, if necessary to achieve proper consistency.
  3. Cover and let rest for 30 minutes.
  4. Spray a muffin tin with cooking spray. Roll dough out to desired thickness and press into muffin tin, trimming around the edges.
  5. Prick with a fork all over and weigh down with dried beans or marbles. Bake for 20-25 minutes at 350 degrees, until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack. Fill with desired filling and enjoy!

I do have to say the last shell, which I made more like a pinch pot, worked out much better than the other ones. So maybe that's the key. I do have a mini loaf pan, which would make them big enough to at least hold an egg. They tasted good enough to say I can't give this recipe two thumbs down. One up, one down. I will concede, though, that my way isn't always better. While my egg poacher (along with several other toys which will be making their appearance on this blog in the coming weeks and months) is on the truck for delivery as I type, I might have to do this again.

This time, though, I think I'll stick to the recipe.

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