Holiday Entertaining – Plan Ahead Mini Pies In Jars

I know I might be behind the times here, but this is something new to me.  There are lots of results out there when you search for pies in mason jars and I guess these were all the rage a few years ago, but I’ve never been one to follow the crowd — at least not when it’s popular.  Always a day late…

Anyway, planning holiday get-togethers can be very stressful, especially when it comes to planning the food.  I like to have as much of the menu done days in advance, weeks if possible.  That’s why I like freezing cookie dough.  Just one less thing to worry about and it gives me the freedom to make way too much.

Yes, I am one of those over-achievers when it comes to party planning.  Trouble is I usually have more ambition than time and then stress comes into play and there goes the joy in the holidays.  So, when I found the idea of making mini pies in tiny 4 oz. mason jars last summer, I put it on my “Wishful Thinking” to do list and hoped for the best.

Well, lo and behold, this year I have been fairly lucky in that I’m pretty organized and on top of things and I actually got to this little project.  What an awesome dessert!  I made four different type of fruit pies, baked a couple fresh for a test, froze the rest, and then baked up a few for a dinner party we had yesterday and they were an immediate hit.  Here’s what I did:

Mini Fruit Pies in 4 oz. Mason Jars

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  • Pie Crust (homemade or store-bought)
  • Pie Filling

After the mason jars are clean, line them with pie pastry.  This was a bit intimidating when I read about it, but it is so easy and fun that I know exactly what I am doing each and every time I have any leftover pie crust — making mini pies and freezing it.

If you are using fresh pie crust, you don’t have to roll out the dough unless you want to make a lattice or pie crust top. All you do is press pieces of the crust in the bottom of the jar and then work your way up the sides.  This took all of a few minutes to finish.  It’s quick and easy.  Even easier if you use store-bought pie crust.

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If you plan on topping your pie with pie crust, you will have to roll it out and use the lid from the jar as a cookie cutter to cut out top crust.

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Next you fill the pie with pie filling.  I filled to about 1/4 inch from the top and then either put on a pie crust top or a crumble topping.

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Plum Pies

Plum Pies

Grape Pies

Grape Pies

Apple Pie with Crumble Topping

Apple Pie with Crumble Topping

That’s it.

Now, if you want to bake right then, put jars on a lined cookie sheet (to catch any overflow) and bake at 350 for 40 to 45 minutes.  If the tops start to get too brown, you can cover loosely with foil.  Remove from oven and cool.

Otherwise, put on lid, screw the band on loosely and pop right in the freezer.  Then when you want to bake, remove jar from freezer and put in oven on lined cookie sheet.  Yes, put in oven FROZEN.  I did this yesterday and half thought the jars would crack — nope.  I put the pies on the cookie sheet, put them in the oven, then turned on the oven to 350 and baked for 55 minutes.  They turned out perfect.

I have to say that the pies I baked from frozen were neater.  For some reason when they were baked fresh the filling overflowed far more than when baked frozen.  This definitely means I’ll be baking them frozen, less mess.

One of my favorite things about the holidays is getting together with friends and family.  At times it can get hectic making entertaining more of a hassle.  Having these little pies ready in the freezer for holiday get-togethers takes just a bit of pressure off and made for a great conversation piece at my dinner last night, and for this I am — Simply Grateful.

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One response

  1. Pingback: Mini Sweet Potato Pies in Mason Jars | Simply Grateful Housewife

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