Miniature baked goods, in muffin tins, have become quite a fad. Certainly cupcakes themselves are popular, but food blogs and Pinterest also feature countless recipes for miniature meatloaf, pizza, cheesecake… the list goes on. So certainly, I am not the first person to make miniature pies.
But, this recipe was not inspired by the “mini” craze (although I do like all things miniature). Instead, I was inspired by Bryan Fuller’s sadly short-lived series “Pushing Daisies.” If you like romance, intrigue, wit, and a touch of wonder, this show is for you. Click here for an introduction to the magic. In one episode, Chuck tries to get the traditionalist Ned the Pie Maker to add “cup-pies” to the menu of his restaurant, the Pie Hole. Ned initially tries to resist (like a certain stubborn someone I happen to know and love), but eventually is won over by his childhood sweetheart Chuck (and, I like to think, the cuteness of the cup-pies).
If the size doesn’t persuade you to make these, the flavors will. Fresh, ripe (and handpicked!) peaches mingle with a little dash of bourbon, honey, and spices to create a warm and complex filling with a bit of a bite.
Bourbon Peach “Cup-pies” [makes about 10 pies]
Crust [from Smitten Kitchen]:
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tbs sugar
pinch of salt
2 sticks butter, very cold and chopped into small pieces
1/2 cup cold water
In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, and salt. Knead in the butter until it is broken into pea-sized pieces (you still want to be able to see the butter pieces– this is what create a flaky crust). Add the water, mixing until a mass of dough forms. Knead into a ball, and split the dough into two pieces. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
Bourbon Peach Filling
6-8 medium sized peaches, peeled, cored, and diced
1/2 cup light brown sugar
2 tbs butter
1 tbs honey
1 tsp cinnamon
dash of nutmeg
dash of ground cloves
3 tbs cornstarch
1 tbs bourbon
In a large saucepan, combine butter and sugar. Heat on low until butter has melted and sugar liquefies. Add peaches, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, honey, and cornstarch. Cook until the mixture bubbles and thickens (about 10-15 minutes). Stir in bourbon.
Preheat oven to 350 F. Butter muffin tin. Roll chilled dough to about 1/4 inch thickness. Using a cookie cutter or glass (I used a martini glass!), cut circles out of the dough– they should be large enough to fit the muffin cups, with a little bit overhanging on the edges. Fill cups with pie filling. Top each cup with a slightly smaller circle (I used a drinking glass to cut these circles). Pinch the dough edges together. Before baking, brush the tops of the pies with melted butter and sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the tops of the pies are firm and golden.