Almost forgot to share this part of my Halloween Costume...Mini Meat Pies
Arguably the most important accessory for a Mrs. Lovett costume, the meat pie. I don't have any in-progress, cooking shots, but here's how I made mine...
Tools: Besides the usual pots, pans, bowls, beaters, measuring cups, pot holders, etc...
- mini muffin pan
- parchment/freezer paper (cut into strips)
- tart tamper
- food processor/blender
Ingredients: (proportions not included, since I ended up with a bunch of filling leftover that I had to freeze)
- Ground Beef (1/2 lbs would probably serve)
- Ground Pork (1/2 lbs would probably serve)
- Savory and other spices
- bay leaf
- cream, half-n-half, or milk
- 6 oz cream cheese, softened
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 2 cups flour
2. Make gravy from the reserved juices, adding flour and cream/half-n-half/milk, and gravy master (if you have it is handy) as desired/needed.
3. Since I was making mini-pies, I knew the chunks of ground meat wouldn't settle/fill them up correctly, so I opted for pureeing part of the meat mixture (about three-quarters) in the blender, using the gravy to smooth it out (find and remove bay leaf if you used one). The result is a little nasty looking, slightly reminiscent of slop served in school lunches back in the day.
4. Prepare 'crust'. For mini-pies, I find this cream-cheese based recipe works better, creating a smooth dough that holds together. First, cream butter with the cream cheese. Add the flour and mix well.
5. The original recipe I used for this says it makes 48, but I got 24 and barely enough for the mini-pie top crusts. Cut parchment/freezer paper strips and lay across the cups in the mini-muffin pan (these work like little tabs and let you easily pull the pies out after baking). Form little balls of dough, place on top of strips in cups, and use a tart tamper (frequently flouring) to press into a tart shell shape.
6. Fill the crusts with the meat filling. Roll out and cut rounds (I magically had the perfect size glass to do this with) out of the remaining dough for the top. The cream-cheese base also makes it very easy to stick the top crusts onto the shells. Cut tiny slits in tops to vent (probably not necessary) and for decoration.
7. Bake at 350 degrees F until golden brown.
8. Have a little priest...