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Book Review: 175 Best Mini Pie Recipes (W/ Recipe)

I am feeling like this should be a week of cookbook reviews! With my brother visiting recently, I had a hungry mouth to share in recipe tasting so I delved into my pile of books waiting for me – and got baking!

Don’t be like Sarah. Lose your fear of pie crust as early on as you can. Sure it is hard work (all that rolling), but yum…..sweet pies? Savory pies? An entire section devoted to vegetarian savouries? Many of the other recipes boasting gluten-free and vegan options? All of that, and full color photos await you in 175 Best Mini Pie Recipes: Sweet to Savory.

Fear of pie crust you ask? OK, maybe you didn’t, but hey….anyhow, my Mom was always so good at crusts, I not so much. They seemed so intimidating growing up. All that rolling (yeah, OK, I was lazy). Of course she used luscious really bad for you trans fat shortening…but it was a different era then. With a food processor and arm muscles from working out, making pie crust isn’t daunting and can actually be …easy! But I have also found that cutting corners on fat (be it vegan or dairy) doesn’t make for a tender crust. So while fun to make, this is a treat. A real treat, once in a rare time! So enjoy that hand pie, slowly, and be sure to lick the sugar off your fingers after….


Hand Pie Dough (Page 27)

(Recipe is written according to the book, with vegan options after dairy ingredients)


  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp fine sea salt
  • 7 ounces cold butter or Earth Balance Buttery Stick, cubed
  • 2/3 cup buttermilk or plain milk (non-dairy or dairy) + 1 tsp apple cider vinegar


In a food processor fitted with the metal blade, pulse flour, sugar, baking powder and salt to combine.

Scatter butter/Buttery Stick overtop and pulse several times, until pieces are the size of peas.

Drizzle half the buttermilk over flour mixture and pulse 5 times to combine. Add more buttermilk 1 Tbsp at a time, pulsing after each addition, just until dough begins to hold together in moist clumps.

Transfer to a large piece of plastic wrap and shape into a ball. Flatten into a disk and wrap tightly in plastic. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Makes about 1¼ pounds dough.


This can be made ahead and refrigerated for up to two days or frozen for up to one month. If frozen, thaw overnight in the refrigerator before using.


Apple Hand Pies (Mom’s Mini Apple Pies, pages 56-57)

(Recipe is written according to the book, with vegan options after dairy ingredients)


  • 1 Tbsp unsalted butter or Earth Balance Buttery Stick, for vegan version
  • 3 apples, peeled and chopped (preferably crisp apples)
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • ¼ cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp ground ginger
  • ¼ tsp ground allspice
  • 1/8 tsp fine sea salt

Cinnamon Sugar:

  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon


  • 1 recipe Hand Pie Dough
  • 1 large egg + 1 Tbsp water, lightly beaten or ¼ cup water for vegan version


Filling –

In a medium skillet over medium heat, melt butter (or buttery stick). Add apples, granulated sugar and lemon juice. Cook, stirring often, 4 to 5 minutes. Drain off liquid and transfer tpo a medium bowl. Add brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, ginger, allspice and salt and toss to blend. Set aside to cool completely.

Cinnamon Sugar –

In a small bowl, combine sugar and cinnamon. Set aside.

Pies –

Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.

Divide dough into halves. Roll out to 1/16th inch thick. (My technique is rolling the dough between 2 layers of parchment paper, then doing the final rolling with the top layer removed.)

Cut out 16 5″ circles, re-rolling the scraps as needed. Set on the prepared baking sheets. Brush the edges of the circles with the egg wash or water, place about 2 Tbsp filling in the center of each circle, fold over and seal, pressing the tines of a fork around to seal/crimp. Brush the tops of the pies with more egg wash or water, sprinkle the cinnamon sugar all over.

Place baking sheets in freezer for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, heat oven to 375°. Place oven racks in upper and lower thirds.

Use tip of a sharp knife to cut 3 slits in top of each pie. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, switching positions of baking sheets halfway through, until puffed and golden brown and filling is bubbling. Let cool on baking sheets on wire racks. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Makes about 16 pies.


The pies can be fully assembled and frozen for up to one month. Freeze on baking sheets, then transfer to zip-top bags and seal. Bake as directed above.


FTC Disclaimer: We received a review copy of the book for potential review.

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