Thursday, June 18, 2009

Pie in a Jar: Better than pie glass in the head.

Some things are better not being in a jar like Bonsai Kittens (all the rage in 2001, Bonsai Kittens were a hoax created by MIT students in which kittens were supposedly stuffed into ornamental jars and sold), botulism (a bacteria that can appear on fruits and vegetables during home canning if proper precautions aren't taken) and anything detailed here. Other items like pickles, salsa, and pie are enhanced by spending time enclosed in glass walls.
I'm not much of an expert in the field of pickles and salsa (at least as far as this blog entry is concerned) so I'm not going to spend much time addressing their jar experiences. Instead, I'll be focusing on pies.
They are three reasons why pies in a jar are superior to their pan counterparts:

*jars act as serving containers so there is no need to go through the difficult process of trying to slice and serve a pie without it falling apart

*they are easy to freeze so there is no reason not to mass produce them

*there is slightly more crust when the pie is placed in a jar so if you love this part of the pie (like I do) then it means more of a good thing.

Pie in a Jar Recipe
(adapted from J-Fur's brain because she is the one that throws these beasts down)
Printable Version

For the Crust
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 cup cold unsalted butter cut into small pieces
1/4-1/2 cup ice water

Pie Filling:
We usually use store bought ones because we have found an excellent sour cherry filling at Sweetbay. But insert whatever filling you enjoy.

Make sure the jars have straight sides, you don't want them to be narrower at the bottom or the top because that will change the results. Our jars are six ounce Ball brand but I have seen pies made with jars anywhere from 4 oz to 8 oz. If you are planning on freezing them, make sure you have lids for the jars. Wide mouth ones will make the process of stuffing the crust inside much easier.

1. Put flour, salt and sugar in a bowl, blender or food processor. Add butter pieces and blend approximately 10 seconds. You want it to resemble a "coarse meal.

2. Add ice water drop by drop continuing to mix--- you want to the dough to hold together but not be too wet or gummy. Do not mix for more than 30 seconds.

3. Roll dough out on a piece of plastic wrap. Press down slightly. Chill for at least an hour.

4. After the dough has chilled begin filling the jars. The easiest way to do this is to break off little pieces, put them into the jar, and then smash them down until the sides are covered. Allow dough to hang over the sides of the jar.

5. Once the jar is completely covered with crust fill it to about 3/4 an inch below the top. Put on the top layer of crust. Crimp down the excess dough that you left hanging over the side of the jar.

6. Repeat the process until all jars are filled, dough is gone, or filling is exhausted.

7. To bake: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. If the pie was frozen, allow it to thaw, remove the lid and bake the bottom crust is brown (usually 20- 25 minutes). Adjust times for non-frozen pies.

Serve with whatever you normally eat pie with. J-Fur likes ice cream, I like mine plain. Additional pie in a jar resources located here and here.

Not sure if Pink Eyes (aka Damian) is a pie fan considering he has pie (or is it pint?) glass stuck in his head, something that socialized health care hasn't been able to remedy, but he certainly howls like it.

I don't like that the video cuts out the chorus, my favorite part of the song, and doesn't include the flute intro. To hear the recorded version click here.