Baking small pies

(Recipe #16, pages 121 – 122)

Flaky pastry is the best, but puff paste will also work well. Roll it out thinly, using a tumbler cut out twice as many pastries as the number of pies to be made, and place half on a sheet of paper placed on a baking sheet; using a smaller tumbler, cut out the centers to form rims, which must fit precisely on the bottom crusts. To help the pie hold together, brush the edges of the bottom crusts with cold water before placing the rims on them.

Depending on the particular recipe, the crusts are baked before or after being filled. Bake in a moderate oven and check on them after 10 minutes; the best way to test whether a pie is done is to break through the crust. The filling should be thick but not too stiff; fill baked crusts while the filling is piping hot; if the crusts are puff paste, the interiors must be indented a bit. Bring the pies hot to the table.

If the pies have been taken to a bakeshop to be baked, as is quite easy to manage in cities and towns, and they are not piping hot when picked up, set them in a hot oven for 5 minutes before filling them.

Note: The pieces of dough left from the cutting of the rims can be brushed with egg, sprinkled with a mixture of coarsely chopped almonds, sugar, and cinnamon, and baked until they begin to brown. They may be served as dessert or at tea.

Translated by David Green.

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