Saturday, 22 December 2012

Recipe - Brie's Mini Pizza Pot Pies

Every once in a while you'll happen upon a blog that blows your mind, and that happened to me this week when I happened upon Brie's Darling Doodles.  I found it looking for something I wouldn't ordinarily be looking for online - crafts - and while I was there ended up having a gander at her recipes and came across her Mini Pot Pies recipe.  I had to try them.  Had to.

Those of you who properly know me, will know that I loved to cook - and that I lost my cooking mojo when I moved to this new house.  For those who don't, I cooked everything from scratch.  I'd make work for myself, if the truth be known.  My old house had a mahoosive kitchen and that's where I was most days, batch cooking, baking up a storm.  We had to move to provide an extra bedroom for our son and - you've seen the kitchen I have now, right?  This post here - third picture down.  This is where the magic is supposed to happen?  This is where I have to force myself to cook most days, but I am trying to get my groove back though!

My kids love homemade pizza.  We all do.  But with being a family of six, it's not always the most practical thing to make, I can only cook them two at a time, the kids all want to make their own their way, I can only fit one child at a time in the kitchen and what should be a fun experience can be quite stressy.

I'm very wary about copyright, especially when someone has taken the time to write a post for their followers, and take lovely pictures to go with it (yes, my followers, lovely pictures, I will try harder in 2013) - I don't want to plagurise.  I have contacted Brie to tell her I'd like to do a post on the pies, and what I've said I will do is link to her original post, where you can see her recipe and directions, and I'll put my pictures here on the blog with any changes or comments of my own.

So here - once more - is the recipe in it's original glory Mini Pot Pies... have a read of the post and then come back to see my pictures (so, so sorry...) and notes about the recipe.

Done?  Don't they look amazing?  Now for MY shamazing pictures.  *Cough*

Point 1 - unfortunately I didn't read Brie's ingredient list properly, too busy drooling at the pies, and I found the post the night before I went to do my Christmas food shopping.  The word that stuck out in my mind was 'Bisquik'.  You'll see she doesn't actually use that, she makes her own mix.  Those of you in the US will be familiar with it - don't know if it's a good or bad thing?  Those in the UK will be familiar with it from US recipes where it's left us scratching our heads and Googling frantically (for me - Bisquik?  WTH is Cilantro?  Is heavy cream the same as double cream?  Are Digestive biscuits the same as Graham crackers?)

I find Bisquik in Tesco, it makes everything, scones, pancakes, yorkshire pudding, steak au poivre (that one's a lie) and when I get it home, I realise I don't know what to do with the bloody stuff.  Do I add water to it?  Egg?  Milk?  What sort of batter am I making here?  How thick do I make it???  Help?  So I look again at Brie's recipe and I see that her homemade recipe has fat in it, which the Bisquik does in the form of vegetable fat.  Brie's has butter - and I don't like butter or margarine (except in cake #hypocrite) and I don't like pastries that taste overly buttery.  Bisquik also has skimmed milk powder in it, so after consulting with my husband we decide to add water.

I poured the Bisquik mix in a bowl and mixed while adding water to what I'd say was a cake mixture consistency.  I spooned this into the muffin tin and added the pepperoni.  Unfortunately this was too big and so I had to fold it to fit - not the best idea, I'll tell you why later.  The tomato sauce I used was plain old concentrated tomato puree watered down a bit.

And of course you can see above how my first six turned out.  I was immediately sent back into the kitchen to make some more.  Unfortunately I added a bit too much water to the mixture and the batter was now the consistency of  a thick pancake batter.  Also I only had 12 pieces of pepperoni left and each pie calls for two so I chopped some ham up and made some ham and cheese ones as well.

Batch no 2 - Pepperoni and Ham

Far from being the disaster I envisaged, with the runny batter - I found personally these worked better, in that - they came out of the muffin trays easier.  I ran a knife around the edges after they had been out of the oven for about 5 minutes and when cooler, they came out in one piece.  The first batch I made, the fillings seemed to have leaked out because the top and bottom batters had been too thick to bake together (if that makes sense).  These were more like Pizza muffins.  The next time I make them I may try to arrive at a happy medium - not as thick as the first lot, and not as runny as the second lot.

Point 2 - Because the pepperoni were bigger than the actual muffin holes, as you can see above I had to fold them.  It's not the cheapest thing to buy, and these I bought from Aldi for under £1.  They're much pricier elsewhere.  Unfortunately, the nature of massive slices of pepperoni meant that when you bit into the pies, both slices of pepperoni came out in the first bite, dragging most of the other filling with it.  My daughter commented that these would be a lovely change for their school packed lunch boxes, even if cold, but perhaps it would be an idea to quarter the big slices of pepperoni first so it wasn't so messy.  That's my girl, always thinking when I'm not!

These were so, so simple to make and all it took was four ingredients, a Box of Bisquik, pack of pepperoni, bag of grated mozzarella cheese and a tube of tomato puree.  From start to finish these can be made in just over 30 minutes.  They tasted absolutely amazing and now we're all brainstorming as to what fillings we can use next time, my husband is talking about making bigger ones.  Men. 

Make sure you check out the rest of Brie's lovely blog, it's well worth some of your me-time, with a coffee and some cake maybe.  Bar of chocolate... you get me...

More recipes coming up soon - a very Merry Christmas to those who celebrate it and a Happy Holiday to those who don't!

M x

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