Mini Cranberry Potpies
The only thing better than pie? A pie all to ourselves. Enter Erin McDowell’s mini cranberry potpies, which are festive, unfussy and—best of all—portioned for just one person. (OK, maybe two.)
“I really like serving these at fall dinner parties or even Friendsgiving,” the author of The Fearless Baker tells us, “when you want something festive but also unexpected. The best part about a cranberry filling is that the fruit naturally thickens up a lot on its own, so you don’t have to add a bunch of other ingredients, and you never have to worry about it being too runny or too juicy. It’s very simple.” (And, we might add, tasty.)
If you don’t have mini pie dishes or ramekins, any kind of oven-safe dish will work. “It’s easily modified to any size,” McDowell says, “so you could even make it in a nine-inch square baking dish if that’s what you have.”
Just one more reason to love this pie.
20 ounces (567g) cranberries, thawed if frozen
Zest and juice of 1 orange
¾ cup (159g) light brown sugar
¼ cup (78g) maple syrup
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¾ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 sheets (454g) puff pastry, thawed
Egg wash, as needed for finishing
Whipped cream or ice cream, for serving
1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Place six to eight individual-size baking dishes or ramekins on a baking sheet.
2. In a medium saucepan, cook the cranberries, orange zest and juice, brown sugar and maple syrup over medium-low heat until the cranberries start to soften and become juicy, 6 to 8 minutes.
3. Add the cinnamon, ginger and salt, and continue to simmer over low heat until the cranberries burst and the mixture thickens a bit, 7 to 9 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter and vanilla. Ladle the mixture into the prepared ramekins and cool to room temperature.
4. While the cranberry mixture cools, prepare the puff pastry. Working with one piece at a time, cut each piece of dough into three or four rounds just larger than the size of your ramekins using a paring knife or pastry wheel. Transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet and chill in the refrigerator while you work on the second piece of dough.
5. Lightly brush the chilled rounds of dough with egg wash. If desired, you can decoratively score the dough with a sharp paring knife (use the tip of the knife to cut partially into the surface of the dough but do not pierce all the way through). Using a small cookie cutter or paring knife, cut a small vent from the center of the round (you can also just cut a slit in the center).
6. Gently transfer the prepared pieces of dough to the surface of the ramekins, pressing firmly at the edges to seal or using a fork to crimp the edges all the way around.
7. Transfer to the oven and bake until the pastry is deeply golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool for at least 10 minutes before serving. Serve with whipped cream or ice cream, if desired.