It seemed like a good idea… small individual pies baked in muffin tins.

I made an oil crust, following the instructions to press the dough into the pan with my fingers instead of rolling and cutting it. In this case the pan was twelve muffin cups, and I understand now why many of the pictures of these small pies show them made with really thick crust… it was extremely difficult to press out the dough to be as thin as I wanted it to be.

For the filling I used some of my frozen apples that I had mixed with cinnamon and sugar. I re-cut the apples into smaller pieces and really packed them into each crust so the little pies wouldn’t be skimpy on the filling.

I used the same oil dough for the top crust but just crumbled it over the apples, keeping the top of the little pies even with the top of the muffin tin cavities. A rounded tablespoon of crumbled dough covered the apples without being a lot of crust.

By the time I put the little pies in the oven, I was thoroughly tired of the whole project. BUT… once they were baked and looking so cute cooling on the rack, making little pies almost seemed like a good idea again. Individual pies would be a wonderful addition to a packed lunch or as a portion-controlled snack from the freezer, but I can’t say I enjoyed making them. Pressing the dough into the cups was fiddly and frustrating and very slow going, and as I was pressing out one crust, my other fingers kept gouging the crusts I had already pressed (there isn’t much room between those muffin cups!).

So will I ever make these little pies again? I’m not sure…

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My family like cream pies such as pumpkin. One Thanksgiving I made little pies. same as you, in muffin tins. I pressed in about 1/3-1/2 inch of graham cracker crust mixture and baked it for a few minutes before adding the pumpkin mixture. I added cream cheese to make sure it would retain its shape when removed from the tins.
They were lovely and very cute with a little layer of whipped cream at the table.
I am lousy with regular pie crust in general. Even my big pies are not attractive.
The pumpkin ones are not difficult at all. The most care was loosening them with a butter knife and sliding them out. I think I did butter the cups beforehand.
Just wanted to share my experience with tiny pies. :)
I enjoy your blog!


They do look cute! but I think turnovers make a nice lunchpail treat and they sure sound easier.


I had a similar experience. I rolled my crust but found that fitting a crust into the muffin pan cavities made the crust very thick. I did what you did and pressed it out thinner with my fingers but I’m not sure I would want to bother with these again. They are cute though aren’t they?


I agree – they’re time consuming. I can make big pies so much quicker but these are cute and like you say – nice for lunches. DH likes a sweet in his bag lunch. I made a tinful of pies and he takes one almost every day. So my vote is yes and no – I like the pies but not making them.


I’ve read that you can save the plastic thing from a push-up popsicle to help press the crust into your pan.

I agree that this is fussy work but my 15 yo daughter doesn’t mind it at all. She makes little pies in jars and freezes them for her daddy’s lunches. She gives them to him every birthday and Christmas. He’s a very happy recipient!


My mother has a thing called a “tart tamper” that she uses when she makes tassies. You can find them online or in kitchen-type stores. You take a ball of dough and put it into the muffin tin or tart pan and then squish it down with the tart tamper to make the crust without having to press each one out by hand. She has one that fits a mini-muffin tin and one that fits a regular muffin tin, but you can find them in all sorts of sizes. You have to kind of play around with the size of the pastry ball and the pressure you use to smash it to get the crust the thickness you want, but once you get a rhythm down, tart tampers make making tiny pies a LOT quicker and easier! If you like to make little pies and tassies frequently, finding a tart tamper could be a good idea!

I really love your site, by the way – my fella and I live off grid very primitively in the hills of West Virginia and we’re both always looking for ideas on how to do any particular thing more simply, less expensively, and/or more quickly.I found your site by looking for tips on dish washing and have ended up reading for longer than I’d planned!


I make muffin tin pies all the time, and trick to making them is to not do as most recipes instruct. What I mean is, don’t plop dough into each tin and press with finger tips. There are two good methods:
1. Roll out dough on countertop or through pasta machine and cut into circles, placing circles into tin and pushing down into the tin before filling. (I use the extra dough pieces from cutting circles to make small bite sized pie crust cookies.)
2. Place dough as instructed into each tin but instead of pressing down with finger, press with another muffin tin. Oil the bottom side of a muffin tin and place the second muffin tin over the first muffin tin (the one that has the dough in it) and push down. This will shape all twelve dough pieces as once. If when you raise the second tin from the first tin the dough sticks to the bottom of the second tin, just gently peel off and lay into first tin.

Hope that helps someone. :-D