HARDWARE: 4 half pint mason jars
Pie Dough (any 9-in basic dough will do – including store bought- but if you need a basic recipe, check out Our Best Bites’ recipe)
Step 1: Make a topper and line the jar
Roll out a small handful of dough and roll it out to about ¼ inch thickness. Using the opening to one of the jars as a cookie cutter, cut out 4 circles of dough (these will serve as the tops to your pies) and set aside.
Use the rest of the dough to line the jars, taking small portions of the dough and pressing them into the jar. (No, you do not need to grease them) Make sure it's pressed all the way up to the top of the jar, or pretty close to it.
Step 2: Fill your jars with pie-like goodness
You'll need about ½ cup filling for each jar. Any filling will do – canned included. For the sake of this post and as a credit to Our Best Bites general awesomeness, I’ve posted their recipe below:
Basic Pie-in-a-Jar Filling (makes enough for 4 jars)
2 cups prepared fruit (pitted, diced, peeled, etc.)
2 tbsp brown or white sugar (adjust the amount of sugar based on the sweetness of fruit)
2 tbsp flour (more if fruit is particularly wet or moist; less if it's pretty dry)
1 tbsp butter (quartered and divided between the pies)
Seasonings/flavorings- cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla and almond extract, citrus zest etc)
When your filling is all combined, divide it between the jars and dot a pat of butter on top (about ¼ tbsp)
Step 3: Top it off
Be sure to cut slits into each pie top circle so steam can escape during baking. Place one of the pie dough circles on the jar.
When your topper is ready, slip it onto the top of the pie. It will be large enough that the outside edge goes up the side of the dough-covered jar a bit. Then use your finger or fork to press the 2 pieces of dough together to seal.
Extra tasty option: Brush pie tops with butter and sprinkle with sugar.
Alternative Step 3: Crumb it off
Another option is to do a crumb topping. (Our Best Bites to the rescue, again!)
Crumb Topping (for 4-6 pies)
¼ cup brown sugar
¼ cup flour
2 tbsp oats
¼ tbsp cinnamon
3 tbsp cold butter
Combine sugar, flour and cinnamon. Cut in butter. Add oats and stir to combine.
Step 5: Bake them or Freeze them
FREEZING: When your pies are all done and topped, place metal lids back on and seal them tight. Place pie goodness in the freezer. They should keep for a few months and can placed on a baking sheet and popped directly into a 375˚ F oven for ˚50 -60 minutes. (If you’re worried about putting frozen jars in a hot oven, feel free to let them warm up to room temperature first.)
BAKING: Preheat oven to 375˚ F. Remove the metal lids and place jars directly on a baking sheet. Bake for about 45 minutes, or until the tops are golden brown and the middles are bubbly. If you're baking them fresh and not frozen they take about 45 minutes.
Depending on your filling you can pop them right out of the jar and onto a plate or just eat them right out of the jar.