Breville’s new Personal Pie Maker is one kitchen appliance that got me excited when I first heard about it. It’s a countertop appliance that is slightly bigger than a waffle iron and it bakes individually sized pies in just a few minutes, cooking pie pastry from both sides with a hot, griddle-like surface. Regular pie making is not a difficult process, but it is time consuming while you wait for pies to bake and cool. You really can’t appreciate how much faster and easier the pie making process when using this appliance until you use it to bake your first batch of pies.
To use the pie maker, you need to make or buy some pie dough and prepare your filling.The dough will be rolled out and cut into rounds that are just the right size using an included dough cutter (it has a second size for cutting the smaller pastry tops), which are then pressed into the preheated pie cavities using an included dough press. The filling can then be added and the pies can be baked either open or after being enclosed with another piece of pastry. The pies bake in about 10 minutes, which is why the fillings (sweet or savory) have to be cooked before they’re added to the pie.
The Pie Maker works exactly as advertised. It is easy to use and there is something extremely satisfying about being able to tuck into your own freshly baked apple pie while it is still piping hot. You can bake open-face pies or double crust pies with the machine, too. The cutters Breville includes for cutting your dough rounds are exactly the right size, so assembling the pies couldn’t be simpler. The machine comes with instructions on using store bought dough and puff pastry, for those who are looking for a shortcut, but I make my own crusts a few days in advance and store the dough in the fridge so they’re ready to use at a moment’s notice. The pie dough bakes evenly inside and out, and the action of the Pie Maker seals them tightly as they cook, so no filling leaks out.
My favorite part of the Pie Maker is being about to make multiple pies at once with multiple fillings. I’ve literally made whole meals out of pie at this point (although I wouldn’t recommend doing that every night no matter how tempting it sounds!). The little pies are delicious when they’re freshly baked and the fillings are still hot. Since it is so easy to do multiple batches at once, however, it is also worth noting that pies can be baked in advance and frozen, then defrosted and re-crisped by putting them back into the pie maker for a few minutes.
Updated: I have always used homemade pie crust with this (recipe here!). It sounds like store bought dough might not work quite as well, judging from some other reviews. I’m all for the convenience of having an almost instant apple pie, but I strongly recommend using homemade pie dough for the crusts with this appliance for best results. Homemade dough turns out a flaky bottom crust and flaky top crust (if you’re doing a double crust pie).