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. Â 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.Â 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 andÂ 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).
PhilipOctober 18, 2011
While it seems useful to be able to make and reheat your own frozen minipies, it seems a waste of a hundred dollars for a glorified pie-crust-toaster, seeing as how the fillings have to be already cooked.
JerryOctober 19, 2011
Many of the reviews at Williams-Sonoma complained that you could only use puff pastry for the tops of the pies, saying that regular pie dough did not cook through on top. It seems like you used regular pie dough with success, right? Needing 2 different kinds of pie dough has initially kept me away from this machine.
The Sweet CupcakerOctober 19, 2011
I didn’t even know they made these! My only problem is that I assume you have to make pies with tops to them? Sometimes I don’t use the top part and instead leave it open.
NicoleOctober 19, 2011
Jerry – Yes, I only used my homemade pie crust dough for both the tops and the bottoms of these pies. I can see that if the reviewers were using frozen pie dough, it might be thicker than frozen puff pastry and might need to be rolled out extra thin before using. Some of those store bought crusts are quite thick!
Philip – I see your point, but many pies have fililngs that nee to be cooked or prepared in advance (lots of apple pies, for instance), so that wasn’t necessarily a drawback for me with this gadget. I like that I can make and eat my pies with a minimum of prep and cleanup – and that is something that I can’t do with regular full sized pies, so this turned out to be a treat for me!
NicoleOctober 19, 2011
The Sweet Cupcaker – No, you can make open-top pies with these quite easily. I only pictured double crust pies because I thought they were a little prettier.
Stephanie P.October 19, 2011
Did you have to roll out the dough for the top crust thinner than the bottom dough?
I also turned down this machine when finding out they were calling for 2 crusts, as I also make my own dough, I just found using 2 different doughs would be a finicky process.
I think I’m going to go for the mini pie pan you featured awhile ago, with the removable bottoms, and count on my Breville convection toaster oven for the baking!
Thanks for the review though, sometimes it’s hard to tell on shopping websites how good of cooks/bakers people are, and if they followed proper directions.
JerryOctober 19, 2011
Stephanie P – I purchased the Chicago Metallic Pie Pan and really love it, although the dough cutter than came with it seems to cut the dough a touch too small. Maybe I’m using it wrong! I also found that if this is to be a “handheld pie” the dough has to be a little thicker. I’m definitely more motivated to try out the Breville pie maker now that Baking Bites likes it. The mini size is probably more appropriate for apps.
NicoleOctober 19, 2011
Stephanie – No, I didn’t need to roll the crust thinner for the tops of the pies. It is, however, important that you use close to the full amount of filling (1/3 cup of whatever you’re using) to get an evenly browned top crust.
You definitely do NOT need a different dough for the top and bottom crusts. I think it might be throwing people off that they recommend puff pastry for the tops in the the instructions for using store bought pie dough. I’m bummed to see that, since homemade dough works so well!
Jerry – I thought that too, but when I firmly pressed the dough tamper down, it allowed the dough to spread to fit the pie shape just about perfectly. That said, giving your crusts an extra roll after you cut the shapes should give them just enough extra spread, too.
ImpassionedPlatypiOctober 21, 2011
Damn! Amazon doesn’t seem to have these! Luckily, Nostalgia Electrics seems to make something similar that is on Amazon for way, way cheaper.
CheekyNovember 2, 2011
I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE my Breville pie maker! After reading the thread, I don’t understand some of the scrutiny behind it.
I have found, like many of my kitchen gadgets, it’s trial and error. With this pie maker, I’ve used homemade pie crust, the store bought refrigerated pie crust, puff pastry, gluten free pie crust, even pizza dough! Yes, it was all AMAZING!
I found the secret to the perfect mini pie is to fill it as much as possible (I’ve found this to be especially true with the store bought refrigerated pie crust) despite what I’ve read or was recommended. It gives it that gorgeous ’rounded’ dome. I also apply an egg wash to give it that nice sheen you get with oven baked pies.
It may take a bit longer to prepare, but knowing I can make several different pies at the same time as well as using ingredients that are organic and/or natural (which is extremely important to me) is well worth it.
TJ CupeDecember 28, 2011
I currently make my pies with whole wheat, fat-free pizza dough or with whole wheat tortillas in order to restrict the fat (at doctor’s request). Will either of these work in this pie maker?
Bobby McGovernJanuary 4, 2012
I just bought the Breville Pie Maker and I’m going to use it this afternoon for the first time. The instruction / recipe book that came with the machine is downright awful. I can see where the two different crust recommendation would totally turn some people off (had I read this before purchasing I wouldn’t have bought it). They make no mention of using homemade crust at all. They didn’t even include a crust recipe which lead me to question whether you could even use homemade crust. I’d like to have a ready supply of precut crusts ready in the fridge. What would you suggest using to keep them separate and how long could they be kept in the fridge?
NicoleJanuary 4, 2012
Bobby – Homemade crusts are the way to go and you’ll get great results. If you are pre-cutting your crusts, I would stack them in 4s with small pieces of parchment/wax paper in between and seal them up well in plastic wrap. They should keep for 1-3 days in the fridge.
If you want to store them longer, simply freeze them and defrost them in the fridge for several hours (still wrapped in plastic) before you need to use them.
ChrisJanuary 21, 2012
I have used pre made pie crust for both top and bottom of my pies. I roll out the dough for both parts just a little just as I would when making a full sized pie. I have also used puff pastry for both as well. A couple of nights ago I made a Philly cheese steak pie using buttered bread as crust. This also works well. You can use egg roll wrappers and crescent rolls for crust too. Use your imagination and get experimenting. It is so much fun!
jerryi978January 28, 2012
Has anyone try to make other baking goods in this unit. I was thinking of making small cakes… Does anyone know how long to leave cake batter in the mini pie units?
aprilFebruary 16, 2012
Hi. I recently purchased an older model (“pie ‘n’ pizza 4”, model PM-21) breville second hand. It makes 4 mini pies. I don’t have pie cutters or anything, but it does come with four ceramic pot-looking things that I imagine are for blind baking. Does anyone have a similar machine? If so, I’d appreciate any suggestions on how to operate it
aprilFebruary 16, 2012
Hi. I recently purchased an older model (“pie ‘n’ pizza 4”, model PM-21) breville second hand. It makes 4 mini pies. I don’t have pie cutters or anything, but it does come with four ceramic pot-looking things that I imagine are for blind baking. Does anyone have a similar machine? If so, I’d appreciate any suggestions on how to operate it. Thanks!
ChantelleMarch 18, 2012
I got my Personal Pie with Air Miles and so far so good! While my first batch of pies wasn’t great to look at, it sure was tasty (underfilled them)! Since, I’ve made pancake pockets (a scoop of pancake mix, some chopped banana and chocolate chips and another scoop of pancake mix on top) and pizza pockets (much the same w/ pizza dough and fillings). I have seen recipes for muffins and all sorts of things… this machine is a gem for the experimental cook like myself! Recommend!
AlyssaApril 8, 2012
I’ve wanted to buy one for a while now, but I saw a lot of not so happy reviews relating to the crusts, but your tips seem to solve all the issues others were having. Williams-Sonoma had it on sale this weekend and I can’t wait for it to arrive and play with it! Have you tried putting precooked scrambled eggs in the crust and baking (kind of like a breakfast pot pie)?
I hope you’ll post some more recipes in the future using it for us to try 🙂
CyndiAugust 13, 2012
I love, love, love this machine!!! I started by using canned pie filling and refrigerator pie crust because I didn’t want to waste my time making filling or crust if the machine didn’t work. I experimented, using puff pastry for some of the tops. I can say that the pie crust worked better because the pastry stretched. My husband liked the taste of the pie crust better too. Today I made 18 little quiches(no top crust) in about 35 minutes and they came out beautifully. I will freeze them and use them for breakfast guests in September when my son gets married. Clean up is a snap. I just wipe the insides and the machine comes clean as a whistle.I can’t wait to make chicken pot pies next. Oh, and you can make lattice tops too, they work perfectly and look so cute!!
Polly DuryeaNovember 1, 2012
I just purchased the pie maker and find these comments so helpful. I was nearly ready to return the maker if I needed to use puff pastry to tops. Wonder if pumpkin pie works?
MarcyDecember 16, 2012
Can anyone who’s experienced with the Breville MiniPie Maker share a healthier-than-regular crust recipe? Bought one for.mysf and one for both adult children who are both health nuts…thanks! Marcy
ConnieDecember 28, 2012
I recently had little pies like this unit makes at a festival I went to. I was hooked and had to have one of these dandy little machines for myself! I have looked at several models/brands at different stores and they all seem to make smaller pies (more like a snack size) than the ones I had at the festival. The machines say they make 4″ pies but these are the tiniest 4 inch pies I’ve ever seem! I’m looking for one that makes pies the size of the individual frozen meat pies that Swansons sells at the grocery store. Can anyone tell me about this one?
AnneFebruary 16, 2014
Have just acquired one of these pie makers from charity shop. There is no cutters unfortunately. Is it possible to buy some separately as my usual pastry cutters. Are too small . Anne
Brenda CloughMarch 30, 2014
I just found one of these Breville Personal Pie Makers at a Thrift store like brand new for $6.00. No instructions. When I came on line to get the instructions & read some of the reviews I thought I had wasted my money. I tried it out today & am thrilled with it. I used a package of Pillsbury ready rolled flakey pie crusts (2 in a package for a double crust pie.) for the top & bottom crusts. I rolled it a little thinner & using the scraps got 8 beautiful pies from it. I used a can of peach pie filling & chopped the pieces slightly smaller. I preheated the filling to warm it & I think it may have helped the top crust to bake completely as it bubbled up sooner & pushed the top crust up closer to the top plate. Reviews on another site talked of burnt crusts & difficulty removing the pies from the pie maker. But I had none of these problems. I think warming the filling made a difference all around. I can’t wait to try other types of pies with it especially the quiches that Cyndi mentioned. Love reading the other reviews, even the bad ones as they help with experimenting to insure success.
Frances HebertJanuary 7, 2015
Where can I purchase the pie tamper. I have the machine and love it. Bought it from a friend but didn’t have the tamper. Oh, and I also use the bought pie dough for bottom and tops. Works great . Thanks a bunch.
Carol KufnerFebruary 4, 2015
Just wanted to say thank you so, so much. Your dough recipe is the 5th one I have tried. Every other one would be a pain to get the bottom crust to brown, even with leaving the lid open for 20+minutes so heat would only go to the bottom crust.
Yesterday, complete and total SUCCESS with your pastry recipe and most valuable tips. Bottom was cooked to perfection. After so many failures I was about to give up until I tried yours. Can’t thank you enough.
Still working on getting the tops to brown properly. I think 1/3 cup does not seem to be enough (apple pie filling). I piled the filling high in the center and that was ok but I guess I didn’t put enough in around the sides so they looked a little underdone but were cooked.