by Dennis Weaver

When I was a kid, after school my friends and I would trek over to the little neighborhood grocery and stock up on goodies before catching the bus.  I only remember buying two things: Ice cream sandwiches and little Hostess fruit pies. They’re simple.  You can make a batch of six little pies faster than you can make your favorite pie recipe.  I still like the little pies but I like homemade better.

How to create your own little cream pies 

It’s fun to experiment with these little pies.  You can use fresh fruit or a pastry filling.  Pastry fillings are quick, easy, and economical.

For a long time, we made little pies like lemon, apple, and blueberry—straight-up fruit pies.  Then we discovered Bavarian cream and cream cheese fillings and started making fruit and cream pies.  Now they are our favorites.  We’ve made blueberry cream cheese, blueberry lemon, mixed berries and cream, banana cream, and peaches and cream pies.

You can add Bavarian cream or cream cheese fillings to fresh fruit too.  A peaches and cream little pie is scrumptious. So is fresh or frozen raspberries and cream.  So is cherries and cream cheese.

Choose your Bavarian and other fillings here. 

We make our pies in batches of six.  We use a just-add-water pie crust mix because it makes agreat pie crust simply and quickly.  Two cups of mix and 1/3 cup plus one tablespoon cold water is perfect for six little pies.  Add the water and beat with paddle attachment in your stand-type mixer for about a minute.  You pie crust will be as good as any bakeshop.

Since each pie requires 1/3 cup filling, we made 2 cups of filling.  Our basic ratio of fruit to cream filling was one cup of each—so one cup of raspberries to one cup of Bavarian cream and one cup of blueberries to one cup of cream cheese filling.

Our peaches and cream pie was an exception.  Because there is such a high moisture content in peaches, we used 1 1/2 cups of peaches to only 1/2 cup Bavarian cream.  We didn’t have any fresh strawberries but we would use the same the ratio with strawberries as with peaches.

We used both fresh fruit and individually frozen berries.  We thawed the berries in the microwave before using them.  The pies worked best with room temperature pastry filling.

Get a professional pie crust mix here. 

Here’s how to make your little pies.

  • Step 1: Mix and roll out the pie crust.
  • Step 2:  Use a dough press to cut out six circles for the little pies.
  • Step 3: Mix your filling—usually a combination of fruit and Bavarian cream or a packaged pie filling mix.
  • Step 4: Place the circles in the press one at a time.  Press about 1/3 cup filling into the center.  Brush the edges with water and fold and crimp with press.  Place them on a baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees for about 16 minutes.
  • Step 5: Mix up your icing using powdered sugar, a little water, and flavor.  If you would like a hard shell on the frosting, add a couple tablespoons of meringue powder.  Once you have moved the little pies from the pan to a rack to cool, frost them.

Do you have to use a dough press to make your little pies?

No, you can trace your circles with plate or a lid and then seal the edges with a fork but a press is handier, easier, and will create a surer seal.  Here are the keys to using a press for your pies:

Keys to Using Your Dough Press

  1. Just as your dough sticks to your counter, it will stick to the surface of your dough press.  Dust your dough press with a little flour just as you dust the counter and your little pie will slip right out.
  2. Don’t overfill your dough press.  One-third cup filling will give you a nice, plump little pie.  The concave surface of your dough press will cradle the filling so that it won’t spill as you close the lid.
  3. Brush the edges of the dough with water with a pastry brush.  You need wet surfaces so that the layers of dough will bind and seal.
  4. Use a fork to poke three or four sets of venting holes in the crust.  The filling will expand with steam as it bakes.  Without venting holes, your little pie will split open.
  5. Press firmly to seal the two edges together.

We used a quarter cup, spring loaded, ice cream scoop and filled it above the rim to approximate 1/3 cup of filling.  That way, we could scoop and plop to load our pie shells quickly.  Pretty nifty.

Get a dough press here. 

Raspberry and Cream Little Pie Recipe

You can make raspberry and cream little pies with either fresh or frozen raspberries or with raspberry pastry filling.  This recipe uses pastry filling and makes very scrumptious pies.

With only two ingredients in the filling, this is super easy and quick.

2 cups just-add-water pie crust mix for six turnovers
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoons cold water
1 cup raspberry pastry filling
1 cup Bavarian cream at room temperature

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

  1. Mix the pie crust mix and water.  Roll out the pie crust until it is just less than 1/4-inch thick.
  2. Use a dough press to cut out six circles for the little pies.
  3. Mix the raspberry filling and the Bavarian cream together.
  4. Place the circles in the press one at a time.  Scoop about 1/3 cup filling into the center.  Brush the edges with water and fold and crimp with press.  Place the completed pie on the baking sheet.  Repeat with the remaining five dough circles.  Poke four sets of vent holes in each pie to allow steam to escape as the pies bake.
  5. Bake for about 16 minutes or the pies begin to brown.  Remove to a wire rack to cool.

For the icing:

You may use whatever flavor you prefer: vanilla, brown sugar caramel, orange, lemon, butter rum, butterscotch, or more.   For these pies, we used brown sugar flavor.

Make your icing by mixing 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar with 1 1/2 tablespoons meringue powder.  Add 2 to 3 tablespoons water and 1/2 teaspoon flavor.   Mix until smooth and spreadable adding more water as necessary.  Do not make the frosting too thin.  Drizzle the frosting over the completed apple pies using a disposable pastry bag or a zipper-type plastic bag with the corner cut.

Blueberries and Cream Cheese Little Pie Recipe

This recipe uses cream cheese filling instead of Bavarian cream abut it is good with either. Again, with only two ingredients in the filling, this is super easy and quick.

2 cups just-add-water pie crust mix for six turnovers
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon cold water
1 cup individually frozen blueberries thawed in the microwave
1 cup cream cheese filling at room temperature

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

  1. Mix the pie crust mix and water.  Roll out the pie crust until it is just less than 1/4-inch thick.
  2. Use a dough press to cut out six circles for the little pies.
  3. Mix the blueberries and the cream cheese filling together just until combined.
  4. Place the circles in the press one at a time.  Scoop about 1/3 cup filling into the center.  Brush the edges with water and fold and crimp with press.  Place the completed pie on the baking sheet.  Repeat with the remaining five dough circles.  Poke four sets of vent holes in each pie to allow steam to escape as the pies bake.
  5. Bake for about 16 minutes or the pies begin to brown.  Remove to a wire rack to cool.

For the icing:

You may use whatever flavor you prefer: vanilla, brown sugar caramel, orange, lemon, butter rum, butterscotch, or more.   For these pies, we used lemon flavor.

Make your icing by mixing 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar with 1 1/2 tablespoons meringue powder.  Add 2 to 3 tablespoons water and 1/2 teaspoon flavor.   Mix until smooth and spreadable adding more water as necessary.  Do not make the frosting too thin.  Drizzle the frosting over the completed apple pies using a disposable pastry bag or a zipper-type plastic bag with the corner cut.

Blueberries and Lemon Little Pie Recipe

We’ve always been partial to blueberries and lemon together.  This recipe uses lemon filling with the blueberries.   Again, with only two ingredients in the filling, this is super easy and quick.

2 cups just-add-water pie crust mix for six turnovers
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon cold water
1 cup individually frozen blueberries thawed in the microwave
1 cup lemon pastry filling at room temperature

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

  1. Mix the pie crust mix and water.  Roll out the pie crust until it is just less than 1/4-inch thick.
  2. Use a dough press to cut out six circles for the little pies.
  3. Mix the lemon filling and blueberries together.
  4. Place the circles in the press one at a time.  Scoop about 1/3 cup filling into the center.  Brush the edges with water and fold and crimp with press.  Place the completed pie on the baking sheet.  Repeat with the remaining five dough circles.  Poke four sets of vent holes in each pie to allow steam to escape as the pies bake.
  5. Bake for about 16 minutes or the pies begin to brown.  Remove to a wire rack to cool.

For the icing:

You may use whatever flavor you prefer: vanilla, brown sugar caramel, orange, lemon, butter rum, butterscotch, or more.   For these pies, we used lemon flavor.

Make your icing by mixing 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar with 1 1/2 tablespoons meringue powder.  Add 2 to 3 tablespoons water and 1/2 teaspoon flavor.   Mix until smooth and spreadable adding more water as necessary.  Do not make the frosting too thin.  Drizzle the frosting over the completed apple pies using a disposable pastry bag or a zipper-type plastic bag with the corner cut.

Mixed Berries and Cream Little Pie Recipe

We used mixed berries, individually frozen, for this recipe and paired it with Bavarian cream

2 cups just-add-water pie crust mix for six turnovers
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon cold water
1 cup individually frozen mixed berries thawed in the microwave
1 cup Bavarian cream filling at room temperature

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

  1. Mix the pie crust mix and water.  Roll out the pie crust until it is just less than 1/4-inch thick.
  2. Use a dough press to cut out six circles for the little pies.
  3. Mix the berries and the Bavarian cream together.
  4. Place the circles in the press one at a time.  Scoop about 1/3 cup filling into the center.  Brush the edges with water and fold and crimp with press.  Place the completed pie on the baking sheet.  Repeat with the remaining five dough circles.  Poke four sets of vent holes in each pie to allow steam to escape as the pies bake.
  5. Bake for about 16 minutes or the pies begin to brown.  Remove to a wire rack to cool.

For the icing:

You may use whatever flavor you prefer: vanilla, brown sugar caramel, orange, lemon, butter rum, butterscotch, or more.   For these pies, we used lemon flavor.

Make your icing by mixing 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar with 1 1/2 tablespoons meringue powder.  Add 2 to 3 tablespoons water and 1/2 teaspoon flavor.   Mix until smooth and spreadable adding more water as necessary.  Do not make the frosting too thin.  Drizzle the frosting over the completed apple pies using a disposable pastry bag or a zipper-type plastic bag with the corner cut.

Peaches and Cream Little Pie Recipe

I love fresh peaches and peach pie so I’m very partial to this pie recipe.  We could have added cinnamon and a little nutmeg to the recipe but if you have good peaches, you don’t need to.

2 cups just-add-water pie crust mix for six turnovers
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoons cold water
1 1/2 cups fresh peaches, peeled and diced
1/2 cup Bavarian cream filling
2 tablespoons granulated sugar

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

  1. Mix the pie crust mix and water.  Roll out the pie crust until it is just less than 1/4-inch thick.
  2. Use a dough press to cut out six circles for the little pies.
  3. Mix the sugar and the Bavarian cream together.  Add the peach dices and fold in.
  4. Place the circles in the press one at a time.  Scoop about 1/3 cup filling into the center.  Brush the edges with water and fold and crimp with press.  Place the completed pie on the baking sheet.  Repeat with the remaining five dough circles.  Poke four sets of vent holes in each pie to allow steam to escape as the pies bake.
  5. Bake for about 16 minutes or the pies begin to brown.  Remove to a wire rack to cool.

For the icing:

You may use whatever flavor you prefer: vanilla, brown sugar caramel, orange, lemon, butter rum, butterscotch, or more.   For these pies, we used brown sugar flavor.

Make your icing by mixing 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar with 1 1/2 tablespoons meringue powder.  Add 2 to 3 tablespoons water and 1/2 teaspoon flavor.   Mix until smooth and spreadable adding more water as necessary.  Do not make the frosting too thin.  Drizzle the frosting over the completed apple pies using a disposable pastry bag or a zipper-type plastic bag with the corner cut.

Banana Cream Little Pie Recipe

Most banana cream pies are made with uncooked bananas so we were a little cautious with this recipe.  But the bananas–even though they were cooked–buried in all that Bavarian cream, were excellent.  The filling is very much like an old-fashioned banana pudding.

2 cups just-add-water pie crust mix for six turnovers
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoons cold water
1 cup ripe, sliced bananas
1 cup Bavarian cream filling at room temperature

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

  1. Mix the pie crust mix and water.  Roll out the pie crust until it is just less than 1/4-inch thick.
  2. Use a dough press to cut out six circles for the little pies.
  3. Mix the bananas and the Bavarian cream together.
  4. Place the circles in the press one at a time.  Scoop about 1/3 cup filling into the center.  Brush the edges with water and fold and crimp with press.  Place the completed pie on the baking sheet.  Repeat with the remaining five dough circles.  Poke four sets of vent holes in each pie to allow steam to escape as the pies bake.
  5. Bake for about 16 minutes or the pies begin to brown.  Remove to a wire rack to cool.

For the icing:

You may use whatever flavor you prefer: vanilla, brown sugar caramel, orange, lemon, butter rum, butterscotch, or more.   For these pies, we used vanilla flavor.

Make your icing by mixing 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar with 1 1/2 tablespoons meringue powder.  Add 2 to 3 tablespoons water and 1/2 teaspoon flavor.   Mix until smooth and spreadable adding more water as necessary.  Do not make the frosting too thin.  Drizzle the frosting over the completed apple pies using a disposable pastry bag or a zipper-type plastic bag with the corner cut.

What You’ll Need: