How A Shot Glass Is The Trick To Perfectly Shaped Mini Pie Crusts

If you want to use a variety of pie fillings, make serving it more convenient, or simply don't have a regular pie tin, making mini pies is a great option. Instead of using one big crust, you cut out individual ones with a round cookie cutter and press them into a cupcake pan. It sounds easy enough, but there's actually more room for failure. 

As Serious Eats explains, unlike full-sized pies, which are cut and served directly from the pie tin, mini pies are fully removed from the muffin pan. But if sugar leaks out during the baking process, it'll harden and cause the pie to stick to the pan, making it difficult to remove without damaging it further. Perforations and dough that's too thin can easily cause this leakage. However, it can be hard to avoid, especially because you need to press the dough into each cup. 

Handling the dough carefully, therefore, is essential, and that's where a shot glass can come in handy.

Use a shot glass next time you make mini pies

It's common to use the rim of a regular drinking glass in place of a cookie cutter if you're cutting out mini pie crusts, and a shot glass can be just as helpful. According to influencer Jennifer Switzer, who goes by @beyond.the.butter on Instagram, the bottom of a shot glass can actually be used to press the dough into the cupcake tin. As she demonstrated in a video post, it only takes one swift motion and the dough is fitted perfectly into the pan. There's no excessive handling or poking, so there's less risk of the dough forming holes or cracks — and it looks much cleaner, too.

With this hack, King Arthur Baking says you can even skip rolling out the dough and cutting it into circles, and instead place balls of dough directly in the tin. When you press it down with a shot glass (or spice jar if you don't have one, per King Arthur Baking's suggestion), it will form a pie shell with minimal effort.