Over ONE HUNDRED wedding pies, made in mason jar lids.
Quite the undertaking.
But as I told my husband, if asked to do something like this again, I would definitely say yes!
How It All Started
My husband and I were enjoying dinner one night with the engaged couple (dear friends of ours). Of course, the conversation wandered to the wedding plans, and I volunteered to help with food for their reception.
It turned out that they wanted mini pies for dessert, instead of the traditional wedding cake.
I thought this was such a cute idea (especially after perusing pictures on Pinterest)!
The bride and I were both thinking I would make little pies baked in muffin tins. But then I found a recipe (don’t remember where) that used mason jar lids, and my mind was blown. Not only does it look so adorable, but you can pop them out and freeze them!
I am seriously so excited still, at this discovery. My husband is a pie-kind-of-guy, so mini pies are the perfect dessert for the two of us. 🙂
I talked to the bride (Allix) about it, and she liked the idea. She also wanted to serve the pies in the lids. So mason jar lid pies, it was!
Thankfully, my mom has a ton of canning supplies in her basement, so I was able to borrow the lids from her.
Allix and Daniel wanted pumpkin, chocolate chip pecan, and apple pies (complete with little lattice strips on top; how cute is that?).
I’ll admit, I was a little nervous about the chocolate chip pecan.
See, I have only tasted pecan pie once or twice, and never liked it. But I wanted to make a version with chocolate chips, that all the raving fans of pecan pie would be happy with.
And for ALL of the pies, one that my conscience would allow me to feed to people. I was DETERMINED to figure out a way to make all these little pies a bit healthier than “normal”…without someone biting into one, instantly screwing up their nose, and asking, “are these HEALTHY?”
For me, this was a compromise. See, I HATE feeding people junk…most of all, refined sugar. I won’t delve into it here, but it’s something I feel very strongly about.
When I make food for others, I want it to nourish them. I also want to delight their tastebuds, without relying on sugar, gluten, and other junk foods.
Of course, time and money are factors here, so it’s not always feasible to feed others what my husband and I would eat.
With the wedding pies, I was able to make them as healthy as possible, while keeping costs down and catering to the tastebuds of the wedding guests (after all, I was making these for someone else’s wedding. I didn’t want to force my eating habits on everyone there.)
So, I made some adjustments. They certainly weren’t Paleo. But they were “healthier” than your average pie.
Thankfully, I had a few friends to help out with making the pies. Even so, I BARELY made it in time for the wedding (poor planning on my part).
But I did make it, with all of the pies in one piece. They all turned out to be super cute, and everyone who commented on them said they tasted good…I was so relieved. 🙂
I didn’t get an exact final count, but I do know that it was a little over one hundred pies. Looking back, it seems pretty unbelievable.
Anyway, back to the pecan pies…
I looked up a bunch of recipes to see what ingredients were consistently used, and found this recipe that didn’t use corn syrup (woohoo!). So I left out the flour, milk, used some organic sugar (and left out some to begin with), and added mini chocolate chips.
For the crusts, I subbed butter for the olive oil in this recipe.
In spite of all the sugar, the pies were pretty delicious! 😉 Everyone I talked to said they tasted amazing!
After that experiment, I knew I LOVED chocolate chip pecan pie. I wanted to savor and enjoy this treat again, but without any refined sugar (organic or not), and not quite so sweet.
So, I recreated it with a few more healthy tweaks:
- Coconut sugar in place of white and brown sugar
- Monkfruit extract (a low-glycemic, low-fructose sweetener) to boost the sweetness without boosting the sugar impact (I used this brand)
- Unsweetened baking chocolate in place of chocolate chips. I find that dairy-free, naturally-sweetened chocolate chips can be pretty pricey, plus this was what I had on hand
- I also switched the butter for organic ghee (which you can make yourself)
- To keep it lower-carb, I made the Paleo Pie Crust from Elana’s Pantry with a few modifications (I wasn’t sure if it would work as is, for the fluted edges)
This recipe makes enough filling for about 5 mason jar lid pies. The crust is enough for 7 pies. You could freeze the extra crust, or make cutouts for the tops of the pies. Really, any gluten-free crust would work.
Enjoy this rich, nutty, chocolate-y dessert!
What’s your favorite kind of pie? Have you ever baked in a mason jar lid?