“ Brand: Breville / Type: Pie-maker „
I first purchased one of these pie makers for a friends birthday as a bit of a joke. But she had the last laugh on me when I was invited round to dinner one day and she made me a cracking steak and kidney pie - after wich she announced that it was made on the pie maker that I'd purchased her some six months previous. It was then that I decided to treat myself to one, as my husband is a big fan of chicken and mushroom pies.
It's an attractive unit and is slightly bigger than my sandwich toaster. It's very robust.
Non-stick plates that can cook 4 pies all at once.
Includes pastry crimper, cutter and recipe booklet.
When you have prepared your pastry all you have to do is to roll it and grab the cutters. Firstly cut a circle with the large cutter and then place the pastry into the pie area, fill with a filling of your choice, greab the smaller cutter to cut the pastry top and then pop it on to the top of the pie - simple! Finsih off by crimping the edges and brush with a well beaten egg so that it comes out all nice and glossy looking.
The best thing about this gadget is that it can cook a decent sized pie in approx. 10 minutes. That's a third of the time it takes to cook a pie in my oven!! And it's all fresh with the ingredients' that I chose to put in it. Another handy hint is that if you have a fussy family like mine who always argue what they want in a pie you can put different fillings in each of the four pie. I usually do two curry pies, one chicken and mushroom and a steak and kidney pie. I haven do vegetarian pies for my niece and she loves them.
Even though the non-stick plates are supposed to be non-stick, I always ensure that I spray a little sunflower oil on or rub some butter in to ensure that they don't actually stick when lifting them out, otherwise the pie will be a massive flop.
Once again I'd recommend this nicely priced pie maker to anyone wanting to have full control over what that want to eat.
Purchased from Ebay for £29.99 including delivery.
This review is of the "Antony Worrall Thompson Gourmet Pie Maker", model VTP099, made by Breville. Although the machine is named after a celebrity chef who has certainly caused a range of different views, it certainly makes the machine name easier to remember than a random model number alone.
The pie maker itself is easy to use and can make four pies with around ten minutes cooking time. All the items that are needed to make pies, such as the pastry cutting and crimping tools are included with the product, so nothing else is needed other than the ingredients themselves.
There are a wide range of fillings which can be used, and a small booklet comes with the device with some suggestions. But there's no reason that the machine can't be used for pies as diverse as fruit pies to meat pies, indeed anything that can be eaten with pastry will probably work. Personally I found the machine superb for making small chicken pies, although it should be noted that they are quite small, so the amount of filling is a little limited.
There are also no long waiting periods required, it's a plug in and turn on machine which has two lights, a green and red, so you can see when the machine has warmed up and completed its operation. The unit also feels quite robust, especially given the relatively low price, so hopefully it should last for a reasonable period of time.
Indeed, some experimentation is inevitably required to get the cooking times just right, and to work out which pastries and ingredients work best. What this machine does allow you to do is at least do this quickly and efficiently, and with the minimum of mess and in the minimum amount of time. That is possibly the machine's biggest advantage, and practice should minimise the amount of problems making the pies and cutting the pastry.
Another advantage is the machine can be easily cleaned, there are non-stick surfaces, which can be wiped clean relatively easily. The portability of the machine also means that it can be taken into work or used by students in places where an oven clearly can't be taken.
There are some disadvantages, it does take some practice to get the pastry the right thickness and to get the timings right. I've also found that on occasions the pie top comes off, but it hasn't attached to the pie itself, which can make removing it from the pie maker rather fiddly and awkward. During my various attempts the top of the pie didn't however stick to the machine which I had thought that it might.
As referred to earlier, another disadvantage is that the machine does make relatively small pies which have a limited amount of filling. These smaller pies might not be to everyone's requirements, but it is likely necessary to ensure that the pies are properly cooked.
Care does though have to be taken to ensure that the contents of the pies aren't too liquidy, as this seems to soften the base of the pie so that the pastry goes all soggy. A first attempt to make an apple pie had this outcome, so it's essential to try and dry the ingredients as much as is reasonably possible to stop the pastry from becoming too soft.
The pie maker's recommended retail price is 47.99 pounds but it is currently available from Amazon for 21.26 pounds including free delivery. I had a look at a few different web-sites, but this is the cheapest that I've been able to find the machine for, although it's always worth shopping around of course just to be sure.
In summary, in terms of time and efficiency, this is much quicker and easier than using an oven, but doesn't give the same flexibility and precision. However in places where having an oven isn't possible, or time is limited, then this does produce perfectly good results. For the price that the pie maker is currently available for, I'd recommend it for the convenience, but some practice is required to get the best results.
I must start this review by saying that this was an impulse buy, when I say impulse I did see it in Sainsburys one night after I had finished work, but decided not to buy it. Once I got home all I kept thinking about was this pie maker and how I should have bought it. So the next night after work I rushed into Sainsbury hoping they still had some left and there was 2 on the shelf so I grabbed one.
This pie maker is made by Breville, but has Antony Worrall Thompsons name on it (this was one of the reasons why I didn't buy it in the first place!) who I'm not a great fan of. Being slightly larger than a Breville sandwich maker, but not huge and bulky.
This machine is silver in colour and has a hinged lid, on top of the lid are two lights, one is the red power light to let you know that it is plugged into the mains and the other is the ready to cook light. This lights up green when first switched on and when it has reached the correct heat it will go out and you will know that it is ready to use
On lifting the lid up you will see on the bottom there are 4 deep pie indentions with fluted edges, The top has 4 slightly hollow indentions and is also fluted round the edges. This pie maker also comes with 2 white plastic tool cutters, one is used to cut out circles of pastry for the base and the other one is used to trim the pastry lid on one side and when turned over this part is used to press the pastry into the base of the machine without burning your fingers.
Now I only buy the ready made pastry as I find this makes pie making much quicker, so armed with my packet I set about making my pies. First you have to cook your meat, just like you would with any pie. I chose to make some mince (savoury) and onion pies. So having cooked my mince and onion I'm ready to start, First I switched on the machine and I found that by the time I had rolled out my pastry the green light had gone off already. Carefully cutting out the pastry circles and pressing them into the base, I next spoon my mixture of mince and onions into the pasrtry base and quickly press the the lids into place and close the lid. This then takes about 10 minutes for the pies to cook. You have to be very careful not to overfill the pies with the filling as this will spill out and burn onto the pie maker.
Ten minutes later and the pies are cooked, looking pretty nice You have to carefully lift them out and then they are ready to eat. Make sure that you have well greased each pie mould otherwise you will have trouble getting them out without them splitting open, wich happened to me with one of the pies.
Once the pie maker has cooled down you can wipe it over with a damp cloth and it comes up lovely and clean really easily. So there is not a problem with cleaning it although of course you cannot immerse it into water as it is electric.
These are great little pies to make, but after a couple of times using this machine, Idecided to put it back into the box and it is now sitting at the back of the cupboard, I think if I am honest I would rather make one big pie in the oven, but having said that I don't think I have even made any pies for about a year so maybe thats the reason it is still in the cupboard. I think once my grandsons get a bit older I will then use this to make apple pies ect,.. with them in the kitchen as they will enjoy doing some cooking I'm sure. There is a nice little recipe book that comes with this, which has some nice ideas for pies like; Rhubarb and Custard pie, Pear, Chocolate and Date filo pies as well as some savoury pies like; Greek Spinach and Ricotta pie, Steak, Mushoon and Ale pies
I would say that if you really love pies then this is the machine for you, but if like me you can take them or leave them, then I would not bother buying one. I was lucky enough to get this Pie maker for £10.50 in Sainsburys, but the going rate for one is around £21.26 with the rrp being £47.99 which I think is a crazy price!
I was a bit dubious about this product at first as I wondered whether or not I would ever really take the time to use it. I figured my main use would be for fruit pies, and you can buy a pack of them so reasonably that it almost seems a waste of money and effort to make them. How wrong I was.
The machine is used often, both for sweet and savoury dishes. A roll of pastry is kept constantly in my fridge so that I just cut it out and choose a filling. Some cheap apples out the supermarket, some frozen fruit, left over mince or stew, chicken...you name it, I have filled a pie with it. There is nothing quite like small, hot steak pies on a cold day.
The machine itself is easy to use. You get the pastry cutter so there is no guess work involved, and as soon as you plug the machine it, it begins to heat up. Once you insert your pastry and your filling, it takes around 12 minutes to cook. I wish there was a timer that either beeped or at least showed you how long has passed, but for the price I suppose that would have been greedy.
The actual machine is easy to clean - it's non stick so a wipe down is fine and it's small enough that it can store easily in a cupboard on it's side. All in all, I think it's a machine that will probably speak for itself once you've tried it. As much as I told myself that I can buy a pack of apple pies from the shop - there really is no comparison between them and ones that are freshly baked.
I'm quite a thrifty cook and I like to make sure that no food goes to waste, so usually turn any left-over meat into pies. My family always complained that I made them too big though, but I had no choice, as the dishes I have are just a bit too big for individual portions, yet too small for a family pie. Then I found this pie-maker and thought why not give it a go? I love gadgets and anything that will save me time in the kitchen, and this pie-maker is really great for doing just that!
It is slightly bigger than your average sandwich maker and is manufactured by Breville and endorsed by TV cook Antony Worral Thompson. It is quite smart to look at, with a silver metal exterior, hinged lid and non-stick interior with four non-removable pie-plates. It has a place to wind the cord round underneath, so everything is very neat to store when not in use. On top there is a light that indicates when the machine is hot enough to start baking and once you have prepared your pastry and filling, the pies take about 10 minutes to bake, so it's very quick to use!
I'll take you through the basic process.....
First of all you have to heat the pie-maker, which starts getting hot as soon as you plug it in. There is no on-off switch..it just plugs into the wall and off you go! It takes about 5 minutes to get up to the right heat and a green light comes on to tell you when it is ready.
I always make my pastry ahead of time, so that it has time to rest while I make the filling. You have to pre-cook any fillings (including fruit) so this can be done ahead too, so that when you come to cook the pies, everything is ready to go. I usually make pastry disks and freeze them so they are ready to use, and this is a good way to use up left-over pastry you might have. Just defrost before use.
The pie-maker comes with a pastry-cutter (which is double-sided, giving you the correct size for the top and bottom pastry) and also a little round mould with which to press the pastry into the pie-plates so that you don't burn your fingers.
Once you have all your pastry cut and filling made and the machine is at the right temperature all you do is place the larger circles of pastry in each plate, press down slightly (being careful not to split the pastry) then add your filling. Place the smaller circles of pastry on the top, brush with either egg or milk and close the lid. Leave for about 10 minutes, then check to see if the pies are golden brown and cooked.
I have to say, I have always had success making pies with this machine! The pastry is always lovely and crisp and the filling piping hot. The pies always come out of the plates fairly easy, though I do sometimes have to use a plastic palate knife to ease them out, though once loosened, they lift out easily. The edges are nicely crimped too and everything is sealed.
I have made both meat pies and fruit pies and the recipe booklet that comes with the pie-maker gives recipes for lots of different ones that you can make. I usually make my own recipes up though, and it's fun to experiment with different fillings.
You can use different types of pastry in the machine, though it does recommend that you always use shortcrust for the bottom of the pies, but you can use any other type of pastry for the top.
Cleaning is fairly easy, though removable plates would have been preferable. The non-stick interior wipes clean though and I find it is easier to get any residue off if the machine is still warm. I just use ordinary warm water and washing-up liquid and a soft sponge. I wouldn't recommend scourers though as that would damage the non-stick surface.
If you like to eat home-baked pies, then I really would recommend this pie-maker! It gives great results every time and is easy to use!
Mine cost about £29.00 from Amazon.