Timballos, timpanos, whatever you want to call them . . . are upsidedown savory pies filled with pasta, sauces, vegetables, anything you want arranged in layers to create a dramatic effect when it is cut into. A couple of years ago I made a crustless one, but more commonly you build one by layering the bottom of a souffle dish or round bottomed pan with a thin dough, add the fillings layer by layer and then bake. Mostly when I try to get the pie out of the pan it has been sticking and falling apart, but it tastes good and the kids will eat it, so I keep trying.
Last night I tried to make tiny single sized versions for The Mini Pie Revolution mini pot pie event. I've made these mini pork pies in the past with great success, but this is the first time I made up a mini (or any) pie recipe.
So here goes:
Makes about 6 small pies in various sized ramekins:
2 2/3 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon of ground black pepper
1/3 grated asiago cheese
12 tablespoons (1.5 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
4 tablespoons chilled solid vegetable shortening, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
6 tablespoons (or more) ice water
In a food processor, mix the first 4 ingredients, then pulse in the butter and shortening until it looks grainy. Then add the water. Continue to pulse a few more times. Form the dough into a ball and put in the fridge for 30 minutes.
2-4 oz. of penne cooked 2 minutes less than the preparation calls for.
enough sauce to cover pasta
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons diced onion
2 tablespoons flour
1.5 cups milk
1/4 cup asiago cheese, grated
Sweat he onions in the butter over med heat then add flour and for 2 minutes stir constantly. Add milk, and whisk until fully combined. Set over medium-high heat and whisk till as it simmers. Add asiago and simmer for 8 minutes.
When it is done, add:
1/2 cup of frozen peas
6 hard boiled quail eggs
A bit of extra asiago cheese
Liberally flour your surface and roll out the dough to no less than 1/4 inch. Place the ramakin you are using onto the dough, then cut a circle around it that is 2 inches + bigger than the raminkins imprint. Then, cut a shape directly around the lid of the ramekin. Remove extra dough, then roll the larger circle out some more. The dough should be as thin as you can work with it. Grease, spray or butter your ramakin. Then, gently lift the larger round, place and work it into the ramakin. If there is gross excess in spots, cut it out and seal it.
Take your tomato covered penne and lay them in a row at the bottom of the pie. Fill in the edges with more penne. Then, make another layer.
Scoop about 2-3 table spoons of your peas and bechamel mixture over the pasta. Then very gently press the quail egg down thru the pea mixture. Ideally it will be standing perfectly upsidedown.
Layer some very thin slices of asiago then cover with another arranged layer of penne.
Place the smaller crust on top and seal with the lower crust.
Pop in to oven at 350 for 45 minutes. Check on it, and if the upper crust is burning, take it out.
When you take it out, place it upsidedown on a plate. It may or may not fall onto the plate. Ideally, they fall out of the ramekins after a bit of cooling. If they stick, I've tried chilling it got get it to fall, heating it on the plate to get it to fall, but sometimes it just won't. Then you have a classic pot pie, that will taste just as good.
Leftover bechamel and tomato sauce can be combined and poured over pies if you like.
I'm really sad about the grey circle around the egg yolk, but that comes from over cooking and I can't figure a way around it after 45 minutes in the oven.