The Aldi pie maker is part of their new range – there are two pie makers in the new Aldi range:
- A family pie maker, a wide pie maker that makes a single pie
- A twin pie maker, that makes two, deeper, pies.
And I think I want one! But which one? Both are the same price, at £19.99.
I do like a pie and have had my eyes on twin pie makers for some years, but now this gives me a choice, so do I want one large pie, or two smaller pies? … I am full of indecision!
If I make a big pie in a pie maker, will I make as many as I’d wish to? I could freeze leftovers, but I try not to freeze things as that just fills the freezer with uneaten food 🙂 I could make two pies, of course. If I were cooking for two the decision would be easier to make; if I pick the wrong one I could regret it.
Making Pies with a Pie Maker
There are just two parts to a pie: the pastry and the filling.
I’ve just read a review of the Aldi pie maker and noted that the reviewer used ready-made pastry. There’s no shame in using ready-made pastry, many TV chefs pull out a packet from their fridge in their recipes on the television.
Then it’s the filling – you have to use fillings that are already cooked, which you can easily do yourself using a slow cooker. So a slow cooker and a pie maker is the perfect combo in my eyes. Alternatively, you can use tinned meat for the filling, either alone, or with added vegetables and flavourings.
This is a great way for using leftovers as leftovers have already been cooked!
Use Cooked Fillings in a Pie Maker
You have to use cooked fillings in a pie maker because the time it takes a pie to cook is insufficient for raw food to be cooked. This is a combined food safety and pleasure requirement: it’d be bad to eat undercooked or still raw meat; it’d be unpleasant to bite into uncooked vegetables. If your filling is “OK uncooked” then that’s fine, so long as you’re happy with it! Pie makers are simply cooking the pastry and reheating the filling, they don’t “cook” the pie contents from raw.
8 Easy Pie Maker Recipes:
What you put in the pies is up to you. You can use tinned meat, or make your own fillings on your stovetop or in a slow cooker. Fillings are put into the pie maker cold, but the food does need to be pre-cooked as the short cooking time wouldn’t be sufficient to cook anything from raw.
Here are a few pie maker recipe ideas I’ll be considering:
- Curry Chicken Pie: A can of chicken in white sauce, mixed with some curry powder and some peas.
- Steak & Vegetable Pie: A tin of steak in gravy, with peas and carrots – or a steak and vegetable filling you’ve made in a slow cooker
- Chilli Pie: A Simple Chilli con Carne filling, again, from a tin, or one you’ve made in a slow cooker.
- Breakfast Pie: All your favourites baked in a pie – some bacon and/or sausages, tomatoes if you wish, then break an egg inside the pie case and bake; you can whisk that egg, or leave it whole.
- Minced Beef Wellington: Just pack the pie with ready cooked minced beef and bake.
- Keema Pies: Make up minced beef with curry and peas, any keema recipe will do, fill pastry case and bake!
Vegetarian Pies can be made in a pie maker!
- Cheese & Potato Pie: Use cooked potatoes or mash and mix with your favourite cheese; add onions if you wish.
- Cauliflower Cheese Pie: Cooked cauliflower and a little cheese.
It’s endless what you can put in a pie. Any leftovers can be used, any filling (so long as you don’t put it in raw). I couldn’t pick just one pie filling. Simply cut out the pastry using the cutter provided, put it into the pie maker, put the pie filling into the pie case, pop on a lid, close the lid and then turn it on for 15-20 minutes.
Looking at the photo of the reviewer’s pie I felt that the top was lacking in finesse – and possibly a little overdone, but these are things you perfect with practise and adjusting timings and filling depths to your own taste. There was no soggy bottom either, which is good to know as nobody likes a soggy bottom 🙂
So, I need to choose and decide. I’ll not get one straight away, I’m a procrastinator when it comes to buying things – first I want them, then I put them on my mental “buy this” list – then, one day, I see they’re for sale and I just snap one up…. I’m a long time in deciding and waiting. I think it’s essential, for new gadgets, that you’re really in the mood to immediately start to use them, to ensure they won’t become cupboard clutter. I try not to be an impulse buyer.
I could really use a pie maker – and it’s a moneysaving gadget as you’re only using 1kW of power for 15-20 minutes to make the pies, so it costs about 3-4 pence per pie to cook! That’s a LOT cheaper than using an oven and even cheaper than the small Lidl toaster oven I bought (which is great for pizzas!).
So, let’s look at the specs and compare what’s on offer:
There are some features they both have:
- Both are made from Stainless Steel, with a choice of colours in stainless steel or cream.
- Both pie makers have cool touch handles and body, a safety latch lock, cord storage and a 3 year warranty.
- Both pie makers come with a base and lid cutter and an instruction manual with recipes.
- POWER: The twin pie maker is 1000watts; the family pie maker is 1200watts.
- WEIGHT: The twin pie maker weighs 1.35Kg; the family pie maker weighs 2.3Kg.
- SIZE: The twin pie maker is 268x148x275mm; the family pie maker is 282x156x361mm
So the jury’s out – I can’t decide yet whether to buy a twin pie maker, or a family pie maker.