A reader describes her favorite use for leftover pieces of pie crust dough.
Make mini-shells for mini-treats with your leftover pie crust dough.
Photo by Fotolia/bozhdbI love to make use of all the fresh blackberries, peaches, blueberries, and apples that nature lavishes upon us during the fall. So I treat my family and friends to lots of crusty cobblers and pies. But I am also one of those people who can't bring herself to waste anything — even the tiniest piece of crust. If you, like me, find yourself with small pieces of pie crust dough that you hate to throw away, here's a rewarding solution: Place small balls of the leftover dough into miniature muffin pans and press them to fit the bottom and sides of the muffin cups. Pop the muffin pan into the oven along with your fruit cobbler and bake until lightly brown (about 10 minutes). Allow the small shells to cool and place in a freezer container that you can continue to add to each time you have leftover dough. By the time the holidays roll around, you will have dozens of these shells to thaw and fill with chicken salad, egg salad, veggie dips, jams, and anything else that might suit your fancy. These make an easy, festive, tasty addition to any party or special occasion. And, by the way, if you don't own a miniature muffin pan, this tip will make it worth your money to purchase one.