Hola, amigos! We are finally emerging from our home renovation hole, with two new offices and a new bedroom! Francis is going to work on a blog about our new HeShed, aka the PodShack. And as soon as I manage to get rid of the Tote of Random Crap that landed in my space, I'll share my office, too. That just made me look over my shoulder at the ceiling fixture still in the box, which still requires a light bulb special order. Before I go down that rabbit hole, let me tell you about our recent thrift store find! Lil takes Irish dance lessons down the street from a Savers, so in recent months Francis and I have gotten in the habit of a "thrifty date". Before we had a kid, and when we had a house that was 2x bigger, we did a lot of antiquing. These days, we are more frugal and minimalist, and the antique mall date has turned into a thrift store date. Our favorite aisle is the kitchen appliances and gadgets, because you can find a lot of weird, niche, as-seen-on-TV products there, and we get a lot of laughs out of them. What we have also discovered is that as long as we take a bag of stuff to Savers, we get a 20% coupon that lets us treat the appliance aisle like a rental. For $5-8 we have gotten things like a bread machine (love it), an ice cream machine (haven't used it yet, look for a future blog on this one), a breakfast station, and a Sunbeam Pie Machine. If we don't like it or find we don't use it, back to Savers it goes for another 20% off coupon!
This weekend, I finally remembered to grab pie crusts from Aldi so I could try out the pie machine today. The tricky thing about thrifting small appliances is that you may not get the manual or all the parts, which takes some research. The pie machine was such a success I thought I'd compile my research into on place, so that someone else may be inspired to save a small appliance from the landfill! My first discovery with the pie machine was that it should have pastry cutters with it, so you can easily create the correct size bottom crust and top crust. The replacement parts are not easy to find, but I did find another thrifty site where someone said the top is 9.5cm and the bottom is 12cm. I found these biscuit/cookie cutters on Amazon that had the correct sizes (and many more, which I'm sure I will find uses for). I also found the pie machine user manual online.
In reading reviews, I saw a lot of people share the tips to work fast, because the crust starts baking as soon as it touches the machine, and that until you get the hang of it, you shouldn't try to do 4 pies at a time. I rolled out my Aldi pie crust and made all my top and bottom shells first. From the 2 pack of pie crusts, I was able to make 7 pies, working 2-3 at a time. Since this was my first attempt, I didn't want to waste ingredients, so I just used a can of cherry pie filling, also from Aldi.
I was shocked that this was a complete success! It was easier than I expected, because I had everything ready to go when the machine preheated. It works very similar to a waffle maker, where the light comes on when it's ready, goes out when you load it up, and then comes back on again when the pies are done cooking. I did find that they were a BIT underdone when the light came back on, but a couple extra minutes browned the tops. The pies were delicious! It did feel like a lot of work to make so many tiny crusts, so I'm not sure it will get a TON of use, but for $5 it's worth hanging onto for fun. Next up, we will try the ice cream machine for pie a la mode!