Pie recipe modifications

Due to the pandemic, and not having the usual togetherness, I’m thinking about modifying my pie recipe. Instead of sharing one pie at the table, I’ll make three smaller pies. That way they can go to three different locations and still look nice.

This is for you math majors. My recipe is for a 9 inch pie. I am going to make 5 inch pies instead. So how much more filling do I need for two five inch pies instead of one nine inch pie.

Your calculations will be greatly appreciated!

If pies were perfect cylinders, and the crusts counted for nothing, a 9 inch pie would be almost 64 square inches (pi times the square of half of 9), and a 5 inch pie, almost 20 square inches (pi times the square of half of 5). So the filling for a 9 inch pie would fill three 5 inch pies.

But pies are not perfect cylinders, and the crusts do take up some space. So hopefully someone who has actually done this before can weigh in. If not, middle-school geometry will at least get you in the ball park.

actually even stickier - because the shape of a “pie pan” is not “standardized”
amazon search for 5 inch pie pan turns up several - and first issue: “nominal” size is not actual size, diameters usually refer to the outer rim diameter, not the bit you fill into…

math? you want math?

Non math pie baker here. I follow a crust recipe. Then I follow a filling recipe. So, I would approach this as 2 recipes for 3 identical pies.
Are you using a topper on your pies? Filling, how many cups of filling do you use prefer in your pies?

Based on the size of your pies, the math as it were is much easier to calculate. But, I would make a dbl batch of pie dough. Fit the pies, then work on the filling based on cups.

One of the best pie references/bakers I know is http://www.erinjeannemcdowell.com/all-recipes

I always make multiple batches of pie crust at once so I’m sure I’d have enough. The extra goes in the freezer for another time.

Off the top of my head - which is how I cook most of the time - I’d make 2 batches of filling. But it would somewhat depend upon the kind of pie. Something like apple I’d make extra cuz you can’t have to much filling. For something that you can’t really over fill, like pumpkin or cream, I might go with a little less so as not to have any leftover. If they pies ended up a little under filled I’d throw on some extra whipped cream.

1 Like

THanks all for the advice and math! The pie I’m going to make is pecan pie. I typically toss the chopped pecans into the pan, cover with the liquid filling mixture, then top with half pecans in a nice circular design.

I think I’ll go with a double batch, and see where that leaves me. Any leftover can easily be baked in a little ramekin.

1 Like

We call the leftover mini pie the bakers gift :grinning:

So the pies were a hit! I used two sheets of the Pillsbury pie crust. I rolled the sheet between parchment paper to make it a bit thinner. I was able to get two complete circles per sheet, and I pieced together a third crust from each sheet, sealing the seam with water.

I filled each shell with chopped nuts, topped them with the goo, and then finished with pecan halves. They looked and tasted great! (This is the unbaked photo.)

So it seems that six is the magic number for this recipe. Thanks for all your input!


I didn’t catch up on HO in time to pitch in, so although it is too late for this project perhaps it will help someone else.

First you care about volume and not surface area. pir^2h. From there just about everything scales except processes such as rising and thickening.

Empirically I have found that lasagna recipes (usually for a 9x13 casserole) when doubled work well for three 8x8 casseroles.

Those came out lovely!

VOLUME! That’s what I was trying to describe!

Thanks, and hopefully with more holidays coming up, it will help other bakers reading this thread.