One of the websites I visit regularly is Serious Eats, which has interesting articles and pictures from the world of food. It also has a variety of forums for discussing cooking, restaurants, food trivia, and other food-related topics. I once posted a query on cooking a whole pig after Nick's attempt at this project, which had assorted problems. I got great responses, including one from the North Carolina Pork Association, with detailed instructions on how to go about this and even a recipe for sauce.
Several weeks ago, Serious Eats posted pictures of pie pops. These are two-bite pies, on lollipop sticks, filled with whatever pie filling you choose. I tracked back to the website of Luxirare, the person who made these little treats, and found a fascinating tale. This woman is based in Zimbabwe, according to her post. She focuses on food and clothing and is really a designer of both. The little pie pops didn't really have a recipe, but she had such amazing response to the posting she pulled together a list of hints and suggestions for making them which, along with her detailed photographs, resulted in a pretty good approach.
I made strawberry, blackberry and apple fillings for my pops (color-coded with different sugars). At her recommendation, I used pie crusts from the refrigerator section of my local Safeway, rolled quite a bit thinner. I pre-cooked the fillings, adding little more than sugar and other seasonings, along with a little cornstarch for the berries. The pops are not easy to make because finding the right ratio of filling to dough is a bit of a challenge. You want enough filling to give some fruity flavor but not so much your top dough piece is torn or overstretched. I spent an afternoon pulling these together and while they are not as incredibly beautiful as Luxirare's, some of them were pretty good.
Ultimately, these were made in honor of Ron for his birthday. Below is a not-very-good picture of Ron with his blackberry pie pop, complete with candle, which is barely discernible.
Much better than cake!