There’s really no help for it. A pie is definitely much nicer cooked in an oven than in a microwave, but sometimes – like at work – there’s isn’t any alternative. When I’m too lazy to pack lunch I’ll just take a frozen pie to work, and through several months of crappy pies I’ve come up this simple method to make sure that the delicious bundle of meat sauce wrapped in pastry is both heated through, and at least a little bit crisp and not totally soggy.
- A frozen pie. I haven’t tried this with a defrosted pie so I can’t tell you what effect that might have, but I’m pretty sure this only works if it’s frozen.
- A plastic container, e.g. a takeaway box (I use a Decor Tellfresh 500mL square container which costs around $5 and is perfect for the job. Plus it’s good for sandwiches too.)
- Good quality, absorbent paper towel (the more absorbent the better. Don’t use tissues, they’ll stick to the pastry).
- Line the plastic container with paper towel, with a few extra layers along the bottom (folding 2 squares into quarters generally does the trick).
- Place the pie upside-down into the container.
- Put more paper towel on top of the pie, and then put the lid on slightly (don’t click into place, or else it will pop off as the pie warms up and the container deforms from the heat and pressure.
- Microwave on full power for about 3 – 3.5 minutes (depending on your microwave).
- Unwrap your pie, let stand for a minute, add sauce, and eat carefully – there is SCORCHING HOT MEATY MAGMA inside!
If everything went according to plan, the paper towel will have absorbed most of the moisture, and the pastry should be acceptably dry and slightly crispy. It won’t beat heating in the oven, although if you have access to one then this technique is also fantastic for heating up your pie quickly – just bung it in the oven for 5 mins after microwaving for even crispier pastry. Note: sometimes, the pie’s contents will leak if the lid wasn’t attached to the base properly.
Now the only question that remains is: how to eat your pie. I’m in favour of eating the pie whole, from the side (see picture). Jenny prefers eating hers upside-down, using a knife-and-fork to dig into the base, leaving the delicious lid ’til last. What’s your style?