And two slots mean you can make a dessert pie at the same time.

Now in our second year of ownership, we remain deeply fond of our one-person bento box-sized rice cooker. But while living in Japan means we eat rice pretty often, we like to think of ourselves of as having a pretty broad palate, and like any rationally minded foodies, we also absolutely love pie.

So we’re happy, and also hungry, to learn that Japan’s newest cooking gadget is a pie maker.

The Pie Maker is the latest gifted brainchild from Thanko, the same gadget company behind the one-person rice cooker. The basic design is similar to a waffle iron, but instead of its compartments being shallow, square, and crisscrossed, they’re deep, round, and smooth.

In order to make the process as simple as possible, Thanko recommends using pre-made store-bought sheets of uncooked pie crust dough (although we suppose you could make your own from scratch, if you’re more industrious than we are). Included with the Pie Maker is a cutter/mold for forming the bowl-shaped bottom and sides of the pie crust-to-be, as well as the top layer.

Of course, it’s not a pie without a filling, and here too the Pie Maker is immensely easy to use. Its cooking compartments are sized to work with individual-serving pouches of instant cream or beef stew, soups like clam or corn chowder, or even curry!

▼ Cooking time is 20-30 minutes, depending on whether you want your crust more chewy or crispy.

If your tastes run more sweet than savory, Thanko says the Pie Maker can also be used to whip up apple, cherry, or other dessert pies if you pour in a fruit filling. Even Japanese sweets are a possibility if you toss in ingredients like anko (sweet bean paste) and mochi. It’s not an either/or question between savory and sweet, either, since the Pie Maker has two separate slots, allowing you to cook a dinner pie and a dessert pie simultaneously.

Thanko’s Pie Maker is priced at 4,280 yen (US$37) and can be ordered through the company’s online store here. While it’s not specifically mentioned by the manufacturer, we’re pretty sure you’re allowed to eat them inside Thanko’s Secret Base drink-at-home tents.

Source, images: Thanko
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