Rustic Mini Apple Pies
As the seasons change to fall and winter, my daughters and I start to crave comfort food - things like baked mac 'n' cheese, potatoes and gravy, and most of all fall baking. Nothing gets me in the mood for the holidays quite like warm apple pie. Which kinds of desserts do you crave the most as the holidays approach?
I've tried to formulate so many different apple pie recipes over the years. What I love the most about any pie is the crust. I am a crust girl through and through. Making a single-serving pie is the perfect way to get more crust with each bite. With the rise in popularity of mini desserts, I was feeling inspired to make a signature recipe for mini apple pie. I was so pleased with how they turned out, both visually and how they tasted, this recipe is going straight into our family recipe binder that will hopefully be baked by my children and future grandchildren for many Thanksgivings and Christmases to come.
As you can see, I garnished them with holly leaves. I simply rolled out the scraps of crust dough and used a cookie cutter. The possibilities are endless. Use a holly leaf or star shape for Christmas, or use a mini fall-leaf, pumpkin, or turkey cookie cutter for Thanksgiving. If you want to add some extra sweetness and crunch, you can also garnish with sanding sugar before baking them.
I baked them in standard-size non-stick muffin tins, so they pop right out for easy serving and a beautiful presentation. Obviously it's easier to take a whole pie to a party. However, if you're hosting a holiday party in your own home this year, go for mini desserts. Not only does it make serving easier, but it also allows guests to snack and continue mingling instead of having to sit down with a plate and fork. Best of all, you can prep these ahead of time and freeze them until you're ready to pop them into the oven.
If you aren't used to making pies from scratch, you can adjust this recipe with store-bought crust and canned apples.
*pie crust for one 2-crust 8 inch pies. Click here for tips on how to make the perfect homemade pie crust.
Classic Pie Crust:
- 2 & 1/2 C all purpose flour (can substitute with all purpose gluten-free flour)
- 1 C (2 sticks) lard, butter or shortening~cut up into small cubes
- 1 tsp salt
- 6 to 8 TBSP ice cold water
Apple Dessert Filling:
- 4 medium Granny Smith Apples
- juice of 1 lemon
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ginger
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 4 tbsn brown sugar
1. Make pie crust and put in the fridge to chill for at least one hour.
2. Preheat oven to 400 F.
3. Peel and cube apples and place in medium bowl.
4. Add spices, vanilla, brown sugar and lemon juice to apples and mix well.
5. Roll out pie crust and use a small bowl or extra large mug to cut circles. It really doesn't matter what you use to cut out the circles, just make sure that they are about an inch larger in circumferance than the sections of a standard-sized muffin pan. (Each standard muffin tin is about 2 & 1/2 inches in diameter.)
6. Lightly place each circle over a muffin tin and gently push it down and press the dough up against the edges and make sure it isn't sticking up over the muffin tins.
7. Fill all the way with your apple filling. Optional~use leftover dough to make little leaves with a leaf-shaped cookie cutter and place them on top of each mini pie. *Before topping the pies of with leaves, place a small cube of butter on each pie to help the dough turn that beautiful golden-brown shade.
8. Bake 22-25 minutes. Enjoy!
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