Last weekend I purchased a few apples from the farmers market in Union Square, and had a couple of large ones left this weekend. Usually when I have a bunch of apples on hand I’ll make apple crisp, but I wanted to do something different. Considering I only had two apples, I couldn’t make a full apple pie, so I decided to try making single-serving pies. I had no idea if it would turn out okay, but hooray – they’re great!
I’ve decided I want to expand my apple horizon, and try some other varieties. I’ve only really been acquainted with the standard grocery store apples – Golden Delicious, Granny Smith, and Fuji, among others. It’s high time that I branch out (no pun intended).
The apples that I purchased last weekend are called Idared, or Ida Red. They are a cross between the Jonathan and Wagener varieties, and have a mostly sweet flavor with just a hint of tart. They are supposed to be great when baked, so I forged ahead with making these little pies.
Mini Apple Pies
This recipe makes approximately 6 mini pies the size of medium-sized muffins
For the crust:
- 1 cup white all-purpose flour
- 6 Tbsp. butter I used Soy Garden
- 2 Tbsp. cold water
For the filling:
- 2 large baking apples, peeled and sliced into small pieces
- 1/3 cup sugar I used turbinado
- 1/8 cup white all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
- dash of salt
In a medium-sized bowl put 1 cup of flour. Cut in the butter with a fork or pastry blender/cutter until the mixture has small lumps. Sprinkle the cold water over the flour and butter and stir together until the dough pulls together and away from the sides of the bowl. If the mixture doesn’t seem to be doing this you can add another tablespoon of water. Roll the dough into a ball, wrap it in plastic wrap, then place it in the refrigerator for 20 or 30 minutes so it becomes firm. This will make it easier to work with.
Mix together all of the filling ingredients except for the peeled and sliced apples. After they have been mixed add in the apples (or vice versa depending on your bowl situation) and stir until the dry ingredients have been well incorporated with your apples. Set aside.
Preheat your oven to 345 degrees Fahrenheit.
Take your dough out of the refrigerator and split into two. On a floured surface roll out the dough until it is thin (not too thin otherwise it will tear).
Use a small bowl as a guide and slice around the bowl like so:
Then take the circle of dough and press it into your muffin pan:
Score the bottom of the dough with a fork a few times. Fill the dough with the apple mixture so that it comes over the top of the pan (when the apples are baking they will loose a lot of their water and sink down).
Cut the excess dough, but don’t do what I did in the following picture. I should have left more dough, so I’d say leave a centimeter of dough on the outside.
Now cut a smaller circle of dough and put it on top of your pie. Pinch the top dough together with the bottom dough (the centimeter part). Score the top with a knife. If you get really creative you can cut little leaves out of your scraps of dough and place those on top. They may fall off, though, so you’ll need to make sure they are secure (gently mashing the ends into the top pie dough).
Continue doing this process until you’ve run out of enough dough or apple filling. There is bound to be leftovers of both so you can just bake the remaining apples in a separate pan, make a pie with no top pie crust, or make a small apple crisp after all.
Place the muffin pan in the oven, and place a sheet of aluminum foil on the rack below to catch any liquid that may fall from the pan. Bake for about 35 minutes, and check to make sure the apple pies are done.
Once they are done take them out of the oven and let them sit for about 15 or 20 minutes so they get cool enough to handle. It’s not easy taking these little pies out of the pan so you may have to be careful while coaxing them out with a knife.
Now you can serve with some vegan clotted cream (I’d suggest doing more cream cheese than butter) or just eat the little things plain.
I’m not that good at making pies but these turned out so well. It’s probably a more intensive process to make a bunch of little pies than one big pie, but they are so cute and it’s such a good idea for serving to guests. Of course, it’s great for making just for yourself. It’s also a good way to not feel guilty about eating a whole pie (or two or three) by yourself.