Bite-Size Apple Pies

November 20, 2011 § 5 Comments

J: So, I had this idea back in September about making apple pie cookies.  I am in love with apple butter, and we had just found some organic apple butter in our local Whole Foods, so I was trying to think of delicious baking endeavors that I could use it for.  As fall was just around the corner, the flavors of apple pie came to mind immediately, and then I had an extra burst of inspiration and decided that what we really needed was apple pie in the form of cookies.

This idea was finally put into action at dinner party #2, in October, when we made thumbprint-esque apple pie cookies by taking pie dough, pressing an indentation into it, and adding some slices of apple along with our magical apple butter concoction.  These were so tasty that among 5 of us, we devoured the entire batch.  Oops?

miniature pies: delicious and adorable

Since they all disappeared within half an hour of being baked, Erik and I decided that, um, we wanted more of them, and we wanted more very quickly.  So we made another batch the next day, and decided that this time we would amp them up a little and make legit mini-apple pies, since the “cookies” were pretty close to mini-pies already.

They were delicious.  And we wanted more of them when they were gone again, but somehow restrained ourselves.  I don’t think it’ll last, though.  Thanksgiving is later this week and mini-apple pies are pretty festive…

Bite-Size Apple Pies
For the dough (adapted from Joy of Cooking):
2 c flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
12 tbsp butter
4.5 tbsp cold water

For the filling:
1 apple, sliced thinly, each slice cut into thirds or quarters
1/2 c apple butter
1/16-ish c flour
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp sugar

Preheat your oven to 425.

Make your dough first.  We got this pie dough recipe from the Joy of Cooking’s basic pie crust, halved it, and added some cinnamon – because, I mean, these are apple pies we’re talking about.  Sift together the flour and salt, and then cut in the butter.  You can use a pastry cutter if you like, but I used my fingers and it worked just as well.  I like being able to feel where the dough is texturally — but that’s just my preference.

almost pie dough!

Finally, add your (cold!) water.  You want this to be cold so that the butter melts as little as possible.  Add it in bits just to be sure that you don’t add too much.  The dough should just cohere, like this:

ball of pie dough!

Okay, so once your pie dough is finished, put it in the fridge until you need it.  In a smallish bowl, mix together all of the ingredients you need for the filling.  You can adjust the amounts of sugar, spicing, etc. to your tastes, and add more or less flour to your texture preference.

pie filling: could easily eat this with a spoon

Now comes assembly.  Pull your pie dough out of the fridge, tear a small chunk off, and form into a little bowl-shape.  Tear a smaller piece off and flatten into a circle, either using a rolling pin or the heel of your hand.  This is what the pieces should look like:

pie components

Add a slice of apple to the bottom of the crust, then spoon some of the filling into the crust.  Don’t fill it all the way — if you do, it might explode out of the crust, and that would just spoil how cute and pretty these are.

step two

Finally, place another slice of apple on top of the filling.

can't get over how precious this is

And then you can close it up!  Place the “lid” on top of the crust and crimp it around the edges with your fingers to seal it in place.  You can also take a knife and cut vents in the top to allow steam to escape.  We placed some tiny apple sticks on some of our pies, too, because come on, they’re already so tiny and adorable.

ready for baking

Place these on a baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes, until the tops begin to brown a bit.  Use your judgment, and err on the side of underbaking rather than overbaking so that you don’t dry things out too much.

Let them cool for a few minutes, and then dig in!  And just try to stop yourself after only one pie — I dare you.

that fork was entirely unnecessary


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