Our apple tree isn’t doing that well this year, all the fruits are tiny. Perhaps the current drought in California is to blame? Yes it’s pretty disappointing but I decided to let the squirrels and birds have a pick at all the miniature apples, and went on a hunt for decent sized ones in our two-story tall tree. We have a Gravenstein apple tree which yields early harvest from late June to July, and they are so great for baking as the apples are tart and crisp.
Well, the apples are ripening, and that can only mean one thing – it’s officially apple pie season in our household! I had only one sheet of pie crust left in the freezer so I couldn’t make a double crust apple pie to properly celebrate…and yes I was too lazy to make more pie dough, I was in the mood for instant gratification so I went with what I had and made miniature apple pies. Alternatively, one can also make apple hand pies or empanadas in this situation, but I had my mind set on miniature pies.
There is nothing wrong with using store-bought pie crusts! I do like to make my own pie crust but if you have a favorite brand of pre-made pie dough you like, by all means, use it. I personally likes the Trader Joe’s one a lot as it’s nice and buttery and gives a flaky crust. I ALWAYS re-roll the dough, just in case if there are any tears or creases. Also I usually find store-bought rolled out pie doughs to be too thin so I like to re-roll and reshape. I don’t even care if the pie dough is frozen rock solid, I just tear everything from the plastic wrapper, let the pile of broken pieces of dough sit on the table while I work on the apple filling. The dough thaws super fast that way and I knead it back to a ball of dough to re-roll.
Tip: Save the two pieces of plastics that comes with the pie dough. Put a piece under and another over the dough, the dough doesn’t stick to the surface nor the rolling pin. There is no need to add more flour and I have one less item to wash.
Miniature Apple Pies
Makes 6-7 mini pies
- 1 pie crust dough, rolled out to 12″ in diameter
- 3 small/medium sized apples, diced small
- 1 Tbsp white granulated sugar
- 2 Tbsp brown sugar
- 1/8 tsp cinnamon
- pinch of nutmeg
- 1 tsp cornstarch
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- juice of half a lemon
- pinch of salt
- cream or egg wash
- 1 Tbsp turbinado sugar
- Preheat the oven to 375F.
- In a bowl, toss together the diced apple, white sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, cornstarch, vanilla, lemon, and salt.
- Using a 4″ round cutter (or a bowl), cut out 6 rounds on the pie dough. Fit each round into a slot in the cupcake/muffin tin. Pierce the bottom a couple times with a fork. Spoon in the apple filling, divide evenly into each slot.
- Cut little strips with the remaining pie dough (If you are using a silicon mat, don’t cut on top of that), 6 strips per pie will be enough, weave them on top of the pie to make a lattice top. Pinch together the excess dough hanging around the edge, either smooth it out or make a decorative edge.
- Brush the dough with some cream or egg wash, sprinkle with the turbinado sugar. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the top is golden brown and the filling is bubbling.
- Once the pies are done, leave them in the pan for 15 minutes until slightly cooled, then remove them to cool further on a cooling rack. If the pies are stuck because the syrup somehow glue the pie and the tin together, insert a toothpick or a knife along the edge and wiggle it slightly until the pie is loose.
- These can be stored in room-temperature. I like to refrigerate them as they keep longer. Serve them at room temperature but I think they are best when they are slightly toasted (and a la mode).
I had enough dough for a 7th pie but only enough filling for 6. I filled the extra pie with blueberries that were tossed with some lemon juice, sugar, and cornstarch. The little bit of cornstarch or flour helps to thicken up the juice so the pie don’t get soggy and runny. It’s pretty crucial for blueberries since they are such juicy fruits.
If you are making a mini double crust pie, make sure you seal the edges tightly or the juice will run all over the place like mine did.
Get in my bellay!
Other yummy treats to make with apples: