Mini Apple Pies

Mini Apple Pies

Mini Apple Pies

Tradition is a funny thing. You don’t mess with it, that’s how something becomes a tradition. You do it over and over. It is rituals that are handed down from one generation to the next. Thanksgiving is the most important and revered tradition in my family. It’s been an American tradition for a couple hundred years, but  for my family in particular, it began with my grandparents. It’s a day that my whole family now waits for all year, and it’s all about the food.

In my house I’m known as the CEO of Thanksgiving, the Titan of Turkey and the Potentate of Potatoes. I rule this holiday with an iron fist. I make the same meal year after year. So, after 27 years of making this particular meal, I have in fact perfected it. My turkey is worthy of any glossy food magazine, my potatoes glisten in buttery goodness, and my cranberry sauce has just the right amount of tart and sweetness. My mother however is the VP of stuffing. For 27 years that has been her contribution, and she nails it every time.

However, sometimes traditions have to change. In with the new, and out with the old. In this case, I’m the old. My son graduated culinary school over 2 years ago, and he has been working as a chef in a fine dining restaurant. Last night he approached me and said that he would like to make the turkey and mashed potatoes this year for our dinner. I was stunned at first. Was he trying to yank control of this holiday out of my hands? When I gained my composure I realized that it may be time to hand the baton over to the next generation. Yes, I guess it was time to pass the tradition on.

Mini Apple Pies

So, now that I didn’t have to worry about the main course, I could focus on the really important aspect of the dinner; dessert. I decided to go very traditional, and serve a trio of desserts. I’m going to do mini pumpkin cheesecakes with praline topping, vanilla bean ice cream and these mini apple pies. Here’s to tradition.

Mini Apple Pies

Mini Apple Pies

Apple Filling

  • 2 pounds tart apples, (I used Granny Smith, Jonagold & Fuji) peeld, cored and cut into 1/4 inch slices small enough to fit into each cupcake opening)
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg (or ground if that’s what you have)
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
Directions
  1. In a large pot or a Dutch oven, stir together the apples, brown sugar, white sugar, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg and cornstarch.
  2. Cook covered over medium heat stirring occasionally until apples are tender, about 18 minutes.
  3. Uncover and cook until the liquid has thickened, about 4-6 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the lemon juice and let cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes.

The pies will be perfectly delicious if you use store-bought pie crust. I prefer to make the dough myself and below is the recipe I use to make a light, flakey pie crust.
Piecrust
From the Silver Palate Cookbook
  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, chilled
  • 6 tablespoons vegetable shortening, chilled
  • 5-6 tablespoons ice water, as needed
Directions
  1. Sift flour, sugar and salt into a mixing bowl. Add chilled butter and shortening. Working quickly and using your fingertips, rub or cut the fats into the dry ingredients until the mixture resembles coarse meal.
  2. Sprinkle on ice water, 2-3 tablespoons at a time, and toss with a fork. Turn dough out onto your work surface and using the heel of your hand, smear dough away from you, about 1/4 cup at a time. Scrape it up into a ball and wrap in wax paper. Chill for 2 hours.
  3. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  4. Roll dough out to 1/4-inch thickness on a floured work surface. Lightly spray the cavities of the cupcake pan. Cut circles, using a round cookie cutter or glass larger than the size of the cupcake opening. 
  5. Gently fit the circles into the cupcake cavities. Spoon in the apple mixture, mounding it in the center. (the mixture will shrink so you’ll need to fill it generously). Dot the top of apple mixture with a small piece of butter.
  6. If you want a top crust, you can create a lattice top or another circular piece of crust on top. Using a fork I made sure that the top crust was connected to the bottom crust, trying to seal the two together so when they came out of the pan it did not separate.
  7. Brush the top crust with an egg wash – 1 egg and a tablespoon of cold water whisked together.  Sprinkle granulated sugar over the top of each crust.
  8. Bake until crust is lightly golden brown and apple mixture is bubbling. (Place a cookie sheet under the cupcake pan to catch splatter).
  9. Let cool for 5 minutes, then run a sharp knife around the edges of cupcake cavities to loosen pies and using a spoon gently ease pies out of pan. 
Makes 8 mini pies

Recipe: Intermediate

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99 Comments on “Mini Apple Pies”

  1. These are so beautiful!

  2. Mama! Those are adorable. I am making these this week!

  3. Erika says:

    They’re absolutely gorgeous!!

  4. These are so adorable. As you may or may not have noticed, I’m really big on portion control in desserts which is why I love making mini-versions of things. This is right up my alley. And the crust is beautiful!

  5. so cute and delicious!

  6. Tamara says:

    Mama, what a great idea. Just the right size for a serving and the crust looks fantastic. Yummo!!!!

  7. wanda says:

    Yummy! What cute little pies.
    Just love reading your descriptions.

  8. These are, quite possibly, the cutest edible things I’ve ever seen in my life.
    :)

    Congrats on being Freshly Pressed, too…for such edible cuteness and all…

  9. oooohhhhh!!! Yummmmm!!! I can almost smell them! Wow!

  10. Cathy says:

    Looks so sumptuous! :)

  11. whenquiet says:

    Divine!! When you have time please give a “look-see” at my entry The Magic of Thanks” under October-November 2010 archive entry. I still get chill bumbs when I think of that day. Congrats on FP.

  12. karyl33 says:

    OK, those are the cutest darn pies I have ever seen! I just want to cuddle with them! :)

  13. genkikitty says:

    These look amazing! I haven’t done mini pies in a long time, I think I might have to do it again soon. Thanks for the reminder – your pies looks amazing!

  14. Ohh these mini apple pies look delicious, especially with the coating of cinnamon on top!

    A GREAT treat for these chilling winter months.

  15. jvlivs says:

    Those look so mouthwatering and delicious. A nice glass of Moscato would complement ‘em!

  16. Joni says:

    Any suggestions when baking this little pies on how to make the cupcake tins easier to clean up?

    These look amazing and would make super gifts for the holidays, maybe I’ll make some that include cranberries. :)

  17. adlcalal says:

    these look so yummy! :), beautiful pics too!

  18. mmmmm pie!

    Delicious post :) MJ

  19. Constance V. Walden says:

    These look so delicious. Thanks for sharing. Connie
    http://7thandvine.wordpress.com/

  20. How creative! I can not wait to try these cute little pies for Thanksgiving dinner! Great post!

  21. So, my coworker just brought in pumpkin cheesecake with praline topping and chocolate drizzled on top. And I about died, and I’m determined that mini ones should be made, so I don’t eat half the cake again….

    I implore you to show me your ways, that I can have hope.

  22. These look delicious! Maybe I’ll make them for thanksgiving!!!

  23. These do look incredible and very impressive! They are so cute. I don’t really get the whole thanksgiving thing, but I am British so… It does seem like a properly adhered to thing in the Us though.

  24. trialsinfood says:

    Can I come over for Thanksgiving dinner? drool….

  25. Winnie says:

    These look stunning!

  26. Beautiful photos.

  27. I love this post, the recipe and the stunning photographs too

  28. 3meals2snacks says:

    Ditto the cute factor. And the posting continues “Mama’s” excellence in both description and the visual appeal. A-PEAL!!! Get it?

  29. Joanne says:

    What a great idea! Individualized pies in a muffin pan.

  30. Mary L. says:

    Perfect Little Pies! Wanted to stop by to say hello! – Mary

  31. Nicole says:

    Reblogged this on desertvista2015 and commented:
    I’m all about the pies;)

  32. macrackalackin says:

    Just made these last night. Amazing! Delicious!

    Couldn’t find sweet butter (don’t know what it is even so probably wasn’t looking in the right place) and still good.

    Off to do research and locate sweet butter

    • Most brands of butter come salted and unsalted. For baking purposes I always use unsalted. I should have called it unsalted instead of sweet!

      • macrackalackin says:

        Thanks! I used unsalted so I did it right – ha!!!! I often fly by the seat of my pants. Sometimes that’s good and other times … not so much.

  33. fiestytempest says:

    those look scrumptious! <3 definitely something I have to try!
    thanks for sharing the recipe
    I have to say I've made apple pies before, but I love the idea of these mini ones. It'll be way easier to serve =)

  34. devinleehoff says:

    These look amazing and are so adorable!

  35. [...] Last night my padres joined us for a pre-Thanksgiving dinner.  This year we will be spending Thanksgiving with Nana and Pa so Grandma and Poppa joined us for some yummy, homemade broccoli/cauliflower/cheese soup, accordion potatoes, and these yummy, mini apple pies. [...]

  36. Lauren says:

    These are so cute! And perfect for people who don’t want to stuff themselves. A great way to serve to guests without getting sloppy.

  37. Amy Jurist says:

    Those are fantastic, and cute and i’m sure taste amazing! Congrats!

  38. These are so beautiful… I’ve just found your blog and so happy to have discovered you! I love to bake as well…and wish I had gone to pastry school and done graphic design! You’ve accomplished both! If you had to choose (which I do) which one would you recommend??

  39. How cute and looks delicious! ^.^~

  40. greatthingsinlife says:

    OMG!! This mini apple pie is cuter than Mcnuggets :) It taste delicious too. Thanks

  41. Jasline says:

    I love anything mini and cute! And these apple pies just hit the spot! Lovely!

  42. TheChronicR says:

    Now, aren’t you teasing me here! I can’t help it; I want that so damn much. I mean, sugar, sugar! Great post and recipe.

  43. rachsmith says:

    these are beautiful – far less intimidating to take on than a big old apple pie…and I think i have a tray which could work…thanks for the inspiration! xx

  44. Sibella says:

    Beautiful apple pies! Love your blog! :)

  45. ninarevenant says:

    Mmmmm I want to try this. They look delicious :D

  46. valentine84 says:

    Love these! Going to try to make them for the next family gathering!

  47. minionslikecupcakes says:

    so cute!

  48. These are super cute! Although think I may have to wait a week or two to eat more pie :D

  49. They are super sweet looking! We would legit eat the entire army of little apple pies in under a half-hour. We will definitely try this recipe and get back to you on how it worked for our resident bakers.

    Hopefully, they will turn out as scrumptiously as yours look.

  50. marijomg says:

    I made mini apple pies as well this year! I used a different recipe and it was good but I’m thinking yours sounds better! Will try it at Christmas.
    Love your postings!

  51. I just wanted to tell you that I did in fact end up making these for Thanksgiving!!! There was a group of 25 of us, so I made 12 (since there would be other desserts)! And they were a huge hit!!! I made them in cupcake pans and they were out of this world! Everyone loved them and wanted to know where I got the idea from!!! Thanks so much for sharing!

    • I am so happy to hear that your guests enjoyed the mini pies. I made them for Thanksgiving also, however my group ate so much turkey they hardly touched their dessert! I really appreciate your feedback!

  52. Nina Rynearson says:

    Thank you! These turned out great. I did put a spoonful of left over Thanksgiving cranberry sauce (just crushed fresh cranberries, apples, and sugar) in the bottom. I was rushed so I used store bought crust and sprayed the tops with canola spray before dusting with sugar. Wonderful and worth the fussing of the latice work. Thanks again for sharing. I found you from the LATimes “show us what you’re eating” segment.

  53. [...] the last new dish I am making is Mini Apple Pies. I wanted to make these on Thanksgiving but never did due to timing but for Christmas I am [...]

  54. [...] recipe actually comes from Mama’s Gotta Bake so you should check them on on her [...]

  55. Sugarbakers says:

    Oh my. I.must.bake.these. Do you have a low carb version, LOL, never mind, totally worth it!

  56. These are absolutely gorgous :)

  57. o4owesome says:

    Can I come to thanksgiving at your house? :)

  58. mamy says:

    hi
    it is the first time i read your post …. i like it so much and for sure i will continue to visit your blog

    best regards and have fun

  59. Eleenie says:

    Oh my, they look totally delicious! I’ve definitely got to give these a go! :-)

  60. Faye says:

    I made these for a Bake Sale and they were a hit. So delicious! Do you think I can make this into a regular size pie using the same directions for the filling?

  61. ekwee says:

    super cute!

  62. Jolene says:

    These are adorable! My husband is currently deployed to Afghanistan and apple is his favorite pie. Unfortunately, I can’t send him a large apple pie this fall because I know it won’t make it through the shipping process… but these mini pies are definitely a maybe. What do you think? If packaged well, would they survive shipping? I’ve sent cookies, banana breads, brownies and they’ve all made it. Just hoping to send him a little love from home and I know how much he enjoys his apple pies!

    • Hi Jolene, bless your husband for serving our country. It’s a great sacrifice both you and your husband make for all of us. I would love to say that sending him these mini pies is a good idea, but they will get soggy after a few days and the crust will probably crumble in the shipping process. I don’t think this would work at all. But please send him all of our wishes to keep him safe!
      xo

      • Jolene says:

        Thanks for being honest! He should be home right after the holidays- I won’t have fresh fall NY apples but I can make them for him then! I’ll stick with my cookies, breads and bars… brownies are in the oven now… headed out in tomorrow’s care package! I’ll pass along the stay safe wishes. They are the last ones I give every time we talk. :)

  63. PLEASE PASS THE ICE CREAM! =P

  64. Kathy says:

    In the oven now. They smell delicious. The crust was so nice to roll.

  65. David says:

    Making some right now!! They look very delicious! Thanks

  66. That looks absolutly delicious! I will have to try this! Thanks for sharing the recipe!
    Anto

  67. elisebakes says:

    Adorable! I might just have to give this a try…I have a feeling mine will end up looking much messier though!

  68. Sally says:

    Gorgeous. You must have some patience making those lattice tops.

  69. Amanda Embry says:

    I’ve made mini apple pies before, but never with a lattice crust. Those are adorable!

  70. Carolyn Chan says:

    How gorgeous are these pies !? I love that they are little – I think the pastry/apple filling ratio would be perfect !

    And well done for sharing control of the Christmas meal – I hope that you enjoyed the time off from having to cook the turkey and potatoes with a large glass of eggnog or mulled wine ?? :)

  71. sarahlouisek says:

    Interesting to include both butter and vegetable shortening in the crust recipe. I like the criss-cross top — I always have trouble with a fluted crust (i.e., trying to cover it with bits of foil so it doesn’t burn).

  72. Gorgeous blog and thank you for liking mine.
    Sheila

  73. mmmm oh mama, these look good!

  74. lhtw says:

    I am new to Mama’s Got Bake so I was picking a “category” on the sidebar of course I went for “pie.” That is SO sweet that your son wanted to cook Tgiving (AND fabulous that he is a professional and knows how to do these things) and your little apple pies are so cute, esp. with the lattice. I have to go show Baker Smurf (my Mom).

  75. Kathy says:

    I used your recipe to make mini apple pies for my son’s Pi Day snacks last week. Thank you for such a yummy recipe. It was my first time making pies and pie dough, and you made it easy for a beginner like me to follow. I didn’t bookmark your page, and my son erased the history for that day. It took me over an hour just now, and poring over many recipes to find you again, but I’m glad I’ve found you! I will subscribe! Thank you!!

    • Hi Kathy, I’m always so happy when someone takes the time to write to me to let me know a recipe worked out for them. I hope I can share other fun recipes with you in the future! Thanks again for reading! Sheryl

  76. Oh me, oh me – what do I love more, your recipe or your anecdote? Your food is not only beautiful but it is soulful.

    On another note, between your culinary expertise (and Thanksgiving CEO experience of 27 years) and your son’s, you could sell at seat at your Thanksgiving table for $300 a pop. I’d pay, for sure. ;-)

  77. AuraLee says:

    Just tried this recipe last night (but using homemade pie crust a la Ina Garten) and it came out wonderful. The ratio of the filling ingredients were awesome! It wasn’t runny and not too thick. I even made it in a mini muffin pan for bite-sized goodness! My mom was raving about the filling (she never does that too!) Thank you so much for sharing.


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