The only thing better than a slice of freshly baked apple pie is having a whole pie all to yourself. That said, it can be a little daunting (and probably a little unfair to everyone else who wants a slice of pie!) to tuck into an entire 9-inch apple pie with no one to share it with. The solution is to bake a half dozen Mini Apple Pies so that you can have your own apple pie and still share with friends and family.
These mini apple pies have a buttery pastry crust enclosing a filling made with apples, brown sugar, cinnamon and a touch of vanilla. Unlike full sized pies, where the filling bakes while the pie is in the oven, this filling needs to be prepared on the stove top because there isn’t enough time for the apples to completely soften in the oven with the mini pies’ short baking time. The advantage to making the filling in advance is that it can be made several days in advance and stored in the fridge, so you will have less prep work to do when you’re ready to bake those pies.
I used my Breville Mini Pie Maker to bake the pies pictured here, but this recipe can easily be prepared in a more conventional mini pie pan or baked inside of a nonstick muffin pan. The pies will all have slightly different shapes and baking times that will differ by a couple of minutes, but they will all turn out to be just as delicious. Depending on the size of the pan you use, you might be able to squeeze the crust for one additional mini pie out of the all butter pie crust dough recipe, too. The instructions that accompany the full recipe below give details for baking the pies in the oven, as opposed to a counter top pie-making appliance. I recommend opting for a plain top crust, but if you’re feeling adventurous, you can also assemble mini lattice pie crusts for your pies.
I like to dig into these pies while they are still warm and the center just oozes all over the plate. There is a great ratio of flaky crust to apple filling, too. You could theoretically hold one of these pies in your hand and eat it on the go, but I like to take a more traditional route and serve them with some vanilla ice cream on the side. Leftover pies can be stored at room temperature and they can be reheated by popping them into a preheated oven (375F) for a few minutes to crisp up the crust before enjoying the next day.
Mini Apple Pies
1 recipe All Butter Pie Crust Dough, below
2 tbsp butter
3 large apples, peeled and diced
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 tbsp cornstarch
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
In a large skillet over medium heat, melt the butter. Add in apples and sautee for 4-5 minutes, until they just start to soften.
In a medium bowl, whisk together cinnamon, brown sugar, cornstarch and salt. Add to apples and stir to coat. Cook until sugar is bubbling, apples are very tender and the mixture starts to thicken, 5-8 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Set aside to cool to room temperature
Preheat oven to 400F.
(At this point, you can preheat a mini pie maker if you have one and make dough rounds that fit that. The instructions below are for a conventional preparation.)
Roll out half of the pie crust dough on a lightly floured surface until they are about 1/8-inch thick. Cut dough into 6 rounds about 1-inch larger than the size of the muffin tin (or mini pie pan) that you will be using. Press dough into pan and up the sides.
Roll out remaining half of the pie crust dough on a lightly floured surface. Cut smaller rounds into remaining dough to form the tops of the pies.
Spoon about 1/3 cup of cooled apple mixture into each prepared pie crust. Some liquid will have been released from the apples, so evenly distribute this as well. Top pies with a second round of dough and crimp the edges with a fork to seal.
Bake for 16-20 minutes, until pastry is golden brown. Allow pies to cool in pan for 10 minutes, then gently loosen and transfer to a wire rack to cool before serving.
Makes 6 mini pies
All Butter Pie Crust Dough
This recipe makes about 1 1/2 standard pie crusts. If you need crust for a full sized double crust pie, try this scaled-up recipe.
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp sugar
3/4 cup butter, cut into 1 inch cubes and chilled
5-7 tbsp ice water
Whisk together flour, salt and sugar in a large bowl. Toss butter in the flour mixture, then rub in with your finger tips until mixture is coarse and no chunks larger than a large pea remain. Add in water gradually and stir with a fork until dough starts to come together, then press dough into a ball with the palms of your hands. If dough is dry, add an additional tablespoon or two of water to pull the dough together.
Divide dough into two balls and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least one hour before using.