Happy birthday, America! Now seriously, what is more American than apple pie? And anything in miniature form is just more fun!
I made these for a Fourth of July barbeque, and to be honest I’m surprised they turned out well, being that I was exhausted and a little sore and sunburned from a weekend in the North Carolina mountains, roaming around Grandfather Mountain and hiking to Linville Falls. But they did, and they’re adorable. I hope everyone had a wonderful Independence Day!
First up is the dough. I used Ina Garten’s Perfect Pie Crust recipe. After you’ve made the dough and chilled it for at least 30 minutes, divide it in two (one portion being 2/3 of the dough – for the bottom crusts – and one portion being 1/3 of the dough – for the top crusts.)
Roll out the larger portion to about an eighth of an inch thick on a floured surface. Cut 12 circles, 4 1/2 inches in diameter, out of the dough and tuck each of them down in a muffin pan, making sure the dough goes all the way up the sides. (I used a glass that was 4 1/2 inches in diameter to cut out the circles.)
Peel and finely dice two Granny Smith apples (or any firm baking apples.) Then I put them directly in a bowl with a tablespoon each of orange and lemon juice and the zest of half an orange and half a lemon – to prevent the apples from turning brown. Then add 1/3 cup of brown sugar, 1/4 cup flour, 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon, 1/8 teaspoon of nutmeg, 1/8 teaspoon of cloves (or allspice), and 1/8 teaspoon of kosher salt.
Or cut 3 1/2-inch circles out of the dough and place on top for a solid top crust. Slice some holes in the top so steam can escape.
Mini Apple Pies
Makes 12 mini pies.
For the crust:
- 12 tbsp (1 1/2 sticks) very cold unsalted butter
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1/3 cup very cold vegetable shortening
- 6-8 tbsp (about 1/2 cup) ice water
- Dice the butter and return it to the refrigerator while you prepare the flour mixture. Place the flour, salt, and sugar in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade and pulse a few times to mix. Add the butter and shortening. Pulse 8 to 12 times, until the butter is the size of peas. With the machine running, pour the ice water down the feed tube and pulse the machine until the dough begins to form a ball. Dump out on a floured board and roll into a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Cut the dough in two portions (one 2/3 and one 1/3.) Roll out the larger portion to an eighth of an inch thick and cut out 12 circles, 4 1/2-inch diameter. Press each into muffin pan cups.
- Roll out the smaller portion and cut into long centimeter-thick strips (then cut those strips into 2-inch strips) for a lattice top. Or cut 3 1/2-inch circles for solid top crusts and cut some holes for steam to escape.
For the filling:
- 4 large or 5 medium apples (I used Granny Smith)
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp nutmeg
- 1/8 tsp allspice or cloves
- 1 tbsp orange juice (freshly squeezed)
- 1 tbsp lemon juice (freshly squeezed)
- zest of half an orange
- zest of half a lemon
- Zest and juice the orange and lemon and put into a large bowl. Peel and finely dice the apples and add to the juice and zest.
- Add flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice or cloves. Spoon into each muffin pan cup after putting in dough circles.
- Make your tops into a lattice design or solid crust top. (Slice holes in top of solid crust tops.)
- Brush some egg wash on the tops. Bake at 425 degrees for 10 minutes. Turn down to 350 and bake for 15 more minutes.