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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.)

For a lattice top, roll out the smaller portion and cut long strips about a centimeter thick.  For a solid crust on top, roll out the dough and cut out 12 circles, 3 1/2 inches in diameter.

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.

Fill each cup to the top with the apple mixture.  Use 6 2-inch strips to create the lattice top.

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.

Ingredients/Directions

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.

(Crust recipe via Ina Garten; filling recipe adapted via Crepes of Wrath.)

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