Photo by John D. Ivanko/farmsteadchef.com
Sometimes small changes make a big difference. Case in point: apple pie. While our hands-down favorite classic apple pie recipe is the Creamy Apple Pie recipe in our Farmstead Chef cookbook, by this time in November, even that yummy creaminess starts tasting a tad dull after several weeks of mega fall baking.
But rather than put that recipe on the backburner, we realized all we needed to do was make a change—in this case, condense the size. So we ditched the regular pie pan for the muffin tin. Not only do you get 18 mini treats in lieu of one pie, the new pie packaging is so cute we couldn’t help but smile and eat more than one.
For the crust, make a batch of your favorite double piecrust recipe. (Try HobbyFarms.com's Basic Pie Crust or Never Fail Amish Pie Crust.) Chill the dough overnight or for at least for a few hours for easier handling, then follow these steps:
1. Divide dough.
Keep one half in the refrigerator while you roll out the other half on a lightly floured counter. Roll the dough out as thin as possible.
2. Cut piecrusts.
Using a wide-mouth mason-jar lid (3½ inches in diameter), cut out about 18 circles. You can use part of the second half of the dough in order to cut enough circles. A small ball of dough will be left over that you can use for the double crust.
3. Place piecrusts.
Hold up each cut dough circle and gently stretch the dough to thin it out a bit more. Place the circle in a lightly greased standard-sized muffin tin, pressing gently to stretch the dough around and up the sides of the tin.
4. Fill piecrusts.
If using the Creamy Apple Pie Filling below, note that you place the apples in the crust first and then pour the syrup over. Sprinkle with cinnamon and dot each pie with about 1/4 teaspoon butter.
5. Top pies with second crust.
We cut out hearts from a small cookie cutters and placed three on the top of each pie.
Bake pies in a 350-degree-F oven for 45 minutes to one hour, until the apples are tender and the crust is golden brown. Remove pies from the muffin tin, and place them on a wire rack to cool.
While we filled this with our classic Creamy Apple Pie Filling, Lisa already has visions of future mini-pies with all sorts of other summer fruits we’ve frozen for the winter, from strawberries to raspberries to rhubarb. These baked pies freeze well, too, so they’re easy to defrost and warm up in the oven whenever you’re in the mood for a sweet treat.
Recipe: Creamy Apple Pie Filling
This filling fills one 9-inch single piecrust or approximately 18 muffin-tin pies. Substitute almond milk and dairy-free margarine for a vegan dessert.
- 8 cups apples, peeled and sliced
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1½ tsp. vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup milk
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/4 cup butter (1/2 stick)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
Lay apples evenly in piecrusts. Sprinkle apples with cinnamon and dot with butter.
Mix sugar, flour and vanilla. Add milk and salt, and stir well. This will make thick syrup, no cooking needed.
Pour syrup evenly over apples crust. Bake 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until apples are tender and crust is golden brown.
Savoring the good life,
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