It is beginning to feel much more like autumn here on Long Island, and this means midterm exams, papers and blues that likely last the rest of the semester. Am I right?
However, it is also apple season so bust out your peeler and get to baking this American classic gone miniature.
Note: I used store-bought pie dough from the refrigerated baked goods section. Why? Because it is fairly inexpensive and reduces the likelihood of getting a headache from making a pie completely from scratch in the residence halls. I am not opposed to making pie dough from scratch, but at home it is a lot easier with my mom’s food processor.
Ingredients: 5-6 apples
1 can of refrigerated pie crust
½ cup of brown sugar
¼ cup of granulated sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
¾ teaspoons ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoons of salt
¼ teaspoon of ground nutmeg
1 tablespoon of lemon juice
If you are like me and thought refrigerated pie dough needs to be kept in the freezer, you would be incorrect. Just make sure your dough is not frozen and is ready to roll, but you do not need it quite yet. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
Peel and dice up your apples and set them in a mixing bowl. Since we are making miniature pies, the pieces need to be smaller to fit into the muffin pan. I used Granny Smith apples because they are my favorite, but other good baking apples include Cortlands and Fujis.
Add the sugars, flour, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg and lemon juice to the apples and mix well. When I did this, my mixture was very wet, but it turned out fine. Also, the lemon juice helps the apples from becoming brown.
Now we are ready for the crust. Grease your muffin pan, and roll out the dough onto a flat surface. I used one of my drinking glasses as a stencil. The opening made a bigger circle, which served as the bottom crust. The bottom of the cup is smaller, so that was the top of the pie. Did that make sense? Okay, use a glass to cut out circles from the pie dough.
Press one circle of dough into one of the muffin slots, and the dough should come up the sides just like a regular pie. Fill with the apple mixture. Top with another circle of dough, and press gently to seal the pie. Note: you could make a lattice top just as easily. You would cut strips of dough and lay them on top.
Keep filling the muffin pan with mini pies until you either run out of pie dough, like me, or run out of apples. My batch made about nine pies.
I also made an egg wash for the pies. I took one egg, beat it in a bowl and brushed the tops of the pies with it. This will create the golden color while it bakes. You can also dust them with sugar.
Bake in your preheated oven for 35-40 minutes. Let cool and transfer them to a wire rack or plate. They are going to be hot so please be careful. Enjoy, and good luck with midterms!