October 21, 2013

Mini Apple Pies

Last weekend at Costco, I picked up a dozen (or may be more) of braeburn apples, by mistake. Braeburns are very different from the regular ones that we used to buy (like red delicious), with a unique sweet & tart flavor, very similar to granny-smith. So, my kids conveniently turned it down, just another reason to get away with fruits... how clever of them, huh?!?! But, can they really escape from the fruits and more so, the "mommy" power?!?! Let's see!

Suddenly, my blogger instincts kicked off and I quickly revisited all my pinned/ bookmarked/ gawked/ spotted & what-not recipes that I have been wanting to try with apples. What is the first recipe, a dessert recipe appealing to kids, that would come to anyone's mind to use up apples in large quantities?? yayy... apple pie it is, no prizes for guessing though!!!

To start with, I just wanted to try with a minimum quantity of apples and these cutesy little mini apple-pies seemed to be the best bet!

More than the taste, I think that the whole experience of baking pies itself is something to yearn for; for the smell of baking apples & spices like cinnamon & cardamom is delightful & wholesome! You will definitely miss this heavenly escapade with store-bought ones!!

Oh btw, did I tell you it was a super-duper hit with my kids?! They were too busy eating, that they missed to see what was inside!! **wink**

So, what are you waiting for?! Go, pick-up some braeburn/granny smith/macintosh and get baking!!!

Basic Info
Complexity - Medium
Prep time - 1 hr
Cook time - 1 hr
Serves - 6-8 mini pies

Adapted from knitandbake

All purpose flour - 1 cup
Butter - 6 tbsp (cold & cubed)
Ice water - 2.5 tbsp
Salt - 3/4 tsp
Sugar - 1 tsp

Apples - 2 nos (Braeburn/Granny smith)
Sugar - 1/6 cup
Brown sugar - 1/6 cup
Cinnamon powder - 3/4 tsp
Cardamom powder - 1/4 tsp
Salt - a pinch
All purpose flour - 1 tbsp
Vanilla extract - 1 tsp

Cut cold butter into small cubes. Add flour & butter to a big bowl and work butter into flour using your hands/ a fork. Once the flour & butter is starting to come together, mix salt & sugar into the flour. Add ice-cold water and knead gently to form a dough.

- I used my hands to make the dough and it was perfect. Just use your fingers and rub the butter into flour until there are no chunks left.
- I used 2.5 tbsp of water to make the dough. But, depending on the type/quality of all-purpose flour, you might be needing more (or) less water, so start with 2 tbsp and as you go, add water little bit at a time until it forms a dough.

Now, cover this dough with a cling wrap and refrigerate for 30 mins.

Preheat oven to 375 deg F.

Peel, core & chop apples into small pieces.

Mix sugar, brown sugar, powdered cinnamon, powdered cardamom, salt, all purpose flour until well combined.

To this, add the chopped apples, vanilla extract and give it a toss.

- You can also add 1/4 tsp of nutmeg powder.

Reserve 1/4th of the dough for lattice on the top.

Roll out the remaining dough into a thin round using a rolling pin and cut out 6-8 circles from the dough (refer notes). 

Press each circle into the bottom of a greased muffin pan and repeat with the remaining dough. Use a fork to poke holes at the bottom of the crust to prevent any puffing-up. Scoop some of the filling into each crust. 

Roll out the remaining 1/4 th of the dough into thin circle. You can then cut out thin strips for lattice top (or) cut out small circles (with a little slit in the center for the steam to escape) for covered top.

- "Pavels" 2 lbs yogurt lid worked like magic for me!

Carefully brush some melted butter on top of all the mini-pies and bake it for 35-40 mins (or) until the top of the crust turns golden brown.

Let it cool and carefully, take the mini-pies out of the muffin tins and enjoy!

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- Tarter and less-juicier varieties like granny smith / macintosh / braeburn / a mix of all works best for apple-pies.
- Before taking the baked-pies out of muffin tins, use a knife to go around the edges and loosen-up the pie for easier handling.