Monday, December 5, 2011

Caramel Apple Pie-lettes

I have recently been going through my Grandmother's recipe book. I was having a tremendous urge to make a fruit pie, but the problem for a few years now has been that my husband claims to hate cooked fruit, yet, he always takes a gigantic bite from my Taco Bell caramel apple empanada every time I get one. So I set out to achieve that caramel apple empanada taste, but in apple pie form. 

We do not have a very big family. To attempt not having a huge amount of leftover pie I decided to just make everyone their own personal miniature pies. I found a package of eight frozen tartlet shells and bought a package of roll-out dough to cut into circles to cover the apple filling. This recipe will work the same for a single 9" pie, but these little ones are just so cute! I stacked them on a covered glass cake plate. It kept them warm while we ate and made for a nice presentation.   

Another good use for making mini pies is to give as gifts. Think of all the singles and couples with no children at home that would love to receive baked goods but not in massive sizes. One batch of these and voila! Eight gifts for neighbors, friends, co-workers, the Grinch, whomever! 

  • 6-8 apples (I used McIntosh) 
  • 1 cup apple cider 
  • 1tsp.cornstarch 
  • 1/4 c. butter 
  • 1/2 c. brown sugar (packed) 
  • 1 Tbs. reserved cider 
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice 
  • 1 tsp. vanilla 
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon 
  • pinch of nutmeg and all-spice 
  • 1/8 tsp. salt 
  • frozen mini pie shells and rolled pie dough 

Peel, core, and cube apples. *Note: If someone in your house has an aversion to cooked fruit try cutting the pieces into smaller chunks so that when the apples cook down into more of a mush the texture is lost but the taste remains.  

Mix cornstarch in cider until dissolved. Bring cider to a boil in a medium sauce pan. Add apples, reduce heat and cook uncovered about 8 minutes. Drain cider from apples reserving 1 tablespoon cider. 

Melt butter (on medium) in a medium-large skillet and add brown sugar. Stir until well mixed. Turn down heat and add drained apples, reserved cider, lemon juice, vanilla, spices and salt. When all are mixed pour into either one 9” pie shell or 8 mini pie shells. Cut rolled pie dough to cover the pie. Wipe edges with water and crimp pie dough together. Cut four small slits in the center of the top sheet of dough to vent. Brush top dough with melted butter and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. 

Bake 400 degrees F for 40 minutes.

Serve with a dollop of vanilla frozen yogurt. Enjoy.

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