After making apple butter, I hade a few apples left from my apple-picking adventure. I also had some pre-made pie crusts in my fridge. And, since it’s finally cooling off in my corner of the world (today it even rained!) baking an apple pie seemed like the perfect thing to do.
But as a single girl, there’s no way I’d be able to get through an entire apple pie before it started going bad and getting mushy (yuck!) The solution? Individual apple pies.
The beauty of this recipe is that you can make one pie today, then freeze the others and have homemade apple pies ready to go whenever you get the craving.
Here’s how to do it…
Start by pre-heating the oven to 500 degrees and placing a cookie sheet inside. The cookie sheet will heat up and help crisp the bottom crust so it doesn’t get soggy.
Peel, core, and thinly slice four apples. Since these slices will go into mini tins, I cut the slices in half so the apple pieces are smaller than traditional apple pie slices and fit into the mini tins better.
Zest, then juice, one apple. (Trust me – it’s MUCH easier to zest the lemon before you juice it. Not that I would know from experience or anything…) Pour the juice and zest over the apples and mix so the apples get coated with the lemon juice.
Whisk the flour, sugar, salt, and spices together until they are evenly combined.
Pour the sugar & spice mixture over the apples and mix until the apples are coated. Set the bowl aside.
Using just enough flour so the pie crust won’t stick, unroll one pre-made crust, then cut it into quarters. Roll each quarter into a slightly more round-ish shape. Be careful not to roll the crust too thin.
Ease each quarter into the bottom of each mini tin. Since the crust quarters will be more triangular than round, you may need to use some of the crust overhang to fill in areas where the crust doesn’t quite reach the rim of the tin.
Mound the apple mixture into the bottom crusts. Don’t be afraid to really mound it. The apples will cook down, so it will flatten a bit.
If you want to add a pat of butter on top of each pie, this would be the time to do it. And really, why wouldn’t you want to? Everything is better with a little bit of butter. Quarter and roll out the second pie crust, just like first. Place the dough on top of each pie, pressing down slightly, but being careful not to let the apples punch through the crust.
Trim the crust so it hangs over the edge of the tin about 1/4 to 1/2 inch.
Tuck the upper crust under the bottom crust.
Crimp or pinch the crusts together to make a decorative edge. This not only looks pretty, it also keeps the pie filling from escaping and spilling all over your oven.
Slice vent holes in the top. If you’re extra motivated, you can make special shapes, like tiny apples, or stars. I wasn’t that industrious today.
If you plan on freezing any pies, this is the time to wrap in foil and place in the freezer.
Lightly beat the egg white, then baste the top crust. This will help the crust turn golden brown and gorgeous. And if you really want to gild the lily, sprinkle a little sugar on top. Oh, yum!
Reduce the oven temp to 425, and place the pie on the hot cookie sheet. Cook for 20 minutes.
After 20 minutes, wrap strips of aluminum foil around the edges of the crust. This keeps the crust from getting too brown. Cook for an additional 25 minutes.
Remove the pie from the oven and let it cool. Well, at least let it cool enough so it doesn’t blister the inside of your mouth. Trust me – you won’t be able to wait too long to dig into this treat.
This would be delicious topped with a scoop of ice cream, a dollop of whipped cream, or a drizzle of caramel sauce. There’s really no wrong way to eat this classic dessert.
Here’s the complete recipe. Enjoy!
4-5 medium sized apples (2-3 Granny Smith, and 2 any other variety)
3/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon allspice
Zest and juice of 1 lemon (about 1 teaspoon zest and 1-2 tablespoons juice)
1 egg white
4 pats of butter (optional)
2 ready-made pie crusts, plus flour for dusting
1) Preheat oven to 500 degrees and place cookie sheet in oven.
2) Peel, core, and thinly slice four apples
3) Mix lemon zest with juice and pour over apples. Mix so apples are coated with lemon juice.
4) Whisk flour, sugar, salt, and spices together until evenly combined. Pour over apples and mix until coated. Set aside.
5) On a lightly floured surface, unroll one pre-made crust. Cut into quarters and roll each quarter into a slightly more round-ish shape. Be careful not to roll the crust too thin.
6) Ease crusts into the bottom of each mini tins. Use crust overhang to patch any areas where crust does not reach edge of tin.
7) Mound apple mixture into bottom crusts.
8) Quarter and roll out second pie crust, just like first.
9) Top each pie with a dollop of butter (optional), then place top crust on each pie. Press down slightly, being careful not to let the apples punch through the crust.
10) Trim the crust so it hangs over the tin edge 1/4 to 1/2 inch.
11) Tuck the upper crust under the bottom crust.
12) Crimp or pinch crusts together to make a decorative edge so pie filling can’t escape.
13) Slice vent holes in the top.
14) If you plan on freezing any pies, this is the time to wrap in foil and place in the freezer.
14) Brush pie top with egg white. (You can sprinkle with a sugar for a little extra goodness.)
15) Reduce oven temp to 425, and place pie in oven on hot cookie sheet. Cook for 20 minutes.
16) After 20 minutes, place strips of aluminum foil around edges of crust to keep them from burning. Cook for an additional 25 minutes.
17) Remove from oven and let cool until cool enough to eat.
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