Hey everyone. I don't have a Work in Progress Tuesday this week. Been busy with other things, like my hubby trying to break his knee playing ultimate frisbee. It's been a fun week I tell you. ANYWAY, the point of this post is that I have a wonderful, delicious surprise for you all!
Have you ever wanted a delicious homemade pie, but don't want to only have a few slices eaten by everyone? Then what happens? You get stuck with it. And if you're like me, you'll keep eating it so it doesn't go to waste. You guys do that too right? My solution? Mini pies!! All the yummy deliciousness of homemade pie, in a single serving size. You can serve them at a dinner party, or make a batch and freeze them for emergencies (you know the ones I'm talking about ladies) or, you can give them away to a bunch of your friends and only keep a couple for yourself thus ensuring that you don't end up gaining 20 lbs.
Okay, so first thing's first, I Googled "Perfect pie crust" because let's be real, store bough pie crusts are gross! And one of the top recipes was a Paula Dean recipe. I hear good things about her, so I click and print. Then I do a search for perfect apple pie filling, and guess who pops up? Yup, the southern cooking queen herself. But the apple pie filling recipe had the crust recipe attached to it. You can find them both here
Alright, pie crust first. You'll need to double your recipe for all your little crusts. This recipe is not doubled.
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 Tablespoons granulated white sugar
1/4 cup vegetable shortening, cold
12 tablespoons butter, cold and cubed
1/4 cup to 1/2 cup ice water
Mix all your dry stuff together in a big mixing bowl
Mix in your shortening, by hand.
Cube up your butter.
(And no, I DIDN'T use my utu to cut my frozen butter because it was too hard....)
Throw in your butter.
Use your hand, or a pastry cutter (or if it's frozen like mine, use an ulu, it worked AWESOME) to work the butter into the flour. You'll have to be quick, you don't want the butter to start melting.
This is what it should look like, crumbly, like a very coarse cornmeal.
Add your water until it's just mixed in. Do not over work it or it will get tough. Roll it into a ball.
Flatten and divide in half (or for us, into quarters)
Turn them into little disks, wrap each in plastic and chill in fridge for 30 minutes.
On a floured surface, roll out your dough and use a small bowl, (mine is about 4.5 inches across) to cut little circles. Lightly grease your muffin pan, line each cup with a circle of dough.
Now, the filling. I used 7 apples, 2 granny smith, 2 red, and 3 Brayburn, just for different flavors, it's not a must though. cut up your apples, sprinkle them with lemon juice. This is for two reasons, one, it helps keep the apples from oxidating, and two, it adds a little extra something to your flavors. In a separate bowl mix 3/4 cup of light brown sugar 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon and nutmeg to taste. Add mixture to apples and toss until it's evenly coated. *Edit: According to my dad, and he's a genius when it comes to cooking, so I believe him, he says to let the apple, sugar and spices sit for a little bit, as it will cause the apples to sweat and convert the sugar and spices to a spiced syrup and makes for a more moist pie. Yum!
Fill you little pie crusts.
Make more circles, and put your top on. Make sure you pinch them together really well or they will fall apart as you're trying to take them out of the pan. Cut a slit for steam to escape. Brush each top with egg white. Then stick in a 350 oven for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown.
Quality control ;)
Then go make someone smile! :D