“The winds that blow through the wide sky in these mounts, the winds that sweep from Canada to Mexico, from the Pacific to the Atlantic - have always blown on free men.” ~Franklin D. Roosevelt
“You have to love a nation that celebrates its independence every July 4, not with a parade of guns, tanks, and soldiers who file by the White House in a show of strength and muscle, but with family picnics where kids throw Frisbees, the potato salad gets iffy, and the flies die from happiness. You may think you have overeaten, but it is patriotism.” ~Erma Bombeck
Happy birthday, America! Now seriously, what is more American than apple pie? And anything in miniature form is just more fun!
I made these for a Fourth of July barbeque, and to be honest I’m surprised they turned out well, being that I was exhausted and a little sore and sunburned from a weekend in the North Carolina mountains, roaming around Grandfather Mountain and hiking to Linville Falls. But they did, and they’re adorable. I hope everyone had a wonderful Independence Day!
First up is the dough. I used Ina Garten’s Perfect Pie Crust recipe. After you’ve made the dough and chilled it for at least 30 minutes, divide it in two (one portion being 2/3 of the dough - for the bottom crusts - and one portion being 1/3 of the dough - for the top crusts.)
Roll out the larger portion to about an eighth of an inch thick on a floured surface. Cut 12 circles, 4 1/2 inches in diameter, out of the dough and tuck each of them down in a muffin pan, making sure the dough goes all the way up the sides. (I used a glass that was 4 1/2 inches in diameter to cut out the circles.)
Peel and finely dice two Granny Smith apples (or any firm baking apples.) Then I put them directly in a bowl with a tablespoon each of orange and lemon juice and the zest of half an orange and half a lemon - to prevent the apples from turning brown. Then add 1/3 cup of brown sugar, 1/4 cup flour, 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon, 1/8 teaspoon of nutmeg, 1/8 teaspoon of cloves (or allspice), and 1/8 teaspoon of kosher salt.
Or cut 3 1/2-inch circles out of the dough and place on top for a solid top crust. Slice some holes in the top so steam can escape.
Mini Apple Pies
Makes 12 mini pies.
For the crust:
- 12 tbsp (1 1/2 sticks) very cold unsalted butter
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1/3 cup very cold vegetable shortening
- 6-8 tbsp (about 1/2 cup) ice water
- Dice the butter and return it to the refrigerator while you prepare the flour mixture. Place the flour, salt, and sugar in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade and pulse a few times to mix. Add the butter and shortening. Pulse 8 to 12 times, until the butter is the size of peas. With the machine running, pour the ice water down the feed tube and pulse the machine until the dough begins to form a ball. Dump out on a floured board and roll into a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Cut the dough in two portions (one 2/3 and one 1/3.) Roll out the larger portion to an eighth of an inch thick and cut out 12 circles, 4 1/2-inch diameter. Press each into muffin pan cups.
- Roll out the smaller portion and cut into long centimeter-thick strips (then cut those strips into 2-inch strips) for a lattice top. Or cut 3 1/2-inch circles for solid top crusts and cut some holes for steam to escape.
For the filling:
- 4 large or 5 medium apples (I used Granny Smith)
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp nutmeg
- 1/8 tsp allspice or cloves
- 1 tbsp orange juice (freshly squeezed)
- 1 tbsp lemon juice (freshly squeezed)
- zest of half an orange
- zest of half a lemon
- Zest and juice the orange and lemon and put into a large bowl. Peel and finely dice the apples and add to the juice and zest.
- Add flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice or cloves. Spoon into each muffin pan cup after putting in dough circles.
- Make your tops into a lattice design or solid crust top. (Slice holes in top of solid crust tops.)
- Brush some egg wash on the tops. Bake at 425 degrees for 10 minutes. Turn down to 350 and bake for 15 more minutes.