I love “mini” treats. Mini-cakes, mini-candy bars… it’s all good. So I thought it would be cute to make some mini apple pies. What could be more fun to eat than mini-pies?
My main dilemma was how to make them – what pan do I use to make these mini pies? I already had cupcake/muffin pans that I thought might work, and I also had some 4.5″ diameter mini tart pans that also might work… I decided to use both, and split the dough recipe in half to figure out which way worked best.
Using half the dough and the muffin/cupcake pans, I made about 6 mini apple pies (photo on the upper left). Using the other half of the dough and the 4.5″ diameter mini tart pans, I made 4 mini fruit tarts (photo to on the lower right).
I thought both turned out great, but making two different kinds of pie was a lot of work! Next time, I will just make all mini pies (about 12 total using the muffin/cupcake pans), or all mini tarts (about 8 total using 4.5″ tart pans). Double the apple filling recipe to make all mini apple pies, or triple the apple filling recipe to make all mini apple tarts.
- 1/2 c. unsalted butter
- 1/2 c. butter flavored shortening
- 3 c. all purpose flour
- 6 T. sugar
- 1/2 tsp. sea salt
- 1/2 c. sour cream
*( you can make 12 mini pies, or 8 mini tarts with one batch of dough)
- 6 golden delicious apples
- 1/4 c. sugar
- 1 tsp. apple cider vinegar or lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp. sea salt
- 1/3 c. sugar
- 2 T. tapioca starch (or just regular flour)
Blueberry Filling for 1 mini tart:
- 5 oz. box blueberries
- 2 tsp. tapioca starch (or regular flour)
- 1/4 c. sugar
- 1 tsp lemon juice
Make the Pate Sucree:
1. Cut the butter and shortening into pieces, and dump into a food processor.
2. Add the flour, sugar, and salt, and pulse until the texture of coarse crumbs. Add the sour cream and process until a ball forms.
3. Flatten the dough into two disks (the dough will be sticky), place into a zip-lock bag, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
Make the Apple Filling:
1. Peel and core 6 apples. Slice the apples into small pieces. Mix the apples with the vinegar and 1/4 cup sugar.
2. Set the apples in a colander over a bowl to drain for 1 hour.
3. Reserve the apple juices. Microwave the apples for 5 minutes. Return to colander and drain for another 10 minutes, reserving juices.
4. Mix the apples with another 1/3 c. sugar, the salt, and tapioca flour.
Make the Apple Glaze:
1. Take the reserved drained apple juices, and place in a small saucepan over medium heat. Simmer the juices for about 3-5 minutes, until reduced in half to a thick syrupy glaze.
2. Set the glaze aside for brushing on the top pastry crusts. (If the glaze becomes too thick while using, microwave the glaze for 15 seconds to loosen it up and make it easier to brush over the crusts.)
Blueberry Filling (for one small tart – double or quadruple for multiple tarts):
1. Mix the blueberries with the sugar, tapioca flour, and lemon juice.
2. With the back of a spoon, crush about 1/4 of the blueberries to release their juices. Mix well until the sugar and tapioca are dissolved.
Assembling Mini Apple Pies using a muffin tin:
1. Lightly flour one dough disk, and roll out between two sheets of waxed paper.
2. Cut out six 4.5 inch circles for the pie bottom crusts, and 3 inch circles for the pie top crusts. (You may have to re-roll the scraps a few times to make enough dough circles.) I used a rice bowl (the top edge is exactly 4.5 inches in diameter) as a pattern for the bottom crusts, and a 3 inch round cookie cutter for my top crusts.
3. Line every other muffin hole with the 4.5 inch diameter bottom crusts.
4. Divide the apple filling among the 6 crusts.
5. Place the top crusts over the filling, and use a fork to crimp the seams together. Use the side of the fork to loosen the crust edges from the top of the muffin tin (so that the edges won’t be glued to the muffin tin after baking).
6. Brush the tops of the crust with the apple glaze, and sprinkle coarse sugar crystals on top. Use a knife to poke several vents into the top crust.
7. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes. Cool on a wire rack for at least an hour before serving.
Assembling Mini Fruit Tarts using 4.5 inch tart removable bottom molds:
1. Roll out the dough as described above. Cut out four 5.5 inch circles (I used the tart pan bottom as a trace, but cut the circles just 1/2 inch larger.) Cut out four 4.5 inch circles for the top crusts (or trace the tart bottom exactly).
2. Line the tart pans with the larger dough circles, making sure the edges of the dough fold over the tart edges.
3. Fill the tarts with fruit filling. (You can mix and match fillings if you want several flavors. Or if you want to stick to apple for the four tarts, it works out to about 2 apples per tart – use 8 apples instead of 6 in the filling recipe above, and increase the sugar by 2 T. You don’t really need to add any extra tapioca flour, salt, or acid.)
4. Lay out the top crusts on floured waxed paper. Using a sharp knife, cut alternate slits in the dough as shown in the picture.
5. Brush the slit dough lightly with apple glaze, and use a flat metal spatula to transfer the lattice crust to the top of the tart. Using your fingers, push the dough down against the metal rim to seal, removing the excess.
6. Sprinkle coarse sugar over the top, and bake on a foil lined baking sheet for 30 minutes at 350 degrees.
7. To remove the tarts from the mold, set a drinking glass upside down. Place the tart on top of the drinking glass, hold the sides of the tart pan, and pull downward.
8. Allow the tarts to cool for at least an hour before serving.