It's Crazy Cooking Challenge time! This month's challenge assignment? - APPLE PIE. And what perfect timing for an apple challenge. ...
I actually went to the North Carolina mountains yesterday to go apple picking!
Of course, those apples weren't used in the making of this recipe. Ya know, since I'm not quite that much of a magician that I could get home from the apple picking trip last night, whip up these little beauties, photograph them, edit the photos, and get this post done in time for the Crazy Cooking Challenge go-live today. Nope. Definitely not that much of a magician.
So these are made with apples from the grocery store, instead of ones fresh from the orchard. Oh well, I now have a bushel of fresh-from-the-orchard apples for trying out some of the other recipes shared in this month's Challenge. Sssweet!
As soon as I saw our assignment was apple pie, I knew I wanted to do something small. A mini version of apple pie somehow. That's when I came across Apple Pie Cookies from Tracey's Culinary Adventures. I thought to myself, not only do these little treats look right up my alley, the blogger who made them has such a cool name! And she even spells it right!! (Ha! For those of you not aware of the joke here -- my name is Tracey ... with an 'e' ... too.)
I changed up the recipe method, but Tracey's apple pie cookies were the inspiration behind the creation of my 4-Bite Apple Pies. I filled mine with a chunky homemade apple pie filling and made them a tiny bit larger than Tracey's cookies, yielding a hand-held, 4-bite mini version of apple pie.
Now, the crust-to-filling ratio on these is higher than for traditional apple pie. So, for all you crust lovers out there (eh-hem, Dorothy), here's an apple pie that's over the top for you!
Then place a dollop of apple filling on pie crust rounds, top each with a second pie crust round, and ...
... seal the rounds together.
Bake them up, and in about 15 to 20 minutes you'll have warm hand-held 4-bite apple pies! These were just the perfect fall treat for my lunchbox. Mmmmmmmm.
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4-Bite Apple Pies (aka: Apple Pie Cookies)
Source: Concept adapted from Tracey's Culinary Adventures Apple Pie Cookies, apple filling adapted from my Mom's apple pie
1 T. butter
2 1/2 c. peeled chopped apples
1/4 c. water
3 T. sugar
2 T. brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp. cornstarch
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp. salt
pinch of nutmeg
pinch of ground cloves
Pie crust for a two-crust pie, store-bought or use your favorite homemade recipe
1 large egg
1/4 tsp. water
Sanding sugar (optional)
For the Filling:
1. Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add chopped apples, water, sugar, brown sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg, and ground cloves. Stir to combine.
2. Gently simmer over medium-low heat for about 10 minutes, or until apples are tender and 'saucy' but still have some tender chunky pieces.
For the Assembly:
3. Roll out the pie crust on a lightly floured surface until about 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick. Use a 2 1/2 to 3 inch round cookie cutter or biscuit cutter to cut out as many rounds as possible from the dough (you'll need two rounds for each 4-bite apple pie).
4. Transfer half of the rounds to a baking sheet and brush the edges with a tiny bit of water (this helps seal the rounds). Place about 2 measuring teaspoons of apple filling in the center of each round. Top each with one of the remaining rounds. Press the edges to seal each 4-bite apple pie, and then use a fork to crimp the edges.
5. Prepare an egg wash by lightly beating together the egg and 1/4 teaspoon of water. Brush each 4-bite apple pie with egg wash, being sure to get some egg wash over the entire surface of the pie. (Since these mini pies won't be in the oven for as long as a full-size pie, they don't develop a nicely browned crust without the egg wash. The egg wash gives them a nice golden brown color.)
6. Sprinkle the tops with a pinch of sanding sugar, if using. Use a small knife to cut slits in the top of each pie.
7. Bake at 350 degrees for about 15 to 20 minutes, until crust is golden brown. Remove to a wire rack to cool.
These are delicious warm or cold, and freeze very well.