Thursday, June 2, 2011

Mini Apple Pies

No, I'm not back in New Jersey only to head back to Lexington after a week. I'm here to begin life after college, waiting to hear from jobs for the next year and interviewing at different places. While driving, I kept thinking of things I didn't do while I was a student or while I was in town. Like watching the sunset or the sunrise on top of one of our school buildings or visiting Foamhenge. Between those thoughts were also random memories. Happy memories where I can see my five housemates and I laughing our butts off about something that is probably not as funny anymore.

Mini Apple Pies Mini Apple Pies

I guess I should call them former housemates now. Strangely, I didn't feel sad leaving the two who are staying in Lexington in the summer. Maybe it's because I plan on visiting at least once. And I know that if I wanted to see any of them after the summer, all I have to do is drive 2, 3, or 6 hours and I'll be there (except I'd have to fly to see the friend in California, but still feasible). There are others, though, who will not be as easy to visit. But with Facebook or e-mail, it'll be easy to reconnect with them in an instant.

Mini Apple Pies Mini Apple Pies

A friend decided to cook dinner for us before we said our goodbyes so I made dessert before he took over the kitchen. I was leaving the next day so I didn't have anything in the house. Except... Wait, I never made that Caramel Apple Pie so there should be a pie crust in the freezer... And I still have a few apples left even after making the crepes a few days ago... Yes! Apple Pie! Those exact thoughts were running through my head as I was coming up with ideas.

I made them mini-sized to avoid leftovers. Plus, I didn't have a second crust for the top of a large pie, but enough for the tops of mini pies. Since I wanted to fit as much filling as I could into each pie, I cut the apples into 1/2-inch pieces. In that case, 25 minutes or even a bit less will be enough time for the apples to soften. Poke with a toothpick to check. As for the taste, it was pretty damn yummy. Make sure the syrup has enough cinnamon while cooking on the stove--you want to make sure you can smell it while it's baking. That's the best part. I used Pillsbury's pie crust so the only labor required in this recipe was peeling and slicing the apples. Everything else is easy to throw together.

Mini Apple Pies

Mini Apple Pies
Adapted from La Petite Frog

- 1 9-inch pie crust (such as Pillsbury's, found with the biscuits or homemade)

- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 3 tbsp all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/3 cup white sugar
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 4 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and sliced

1. Spray standard-sized muffin pans with cooking spray. Roll out the ready-made pie crust. Cut out circles about 5 inches in diameter. Press into muffin pan to form the bottom layer of pies. Then cut out 2- or 3-inch circles. You may need to knead the trimmings together and roll out again. Set aside.
2. Preheat oven to 425F. Melt butter in saucepan and stir in flour to form a paste. Add water, cinnamon, white sugar and brown sugar, and bring to a boil. Reduce temperature and let simmer.
3. Fill lined pastry pan with sliced apples. Pour sugar mixture over the top and cover with the saved dough circles, pressing sides with fork to seal. (I didn't have enough overhang from the bottom layer so I couldn't do that.)
4. Bake 15 minutes in oven preheated to 425F. Reduce temperature to 350F. Continue baking until apples are soft. Check after 25 minutes by poking with a toothpick.

No comments: