I had been working on putting together some small thank-you gifts when I came across the recipe for these itty bitty pies. Seriously, how adorable are they? Last fall, my in-laws traveled up to spend Thanksgiving with us, and my mother-in-law had given me this little apple pie press from Williams Sonoma that I wasn’t sure I would ever use. (In its packaging it looked fancy and borderline intimidating, I swear.) These pies can be made just as easily without a press, but I am so glad I dusted mine off and used it- they were fun and simple! If you want to make this recipe even more simple, or if you feel about pie crust dough the way I feel about yeast- go pick up 2 Pillsbury Pie Crust boxes. Your secret is safe with me!
- For The Dough:
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 cup (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
- 1/2 cup cold sour cream
- (As I mentioned in the post, if you are looking to save time, you can use two boxes of Pillsbury Pie Crust in place of your own)
- For the filling:
- 2 cups small diced (peeled) Granny Smith apples (I mixed in a few Honeycrisp! Chop very small, due to the 15 minute cook time they need to be small to become tender)
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
- 1 bag soft caramels, chopped
- Coarse sea salt
- Egg wash (1 egg lightly whisked with 1 Tablespoon water)
- Crystal sanding sugar (optional)
- Pie crust dough:
- Whisk together the flour, salt and baking powder in a large bowl. Add the cubed butter to the bowl and use your fingers or a fork to work the butter into the flour until the mixture is the consistency of wet sand.
- Stir in the sour cream (the dough will be very wet), and then turn the dough out onto a well-floured work surface.
- Knead the dough a few times until it comes together, adding more flour, 1 teaspoon at a time, if the dough is too sticky to handle. Roll the dough into an 8x10-inch rectangle and dust both sides with flour before folding it into thirds as if you were folding a letter.
- Rotate the dough 90º and roll it out again into an 8x10-inch rectangle. Fold the dough again into thirds then wrap it securely in plastic wrap and refrigerate it for at least 30 minutes while you make the filling.
- For the filling:
- Combine the chopped & peeled apples, lemon juice, cinnamon, sugar, & flour. Fold to coat apples in mixture and set aside.
- To assemble:
- Preheat the oven to 425ºF. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and unfold it onto a well-floured surface, rolling it out to a 14x14-inch square. Using a 3-inch circular cookie cutter or a mini pie mold, cut out as many circles as possible (or whatever your shape is.) Re-roll the scraps and continue cutting out circles until you run out of dough, ensuring you end up with an even number of circles. (You should have approximately 20 3-inch circles.)
- Placing the bottom half of dough into the mold, scoop a large spoonful of apple mixture into the center. Top the apple filling with a portion of the chopped caramels and a pinch of sea salt. Place a second dough piece on top of each filled portion, then press mold to adhere seams. (If you are not using a mold, simply use a fork around the edges to make a seam.)
- Brush each pie with the egg wash, and using a sharp knife, cut two or three vents on the top of each pie if your mold does not already have an air vent. Sprinkle the pies with crystal sanding sugar (optional).
- Bake the pies for about 15 minutes, or until they're golden brown. Remove the pies from the oven and allow them to rest for 10 minutes before serving.
Recipe courtesy of Kelly at Just a Taste. See her page for helpful tips on making these pies!