How many times a year do you make a pie?
For a lot of people, that’d be usually only once or twice, during the holidays. Because I mean, making a pie is a big undertaking. There’s all the slicing and mixing and rolling and cutting, and most of all — the pressure to make the perfectly flaky and picturesque crust.
But, I love pie.
Probably apple pie most of all, and I want it a whole lot more often than just once or twice a year. So, I recently just decided to take it easy and instead of making one big, perfect pie, I’d make a whole lot of little, slightly ugly ones.
Enter, the mini pie.
Made in a muffin tin, these little ones are everything you love about pie, but without all the pie rules. Just my style!
- Food processor with a slicing blade (if you don’t have one, it’ll be a huge chore slicing up all the apples!)
- Mixing bowls
- Pastry cutter
- Pastry cloth mat (don’t bother with those dumb plastic ones that slide all over the place! These cloth ones that hook to the edge of your counter are where it’s at.)
- Rolling pin
- Muffin tins
Ingredients for the Crust:
- 2 cups sprouted or einkorn flour (find healthy flour here)
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt (find real sea salt here)
- 2/3 cup butter, preferably grass-fed (find local, grass-fed dairy here) or coconut oil (find quality coconut oil here)
- A small bowl full of ice water
(I’m no crust expert, you guys, but I’ll do my best here. Pastry queens are welcome to chime in with tips in the comments.) Sift together the flour and salt. Then, begin cutting in the butter and/or coconut oil. You want to get to a point where most of the chunks of butter or coconut oil are roughly pea-sized.
Then, one tablespoon at a time, begin adding ice water to the mixture. Press it up against the bowl, and what doesn’t stick together, scoot over to the other side of the bowl and add another tablespoon of water. Keep going until all the dough is moistened and sticking together (about 5-7 tablespoons).
Take about a third of the dough and start rolling it out with a little sifted flour on your pastry cloth mat. Roll it out fairly thin. Grease the muffin tin lightly with coconut oil or butter. You’ll have to roll out the other pieces of dough as you go along, but go ahead and start filling up your muffin tin with your first piece.
Ingredients for the Pie Filling:
- 6 cups peeled and sliced apples. It’s best to have a mix of apples with some green ones in there for tartness.
- 3/4 cup (or less if you prefer) natural sweetener such as sucanat, organic sugar, or honey (find natural sweeteners here)
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice, optional if you think your apples are tart enough
- 2 tablespoons flour (find healthy flour here)
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (find organic spices here)
- Dash of nutmeg (find organic spices here)
- Little dots of cold butter
- Optional: Egg or melted butter for brushing
Pie Filling Directions:
Mix everything together (aside from optional ingredients) in a large bowl. That’s basically it.
Putting it All Together:
Preheat the oven to 350. Take a butter knife and cut out a square (square-ish, they won’t all be square since you’re cutting from an oval-ish slab of dough) of crust dough that’s bigger than what would fit into one of the spaces in your muffin tin. Keep doing that, and don’t worry about oddly-shaped scraps that you get. Those will go on top later to fill in the empty spaces.
Continue cutting up the dough and gently push the pieces into the muffin spots. Spoon in the filling to the point where it’s a little over-full. (Optional: if you would like to, you can add tiny little dots of butter to the filling. Not necessary, but gives a little more flavor/creaminess to it.) Now, you can simply fold over the corners of the dough squares to cover the top. Take the oddly-shaped scraps and place them on top where some of the pies need covering.
Roll out another piece of the dough, then continue. Cut the dough and place in the tin, spoon in the filling, fold the dough over and fill in the empty spots. Cut, spoon, fold, fill, til you’re out of crust and filling. When I made this recipe, I ended up with 19 pies.
If you would like to at this point, you can brush the tops of the pies with either an whisked egg, or melted butter.
Put the muffin tins (either one at a time or both) in the oven and bake the pies at 350 degrees. Check on it at about 30 minutes. They may need up to 40 minutes baking time.
Be sure to serve with some yummy vanilla ice cream while they’re hot, and don’t be ashamed to eat the rest for breakfast in the morning!