Kevin’s son Dallen loves apple pie. He comes to stay with us every second weekend and pretty much every single time, he asks me if we can make an apple pie. I always tell him that if he peels the apples, we can make a pie. So he has peeled a lot of apples! He has even had his friends in the kitchen peeling apples with him. It’s also Kevin’s favorite!
And really, who doesn’t love apple pie? Warm, sweet, cinnamony apples surrounded by a flaky buttery crust. Even better with scoop of ice cream on top. Kevin doesn’t like to eat his apple pie without ice cream. I might even go so far as to say he won’t. If we don’t have any, he will make a special trip to the store just for ice cream if I start making an apple pie.
I have made a few apple pies this year so this time I figured that I would try something different and make some Mini Caramel Apple Pies. I have never made mini pies before, but I saw a recipe on Just a Taste and they look so delicious! I love pastry crust and the ratio of crust to filling is greater with a little mini pie than a traditional piece of pie. Yum for me! I will post my Apple Pie recipe one of these days too. Soon. Its freeking fantastic!
I used my own pastry recipe for these pies and adapted the filling recipe just a wee bit. Its a great recipe!
Look at that gooey caramely filling coming out!
The trick, I found, with these little pies is to cut the filling pieces small. Otherwise you can’t stuff too much in as it starts poking out the top or sides. If its small pieces, you can put a good mound on the bottom piece and easily cover it without tears.
The caramel part of these puppies is super easy. Its just chopped up caramel squares! You can go to the trouble of making your own caramel if you like, but this is easier and it tastes great. When I make a caramel apple pie, I always make my own caramel, but if you did that here, the filling would be much more juicy so I think it would be more difficult to get the pies together without the filling pouring out the sides. Doable if you made your caramel quite thick, but still more difficult.
Jessica and I have a secret guilty pleasure. Sometimes, when we have a craving, we go to the store and get a handful of caramel squares and melt them with a little coconut milk. Then we dip apple slices in the melted caramel! Its one of our favorite little snacks when we are craving something sweet.
Believe it or not, Jessica is not a fan of apple pie. She likes apples, loves apples actually, just not my usual Apple Pie. However, she adores these Caramel Apple Mini Pies! It must be the familiar combination of the caramel and apples that she loves so much about these.
She’s sure not going to like that her little fingers weren’t painted nice for these pictures lol.
Mini Caramel Apple Hand Pies
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1/8 baking powder
- 1/2 cup butter , cold and diced (or vegetable shortening)
- 1 egg , beaten
- 2 tsp white wine vinegar
- 1/4 cold water plus a tablespoon or two more if needed
- 1 egg (reserved for the egg wash)THE FILLING
- 2 cups small diced Apples ( I like honey crisp or fuji)
- 2 tsp fresh lemon juice
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 tsp flour
- 8 soft square caramels , chopped small
- maldon Salt or other sea salt
- egg wash (1 egg beaten with 1 tbsp water)
- coarse sugar
MAKE THE PASTRY
In a small bowl, add the egg and break it up with a fork. Add the vinegar and the cold water. Set it in the fridge or freezer for a moment.
In a bowl or your mixer, add the dry ingredients.
Then add the butter. Pulse in your mixer till it resembles small peas, or break up with a pastry cutter by hand.
Next add the liquid slowly and mix till just combined.
Pour out on to a surface and mould into a ball. Wrap it in plastic wrap and place in the fridge for at least 1/2 an hour. 1 hour is better.
In a small bowl, combine the apples, lemon juice, cinnamon, sugar and flour, stirring until thoroughly mixed. Set aside.
Preheat the oven to 425ºF.
Remove the dough from the refrigerator and unfold it onto a well-floured surface, rolling it out to a large round circle about 1/4 inch thick.
Using about a 3-inch circular cookie cutter, or a martini or margarita glass works good, cut out as many circles as possible. 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.
Place six of the dough circles on a parchment paper-lined cookie sheet. Spoon a small portion of the apple filling into the center of each circle, leaving enough of a border around the filling. Top the apple filling with a portion of the chopped caramels and a pinch of sea salt. Place a second dough circle atop each filled circle then use a fork to crimp the edges together, sealing each pie.
Brush each pie with the egg wash, and then using a sharp knife, cut two or three vents on the top of each pie. Sprinkle the pies with coarse sugar.
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.
Repeat the filling and baking process with the remaining dough circles.