We made these with the apples that we picked because it was the perfect time of the year! Each mini pie that I made was about 4 inches in diameter and served 2 people.
Choosing the right cooking apples is important for making pies. Cooking apples need to have the right tart-sweetness balance and also, the flesh need to have a certain degree of robustness – it mustn’t break down during cooking.
Using the Pillsbury “Perfect Apple Pie” recipe for the sauce, we adjusted the method to part cook the apples first. We recommend this because if you’re making mini pies, the cooking time is considerably less and may result in undercook apples. If you’re not into making your own pastry, Pillsbury pastry does a great job.
Roll out shortcrust pastry to about a 1/8 inch thickness and line each mini pie pan.
When lining a pie pan you want to leave extra dough around the edges, as when blind-baking* the pastry will shrink.
*blind-baking – a term used when baking the pastry before adding the filling, done to prevent the pastry from becoming soggy and making sure that the pastry is done baking when the filling is.
Blind-bake the pastry for about 5 minutes at 400 degrees farenheit.
To prevent the apple pies from splitting during baking, it is important to slit the top of the pies to make openings for steam to escape. From our experience, make bigger holes or more slits if you can and don’t overpack with apples. We did have a few pies burst open though, however when people can see the filling it looks even more exciting!
Apple filling Ingredients
6 cups thinly sliced, peeled apples
3/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt (optional)
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Instructions for Charis’ Shortcrust Pastry or 1 box Pillsbury pie crust
to make the Apple filling
1. Put chopped apples, sugar and cinnamon in a pot
2. Cook the apples for 5 to 10 minutes over gentle heat
3. Remove and drain any liquid left in the pot, into another pot and continue to simmer vigorously till the liquid is very thick
4. Pour the thicken syrup (almost caramelized) over the cooked apples and mix wellAllow the mixture to cool
to make the Pastry shells
1. Use little pastry dishes
2. Grease each of the individual pie dishes with some vegetable oil
3. Roll out the pastry to a thin layer of about 1/16 inches
4. Cut into appropriate size and fill each pie crust and pressing against the sides
5. Leave the overhanging bits of the pie over the edge of the mini pie dish as pastry will shrink when baked
6. Blind bake the pie cases for 8 minutes
7. When they are baked, let them cool down a little and trim off the excess
8. With the remaining pastry prepare the lids for the pies bye cutting them slightly bigger than the pie dish
Baking the pies
1. Fill the pies with the cooked apple
2. Brush beaten egg on the edge of the blind baked pastry
3. Put the lids on top of the pies, press down slightly and trim off excess
4. When the pies are ready to go in the oven, brush over with beaten egg
5. Bake in the oven at 425°F for 20 minutes
6. Remember half way through brush the pies with beaten egg again
7. When baked, remove and allow to cool on a wire rack