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Day 10 ❄︎ Mini Caramel Apple Pies

Today we are making mini caramel apple pies using homemade apple filling and store-bought pie crust. You might think apple pie is more of a fall favorite, but I won’t say no to a freshly baked apple pie at Christmas time! Would you?

Mini Caramel Apple Pies with homemade apple filling and store-bought pie crust. Easy + Delicious!

Plus, these are the perfect size to grab and go or set out on a dessert table.

I used store-bought pie crust because it’s super easy and saves time. I made the apple filling from scratch — totally quick and easy — and I like that I can control the flavor. So let’s start there: making apple pie filling.

(1)  Core, peel and dice two large Granny Smith apples. Place them in a bowl and toss with lemon juice.

Mini Caramel Apple Pies with homemade apple filling and store-bought pie crust. Easy + Delicious!

While I prefer Fuji apples for snacking, I like Granny Smiths for baking because their slight tartness balances well with sugar components. And they don’t normally turn to mush during the baking process.

(2)  Combine water, sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt in a medium sauce pan and bring to a boil. Boil for about 2 minutes, stirring often, then mix in the apples.

Mini Caramel Apple Pies with homemade apple filling and store-bought pie crust. Easy + Delicious!

(3)  Reduce heat, cover and simmer until the apples are soft, about 10 minutes. Feel free to sample an apple and adjust the flavors to your liking — amp up the cinnamon; sprinkle with more sugar to sweeten. You’ll also want to stir the apples every so often to keep the bottom from burning.

(4)  Once the apples are soft, remove from heat and allow to cool. The filling will continue to thicken. While the filling is cooling, take the pie crusts out of the refrigerator and unroll them flat onto a lightly floured surface or mat.

Mini Caramel Apple Pies with homemade apple filling and store-bought pie crust. Easy + Delicious!

(5)  Using a 3″ cookie cutter or glass, cut as many circles as possible out of the dough. Gather up the scraps of dough into a ball, roll flat with a rolling pin and continue cutting circles.

Mini Caramel Apple Pies with homemade apple filling and store-bought pie crust. Easy + Delicious!

There are two pie crusts in the box and I was able to get about 10 pies (20 circles) out of them. I’m not much of a dough roller, so you may be able to eek out more. You just want to have an even number of circles at the end.

(6)  Now we’ll assemble the mini pies: spoon a bit of apple filling onto the center of a dough circle. Take care to leave a border around the edges to seal.

Mini Caramel Apple Pies with homemade apple filling and store-bought pie crust. Easy + Delicious!

I threw a little caramel on top because I had them in my pantry… why not? Sprinkle a little sea salt on there, too, if you’d like.

(7)  Place a dough circle on top of the filling and seal the pie closed by gently crimping the edges with the tines of a fork.

Mini Caramel Apple Pies with homemade apple filling and store-bought pie crust. Easy + Delicious!

Make two vents in the top of each pie by piercing it with the tip of a sharp knife.

(8)  For a finishing touch, brush the tops of each pie with egg wash and generously sprinkle with sanding sugar.

Mini Caramel Apple Pies with homemade apple filling and store-bought pie crust. Easy + Delicious!

(9)  Bake the mini pies for about 15 minutes or until they’re golden. I like my crusts a little crispier so I let them bake a few minutes more.

Mini Caramel Apple Pies with homemade apple filling and store-bought pie crust. Easy + Delicious!

Mini Caramel Apple Pies with homemade apple filling and store-bought pie crust. Easy + Delicious!

Any leftover apple filling can be saved in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to a month. Yay, apple pie on demand!

Mini Caramel Apple Pies with homemade apple filling and store-bought pie crust. Easy + Delicious!

I think the best thing about these pies is that you can fill them with just about anything. I love cherry pie, but my kids don’t, so I fill some with cherry to satisfy my craving and fill the rest with apple. You can try sliced apples with chunks of brie cheese, ham and cheese, roasted pears and goat cheese, the ingredients of this terrific Holiday Baked Brie… the list is nearly endless!

So tell me in the comments below, what will you put in yours? Enjoy!  — v.

Mini Caramel Apple Pies

Mini Caramel Apple Pies

Ingredients

  • 2 cups Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and diced
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 Tbsp + 2 tsp cornstarch
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 box of refrigerated pie crusts
  • 4-5 caramels, diced
  • 1 egg
  • sanding sugar, optional

Instructions

  • Core and peel apples and then cut into bite-size pieces. Place apples in a large bowl and toss with lemon juice.

  • In a medium sauce pan, combine water, sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt and mix well. Bring the mixture to a boil and allow to boil about 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add apples, reduce heat, cover and simmer until apples are soft, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

  • While the apple filling is cooling, preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

  • Remove pie crusts and unroll on lightly floured surface or mat. Using a cookie cutter or glass, cut 3" circles out of the dough. Gather scraps into a ball and re-roll it with a rolling pin. Continue cutting circles until you run out of dough. Make sure you end with an even number of circles.

  • Place circles on baking sheet and spoon a small amount of apple filling into the center. Leave about 1/2" of space around the edges to seal. Top with diced caramels. Place another dough circle on top and gently crimp the edges together with a fork. Pierce the top with the tip of a sharp knife to make 2 vents.

  • Beat egg with 1 Tbsp of water and brush each pie with egg wash. Sprinkle with sanding sugar.

  • Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown. Allow pies to cool, about 10 minutes, before serving. Store leftover apple filling in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or freeze in airtight container for a month.
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