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?
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.
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.
(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.
(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.
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.
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.
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.
(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.
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!
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.