Thursday, October 10, 2013

In the Kitchen: Caramel Apple Mini Pies

For the past ten years or so, my husband and I have gone apple picking on my birthday. The timing is perfect for us (October 15) because our favorite, braeburn, are pretty much the only thing left on the trees. We pick a lot of apples, so many we can hardly carry them all. I think we usually go back for more, too.

I spend the next few weeks making apple butter, apple sauce and apple jelly (my dad's favorite), but we've actually never picked enough to leave room for making pie filling. Honestly, I'm not really a huge fruit pie fan, will the exception of cold soggy tart cherry pie, which any family member of mine will attest to.

This year we will not be picking apples on my birthday, because I've been picking them from my very own trees for the last two months! There are still a few left hanging and I still have buckets around the house and bowlfuls in the fridge, but I've already processed more apples this year than the last ten combined. That meant my first attempt at pie filling! It was almost a debacle. Actually, I think it does qualify as a debacle, but a salvaged one. In the end all it meant was the quarts I intended to have became pints. I've since been on a mission to come up with some mini dessert recipes that someone could easily make with a smaller amount of pie filling, and here's my first! Did I mentioned those are marshmallows on top?

pie crust dough (homemade or store bought roll)
apple pie filling (homemade or store bought can)
caramel baking bits (in the baking aisle with the chocolate chips)
mini marshmallows

Aside from being quick and easy, the beauty of this recipe is you can make just a few or a whole baking sheet worth at a time. Leftover dough and filling can be stored in the fridge to make something else or bake more fresh later.

Preheat oven to 400°. Cut 4" to 5" circles from the dough, depending on what size you'd like the finished pies (I cut about 4.5"). Spoon one to two tablespoon of filling in the center (you can cut up the apples if you'd like or need to). Sprinkle the caramel bits on top of the filling (as few or as many as you'd like), then fold up and crimp the edges.

Bake for about 10 - 15 min until the crust edges start to brown. Remove from the oven and cover the top with the mini marshmallows. You can also cut up full size marshmallows if you happen to have those. I wasn't sure if too many would make the pie's too sweet so I went light on them as you can see in the photo, but they were amazing and next time I'm totally piling them on!

Return to the oven for about 3 - 5 minutes until the marshmallows start to puff and brown.

As hard as it will be, I recommend waiting about 10 minutes before serving for the marshmallows to set and the pies to cool a bit because they will be bubbling!

I made a few without the caramel bits and they were excellent as well. You can also drizzle caramel (or butterscotch) sauce over the top in lieu of baking with the bits. Hope you enjoy!


One Little Bird said...

Seriously, that looks ridiculously good!!!

Michelle said...

Yum! Thanks!