I love the idea of Fall, Holidays and anything mini size. These mini fall pies can be made using almost any type of pie you can imagine. I have a sweet tooth and love all desserts. When it comes to pies, my favorite part is the crust. Mini size made sense to me, more crust and less mess equals win win! I decided to try to make them mini-size for holiday 2 years ago. I thought it might be fun and unexpected to make them tiny and easy to eat.
I have noticed that on holidays or any occasion, most people only eat pieces of pie that are their favorite. Almost as if a whole piece of something you kinda like isn’t worth the mess and effort. So, I decided to try my idea for mini fall pies on Thanksgiving. Thinking that maybe after being exhausted from stuffing ourselves with turkey, dessert would be a lot easier. No messy cutting or chances for me to drop, spill or plop anything on anyone’s nicely pressed holiday outfit.
First thing you need is the pie crust. You can use store bought..or make your own. It’s easier than you may think to make it yourself. You can also add more flavor with additional ingredients that don’t come in store bought crust. You can see the small specks in the dough in this photo below that I added brown sugar and cinnamon to this pie crust dough.
I use a hand pie crust cutter or a food processor like below.
Make sure you do not over work the dough.
- 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 2 sticks unsalted butter diced into small pieces
- 1/2 cup cold water
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
Place water in a small cup and place in freezer for a few minutes.
Whisk flour, salt, cinnamon and sugar in a medium bowl, set aside.
Cut butter into cubes and add to flour mixture. Place flour mixture and butter in a food processor and pulse together a few times until you see course crumbs, then add ice water slowly through feed chute and pulse until the dough starts to come together. Or, cut dough with a pastry cutter starting with butter and flour mixture then add water and incorporate until dough comes together and resembles course crumbs.
Place dough on a floured work space or on parchment paper. Working the dough in your hands bring the dough together and form two separate sections and wrapped tightly with plastic wrap or parchment paper and set in fridge to chill.
Do not over work dough. You want to see small chunks of butter in dough as you roll it out.
Use a floured surface and floured hands to handle to prevent sticking.
Another way to do this is by hand with a pastry cutter if you don’t have a food processor. It’s messy, but not that complicated.
Using the same ingredients as above:
- Whisk flour, sugar,cinnamon and salt in medium bowl.
- Cut butter into small pieces and place in bowl with flour.
- Using a pastry cutter cut cold butter pieces into flour mixture, until you have coarse crumb mixture.
- Slowly in small amounts add chilled water and continue cutting dough. You may not need all water, you want dough to be just wet enough to come together.
- working with hands mold dough into two separate sections and cover with plastic wrap or parchment paper. Refrigerate for about and hour or until you need it.
Now onto the pie filling!
While the dough is chilling you can start to prepare the pie filling. We will start with apple pie.
Apple Pie Filling
- Pie crust for two 9" pies.
- About 8 or more granny smith green apples peeled and sliced.
- 1/2 cup of flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 tbsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp ginger
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter cut into tiny cubes.
- 1 9 " pie pan
Peel and lice the apples and set aside.
In a medium bowl place flour, salt, sugars and cinnamon.
Add apple slices to bowl with flour mixture and mix together until apples are coated well.
Set aside to prepare mini pie pans.
Set filling aside and begin to prepare a regular size cupcake pan and spray it with non-stick spray. I used Wilton Recipe Right Nonstick 12-Cup Regular Muffin Pan Remove chilled dough from the refrigerator and begin to roll out on a clean floured surface. Roll out dough to about 1/8 inch thickness. Using a 3 inch circular cookie or biscuit cutter, cut out individual circles. To keep them cool, place cutouts as you go on a floured plate, cover and chill until you are done. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Place the mini circles of dough into the cupcake pans pressing to make the dough fit the center with a little extra left on the edge for shaping. When you have all circles filled, add apple filling, then top each with a few tiny cubes of chilled butter.
For the apple pies, I cut out small strips to make a lattice-style top.
A lattice top is made by intertwining each layer in a pattern that above and under each strip. It may be easier to make a pattern on a floured surface, chill, then place on top. Then lightly pinch the edges where the strips meet the bottom edge together to seal. For an apple pie, I always brush crust with an egg wash then sprinkle some sanding sugar on top of the wash then place in the oven.
Egg wash: one egg and a splash of whole milk or heavy cream.
Bake in preheated 425 degree oven for about 35-40 minutes. I baked both kinds at the same time because I’m inpatient and had to know how they were going to come out. It’s probably best to do each kind one at a time for precise cooking times. The apple pie mini’s will be ready when the center is bubbly and the outer crust is a golden brown. This recipe should make a dozen all together, maybe more depending on how thin you roll the crust. You will use more pie crust for the apple and less for the pumpkin, obviously with no top crust on the pumpkin.
Next is the pumpkin mini fall pie.
Mini Pumpkin Pie
- Pie crust for one 9" pie
- I can 14 oz can of pure pumpkin puree
- 1 tbsp cinnamon
- 1 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 tsp nutmeg
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/2 tsp ground cloves
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 2 eggs
- 1 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk.
Place pumpkin, sugars, vanilla nutmeg, cloves, ginger, and salt in a mixer and blend on low. Add eggs one at a time, then add condensed milk.
Place pie crust in pie pan, pour mixture into mini pie crusts. Pinch edges of pie crust to create a decorative edge. Bake in oven at 425 degrees for about 40 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
Fill the open mini pie dough with the pumpkin mixture about 3/4 full, leaving room for the pumpkin pie to rise and cook. Brush the edges of crust with an egg wash and bake at 425 degrees for 34-40 minutes. Pumpkin mini pies are done when toothpick inserted in center comes out clean and had a golden outer crust. let pies cool before trying to remove from pan. Serve immediately or store in airtight container and refrigerate until use. Pie will be good for about 4-5 days in the refrigerator. These can be reheated before serving.
For pumpkin pie, you can add a scoop of whipped cream and a pie crust garnish if desired. For the apple pie, scoop vanilla ice cream for the side or place a tiny scoop on top and let it melt while you eat it tastes great. What also tastes great is putting a tiny bit of ice cream and whipped topping on the apple pie…messy…but delicious!