How to make mini apple pies for a New England Fall fire pit gathering
Each New England fall, apple picking is one of our family traditions and last fall I had so many apples that I decided to host a fire pit party that included mini items. I first started out with mini bowls of homemade chili followed by mini apple pies baked in ramekins. Each of the two items were easy to hold or place down on the arm of the Adirondack chairs.
Below is my New England family recipe that has been made since I can remember and all I did differently for the mini apple pies was to dice my apples a little smaller and I needed to buy a couple of packages of pie crusts so that I could cut out circles to place on top of the filling, once it was in the ramekin.
Ingredients for your New England Apple Pie Recipe:
3/4 cup of light brown sugar
1/4 cup of all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon of ground cinnamon (keep your container close by for a little bit of sprinkling)
Freshly ground nutmeg, to taste (Feel free to use nutmeg already grounded)
7 medium apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
1 lemon juiced
Directions to make your homemade New England Style Apple Pie
3 tablespoons butter, diced (I like to use salted butter)
Egg wash, for brushing the crust (this will help give that golden brown and help the sugar to adhere
Sugar, for sprinkling
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
For your New England style apple pie filling, Mix together the brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a small bowl. In another bowl, sprinkle apples with the juice of 1 lemon and toss. Stir in the sugar mixture to evenly coat the apples.
Set aside. Roll out chilled dough into 2 circles and use 1 round to line a 9-inch pie pan. Chill the other round.
Mound the apple and sugar mixture into the pie pan that has already been lined with your apple pie crust dough (keep in mind your dough will shrink a bit while cooking, so don't be shy with the dough on the edge). Dot the filling with the cubed butter.
If you want to make a lattice top: easy apple pie crust recipe below if needed
Taking your cooled apple pie crust dough, use a pastry cutter or sharp knife and cut an even number of strips from the remaining rolled out dough. This sounds tricky, but you will get if fairly quickly... transfer every other strip to the pie top and weave in the lattice by folding every other strip back onto itself and laying another strip perpendicularly. Fold the strips back across and repeat until completed.
If you want to have a fully covered top:
Roll out your chilled dough, large enough to cover your mounded filling and cover the edges of your pie plate. Press the edge with a fork and cut away excess. slice openings or create a hole on the top to allow steam to escape.
Brush the top of the pie with egg wash and sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar. Trim the overhanging dough and crimp edges.
Bake pie for 45 minutes. Let rest 20 minutes before slicing. If you want to make your own apple pie crust, there is a recipe below, but there are many delicious apple pie shell crusts available, or you can buy the crust mix and just add the liquid ingredients.
An Easy Apple Pie Crust - This is great for beginners
2 cups All-Purpose Flour
1 tsp. salt
2/3 cup shortening
5-6 tablespoons ice cold water
Blend together flour and salt until well mixed.
With your fingers, rub shortening into the flour or if you don't like using your hands, you can use two knives or a pastry blender until mixture has lumps the size of small peas.
Using a tablespoon measure, spoon out 1 tablespoon of ice water, one tablespoon at a time, (have a bowl set aside with water and ice for this), stirring quickly into the flour mixture, using only enough water (5 or 6 tablespoons) for the pastry to come together (mixture will be crumbly).
Divide the apple pie dough crust into two portions, one a bit larger than the other (one will be the bottom crust, the other will be the top). Place the smaller one in, in plastic wrap, and place in the fridge while working on the pan crust).
With the larger half shape into a 1/2" thick disk shape larger than the pie pan. Place and fit into the pan loosely. Smooth the edges. Wrap in plastic wrap and rest for 20 minutes in a cool place or in the refrigerator.
Take out the smaller portion, of the apple pie dough crust, from the refrigerator and roll out on a lightly floured work surface to a size 1 1/2 inches larger than the pie pan if you are going to cover the complete pie as mentioned above, or cut into lattice strips.