Individual Caramel Apple Pies
Apple pie and I go way back. I made my first apple pie when I was 15. I didn’t have a recipe nor had I watched anyone make apple pies, I just knew that I didn’t like the store bought kind and there had to be a way to have a good apple pie that was fresh, spicy, sweet and tart. We’ve had our ups (baking and selling these beauties and raising over $2,000.00 in a month for a fundraiser 🙂 ) and our downs (losing a lemon seed amongst the apple filling and throwing a knife across the table in frustration after several attempts at removing the seed…I’ve had better moments 🙂 ). But regardless of money or knives sticking out of tables, what would fall be like without a home made apple pie. I still prefer the classic but decided to have a little fun the other night and add some caramel and take the size down a bit 🙂
Baked in muffin tins, these little gals are the perfect individual sized pie. It creates a super buttery and flakey crust all the way around and the filling boasts a spicy, caramel-y blend of seasonal goodness. A little more time consuming but worth the effort!
Individual Caramel Apple Pies
Yields 10 individual pies
Pie Crust recipe doubled
5 medium assorted apples (granny smith, macintosh, gala, etc)
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1/8 teaspoon cloves
1/8 teaspoon allspice
1 tablespoon lemon juice
10 ounces chewy caramels, unwrapped
3 tablespoons evaporated milk
1. Make pie crust according to recipe except before step 3, divide the dough in half and continue with step 3 and 4 for only half of the dough. *When molding the circles into the muffin pan I recommend doing every other cup to leave room for the lattice topping overhang. The other half, cut into the same size circles but then cut each circle into 6 (close to) equal sized strips and then refrigerate the dough for later use.
*If the pie crust is done cooking while you are still doing steps 2 and 3 just remove from the oven and set aside to cool slightly while you finish.
2. While the pie dough is baking, start assembling the apple filling. Peel and core the apples and then slice them thin (about 1/8 of an inch) and cut the length to between 1/2 inch to 1 inch (for the best fit inside the pie crust). Place the cut apples into a large mixing bowl. When all the apples are sliced add the sugar, brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, allspice and lemon juice. Stir until all the apples are coated. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set aside.
3. Place the unwrapped caramels into a small saucepan with the evaporated milk. Set the saucepan over low heat and stir until the caramel is completely melted.
4. When the pie crust is done cooking, remove from the oven and remove the cupcake liners and beans. Spoon about a 1/2 tablespoon-1 tablespoon of caramel in the bottom of each pie crust. Spoon about 1/3-1/2 cup of the apple mixture on top of the caramel. Remove the pie dough strips from the refrigerator and working quickly as the dough will start to melt on the hot muffin pan, place 3 strips across the top of the pie and weave 3 strips perpendicular through those creating a cris-cross pattern (see above pictures). Return the pies to the oven and bake for another 20-30 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the apples goes in without resistance. (Typically I would do an egg wash on the top crust but because the pan is hot you have to work quickly to avoid too much melting of the dough. Some softening is going to occur but it’s ok! However some of my edges melted and still turned out fine so don’t worry!)