Friday, March 14, 2014

Happy Pi Day! (Mini Apple Pie's)

Another recipe that falls on a Friday, that is not popcorn??  What is becoming of me?!  
I still haven't managed to replace my beloved popcorn maker, plus, today has a special date: 3.14 = Pi Day!!  Obviously, the normal thing to do on such an occasion...bake up these cutie patoutie mini apple pi(e)s to celebrate with!

Pi Day is an annual celebration of the mathematical constant π, which observed by foodies, and smarties alike on
March 14, or 3.14!

Wait until next year, all the math lovers will be swooning, 3.14 15!!

Mini Apple Pies

Pie Pastry
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 Tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cups unsalted butter, very cold, cubed
1/8 cup all-vegetable shortening, very cold, cut into small pieces
3 - 4 Tablespoons ice water

Apple Filling
3 apples, cored and diced
2 Tablespoons butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1 Tablespoon corn starch (optional - if you find it too juicy/runny)

On Top
1/8 cup milk or heavy cream, to brush over the top
 2-4 Tablespoons sugar, for dusting

Using a food processor or good ol' fashioned hand held pastry cutter, mix or pulse together the flour, sugar and salt until well combined.  Next add the butter and shortening to the flour mixture and blend or pulse until the butter and shortening pieces are pretty much pea-sized.   Add the ice water, a tablespoon at a time, continue to blend or pulse to combine, until the dough is evenly moistened. Pinch a bit of dough together between two fingers to test...the dough should stick together.  If the dough seems dry, add a few more teaspoons of water and mix again.
Gather dough into a ball, and wrap tightly in plastic wrap.  Refrigerate for at least an hour before you begin to roll out the dough.
While your dough is chillin' make your apple pie fillin'!
Using a medium sized pan, over medium-high heat.  Add the diced apples, butter, brown sugar and spices to the pan and stir to combine. Cook until the butter is melted and the apples are just softened (not mushy!), about 2 minutes.  Remove from the heat, and set aside and allow to cool to about room temperature.
Rolling, cutting, baking!
Preheat the oven to 350F.   Grease large sized muffin tins, or line with parchment, and set aside.
Remove dough from the refrigerator. To save on clean up, I use two sheets of parchment paper, the dough placed in between the two, to roll.  As the dough warms, it gets sticky, so work fast, or add flour to the parchment prior to rolling.  Roll out to about 1/8 inch thickness.  Using a 5 inch diameter cookie cutter, or drinking glass rim, to cut out: 6 circles for bottom, & 6 for top, 12 total. Gather dough, and re-roll as necessary to achieve all 12.  If you want to get fancy, create your design in the 6 pie tops, or simply slit with a knife, or pierce with a fork.
Gently push the dough circle into the pre-greased muffin tin, and then fill with cooled apple filling.  Place on pre-designed top dough circle over the apple filling, and press down gently.
Lightly brush the top of each pastry with the milk, and then sprinkle with the sugar.
Bake for 30-35 minutes, until the pies are golden brown and cooked through. Let cool for 10 minutes or so, before carefully removing from tin.  Serve warm with a scoop of ice cream, or dollop of whip cream.  Or allow to cool completely, and add to a lunch box for a special Pi Day surprise!


1 comment:

  1. Whoever inveted Pi Day is a freak'n genius. Love your mini pies... and all they sail in them.