These mini pies are an adaptation of the traditional Dutch Apple Pie, which has high straight sides and is flavoured with cinnamon. Making small pies (especially with high, straight sides) takes a lot more time than other apple pies. However, they provide great single-servings, can be eaten without plate and fork (although a napkin for rogue crumbs is advised) and have a great wow-factor.
For the best results, use different kinds of apples. When combining eating apples and cooking apples, you get the benefit of a mixed filling, with both a flavourful mushy applesauce as well as some chunks to provide texture.
You can adjust the filling as you please, adding different nuts and spices as you please. If you want to make this a single pie, use 2/3rd of the dough, for an open top half of the dough should do. You can also find apple pie recipes for single pies in the Sweet Pie section.
For the pastry:
- 500gr flour
- 1 tbs sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 340gr butter, cold
- 2 medium eggs
For the filling:
- 1 tbs semolina
- 1 tbs lemon juice
- 5 apples, different kinds (I used Jonagold, Golden Delicious, Fuji, Granny Smith and Elstar)
- 4 tbs sugar
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- pinch of nutmeg
- pinch of ground cloves
- 100gr walnuts
- 50gr raisins
- 1 egg
You need 12 baking rings with a 7cm base, or other miniature baking forms.
First, make the pastry:
Combine the flour, sugar and salt. Add the cold butter in chunks. Combine the butter with the flour to form fine crumbs. The preferred method is by using a pastry cutter, which cuts the butter and mixes it with the flour without adding much heat to the mixture. You can also rub it between your hands, but be careful to not mix it too long and/or allow the dough to get too warm, as this will give a tough pastry as a result.
Add the eggs and quickly combine the dough together. If it is too dry, you can add a tablespoon of water, but you want the dough to just stick together (it will be flaky). It will come together more while resting.
Leave the dough to rest in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
After resting, roll out 3/4th of the dough to a thickness of 3-4mm. Cut out 12 circles of about 20cm for 7cm pies (you won’t get all of them out of the initial roll, don’t knead too much when re-shaping to roll again though, as this makes the dough tough). Measure the necessary pastry size by taking once the base plus two times the side of the baking ring. Take out two wedges on each side of the pie, to allow for easier fitting of the dough. Fit the dough into the pastry ring, sticking together the edges of the cut-out sections and sealing them to prevent leakage. Push the dough all the way to the bottom so the base will have be flat. Pick up the rings to check the base. Set them on a baking tray, prick the bases and sprinkle 1/4th teaspoon semolina on the bottom of each pie.
Place the lined rings back in the refrigerator to rest while you make the filling.
Roughly chop the walnuts.
Peel, core and chop the apples. Place them in a bowl with the lemon juice to stop them browning (stir every time you finish an apple to spread the lemon juice over the newly cut apple).
Roll out the remaining pastry and cut 7.5-8cm round disks from them (the excess is to take the piled up filling into account). You can make air holes using a toothpick, but if you want to cut out a nice shape like I did, do this now.
Stir the egg in a bowl and have a brush at the ready.
After rolling the remaining pastry, add the sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, walnuts and raisins to the apples. The reason you want to do this now is because the sugar will start pulling moisture from the apple and you want the pies in the oven and the pastry starting to crisp up before it becomes a watery mess. Stir well and pack each pie tightly with the filling. Make a little heap on each pie, as the filling will shrink a lot during baking.
Brush the top of the pastry with egg wash, then stick the round disk on top. Press the dough together using a fork or the crimping technique. Brush the tops with more egg wash.
Bake the pies for 12 minutes on 220°C.
Serve warm or cold, with whipped cream or ice cream.