Apples have been a part of my diet ever since I had the teeth to chew them. On average I have about 1-2 apples a day, one for breakfast, on school days, and another with lunch. I really love them. My favorites are royal gala and Fuji apples. One super-simple apple recipe consists of peeling and chopping an apple and tossing it into a saucepan with some sugar (or Splenda), cinnamon and about a tablespoon or two of water. Bring to a simmer and cook until the apples are soft and tender. I absolutely love having this after dinner on those chilly fall nights when my homework just doesn’t seem to end. In my AP US History class, we did a group project of life in an American city in the early 1900′s.
I needed to bring in some sort of food that was typically American—Apple Pie came to mind right away. I needed to make the pie to feed about 20 people and was becoming increasingly nervous because I never, ever made a homemade apple pie and apple pie for 20 sounded impossible. My original plan was to just buy an apple pie or two from the farm in my town but then I remembered seeing mini pies on Bakerella and knew I had to make those and they didn’t seem TOO difficult. So instead I went to the A&P and bought 2 Pillsbury ready pie-crusts, they come 2 in a box, so then I had 4 crusts. I wanted to make the pies more homemade and tastier; I mean I did want to impress my teacher. Everyone knows the way to a man’s heart (aka his grade book) is through his stomach!
Since I always have lots of apples in my house, I grabbed 7 of the royal galas and peeled, cored and placed them in a large bowl of water with a few teaspoons of lemon juice so they didn’t turn brown while I was prepping the others.These were going to be mini apple pies so the apples needed to be super mini.
In a large skillet on medium heat, melt half stick of butter. Add the diced apples, 1 cup of sugar, ½ cup light brown sugar and 2 teaspoons of cinnamon to the skillet. I know that’s a lot of sugar, but these have to be sweet because they need to pack a punch in between the 2 seemingly bland dough circles.
Taste the mixture along the way and reduce or add more sugar as works with your taste buds. I even sprinkled a little more white and brown sugar after tasting.Increase to medium high heat; cook, tossing occasionally, until apples are tender—add a teaspoon of corn starch and cook until apples are soft and liquid is both evaporated, and thickened, about 15 minutes.
Spread out to cool on a baking dish or in a bowl (as shown) and set aside.
Preheat the oven to 375 and place parchment paper on 2 cookie sheets. Take 2 egg whites and mix in a cup, set aside.
I laid out some wax paper, sprinkled some flour and placed the Pillsbury pie crust dough on the flour, sprinkling on both sides made the dough easy to handle. There is no need to roll out thinner because the circle come the perfect thickness. Take a 2-inch circle cookie cutter and start cutting. Each crust (there were 4 as I said above due to my amazing math skills) made about 12-15 circles, which was more then enough for my class.
Place a circle on a cookie sheet and position the lollipop stick but before you press down on it, take your egg white mixture and put some under the stick to help make it sticks and press down to secure. Don’t press too hard or you might mush the dough.
Then take a heaping teaspoon full of cooled apple mixture and place in center over stick.
Lollipop sticks are not necessary but they are super cute! And it is 10 times harder to resist something on a stick!
Brush egg white around edge of dough (I couldn’t find my brush, actually I haven’t found it since 1999, when I was 6, because yes I did bake then) so I just used a paper towel.
Place a second circle of dough on top carefully pressing down around edges using a second lollipop stick. First secure tightly the edges on both sides of the stick. The go around and secure/decorate the edges making indents along the side with the stick. Once the edges are secured brush with egg white mixture and make sure to brush the sides to ensure that the edges are completely closed. This will also give the pies a bit of color when they cook.
Sprinkle with some sugar.
I was able to fit 7 pies on a cookie sheet. Bake at 375 for 12-15 minutes.
Cool on a wire rack.
Once COMPLETELY cool wrap in the pretty lollipop wrappers with colorful twist ties. How cute!?
This is I at school during the presentation—how nerdy do I look, I’m supposed to
be Jane Addams, co-founder of the Hull House.
Oh yeah—forgot to mention this. With the scraps of the dough and leftover apple
mixture I decided to make micro mini apple pies in my mini cupcake pan. I took
all the scraps, rolled them out on the floured wax paper and cut out circles
again with the same cutter.
Placing them in the cupcake pan. I added the mixture and then had to lift them out to decorate the tops.
Some I crossed hatched and some of did a mini basket weave for but most of the I covered with a circle and cut a latch on top for the steam to escape. Make sure to add some egg whites and sugar so they brown and bake for 12-15 minutes at 375.
These actually came out better then expected and my dad loved them too! Whether you make the pops or the micro mini pies give one a try, its apple season and remember…an apple a day.
Recipe: Apple Pie on a Stick
2 packages of Pillsbury Pie Crust (in refridgerator section)
4 tablespoons of unsalted butter (about half a stick)
3 pounds Gala or Fuji apples (about 6 or 7), peeled, cored and diced
1 cup to 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar plus 3 tablespoons
1/2 cup light brown sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon cornstarch
2 egg whites, gently mixed
In a large skillet, melt butter over medium; to skillet, add apples, 1 cup sugar, light brown sugar, and cinnamon. Increase hear to medium-high; cook, tossing occasionally, add 1 teaspoon cornstarch and cook until apples are tender and liquid has evaporated, about 15 minutes. Spread filling on a rimmed baking sheet or bowl; let cool completely.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees; line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a lightly floured work surface, unfold pie crust; dust both side with flour.
With a 2-inch round cookie cutter punch out as many circles as you can.
Place one circle on a prepared cookie sheet (with parchment paper)
Position lollipop stick and paint egg white mixture under the stick, gently press the stick in place.
Place a heaping teaspoon full of cooled appler mixture in center of crust.
Brush egg white around edges.
Place second circle on top and position in place, gently pressing down to deal the sides (first with fingers)
Use a lollipop stick to press down the edges and add a decorative border.
Brush with egg white mixture.
Sprinkle tops with sugar (the 3 tablespoons you set aside earlier)
Bake until golden brown, 12-15 minutes. Cool a wire rack and least 15 minutes before serving. The pies will not brown if you don’t brush with the egg white mixture
Makes 25-28 pie pops
I also tried making this apple cake last week when we were invited to my neighbors house across the street. It looked pretty and tasted good as well. However the edges were a little dry and I’m not sure why. I think I messed up the conversion of all-purpose flour to cake flour. If you have any suggestions let me know!! Maybe a buttery crumble on top?
Recipe: Mom’s Apple Cake
6 apples, Mom uses royal gala apples
1 tablespoon cinnamon
5 tablespoons sugar
2 3/4 cups flour, sifted
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup vegetable oil
2 cups sugar
1/4 cup orange juice
2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup walnuts, chopped (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a tube pan. Peel, core and chop apples into chunks. Toss with cinnamon and sugar and set aside.
Stir together flour, baking powder and salt in a large mixing bowl.
In a separate bowl, whisk together oil, orange juice, sugar and vanilla.
Mix wet ingredients into the dry ones, then add eggs, one at a time. Scrape down the bowl to ensure all ingredients are incorporated.
Pour half of batter into prepared pan. Spread half of apples over it. Pour the remaining batter over the apples and arrange the remaining apples on top. Bake for about 1 1/2 hours, or until a tester comes out clean.
With love and cupcakes,