Winter is a magical time. Leaves change color, the air becomes crisp, and most importantly - Starbucks brings out the red cups. December marked the beginning of the season and the preparation for the biggest challenge your jeans have yet to face...
Christmas and Hannukah.
Most of us grew up with never-ending holiday tables filled with turkeys and hams, Christmas cookies, and latkes. And let us not forget the pie. Pumpkin, apple, cherry. The options are endless. For those who are lucky enough to head home for the holidays, you will be met with an indulgent and button-popping three weeks. For those who will be spending the season in Isla Vista, do not fear. You can still get your pie-fix, despite your college-student budget and lack of extended family members. Below you will find the recipe for delicious mini apple pies. Christopher Columbus himself would cross the Atlantic for these puppies. And the best part - you can make as few (or as many) as you like.
MINI APPLE PIES WITH FRENCH CRUMB TOPPING
- 1 package of store-bought refrigerated pie crust
- 2 apples (Pippin and Granny Smith recommended)
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon flour
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 lemon
- 1/3 cup butter, room temperature
- 1/3 cup light brown sugar
- 3/4 cup flour
- Dash of cinnamon
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Peel, core, and slice apples into 1/4 inch pieces. Squeeze lemon onto apples and stir to coat to prevent browning. In a separate bowl, mix dry filling ingredients and add to apples. Set aside.
In another bowl, cream butter and sugar (beat 2-3 minutes) until light in color and fluffy. Cut flour into butter mixture until combined, adding cinnamon in to taste, until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Set aside.
Using a large cookie cutter, or the top of a large glass cup, cut out 10 circles of pie dough and press into a muffin pan (creating mini pie crusts). Fill with apple mixture then top with crumb topping. Alternatively, you can cut the extra dough in 1/8 inch pieces, cut to size of the muffin pan, and weave into a lattice top then press on top of the mini pies.
Bake for 20-25 minutes, until crust is golden brown and the filling begins to bubble.