Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Week 15: Apple Pielettes

It's not often that you can say “I ate the whole pie myself,” and not feel a twinge of guilt or indigestion.

This week's recipe falls right into two food trends -- pie and miniature desserts -- but I don't care. These “pielettes” are just So. Darn. Cute. And tasty. And relatively quick to make, provided you keep to small-batch cooking and you forgo the little lattices and just use a cookie-cutter shape on top of each pie. Trust me on this.

These pies have a short baking time, so you can use apple varieties that tend to break down too much to go solo in a full-size pie. I had some early-season Macs from the CSA and I'm happy to report that they didn't turn into applesauce inside the pie crust. Just stay away from super-sweet varieties of apples. You need some tartness to balance out the sugar, and you need the sugar for a decent pie filling.

Apple Pielettes
(Adapted from this recipe. Makes 6 single-serve pies. For the best crust, keep the butter and water very cold and don't overwork the dough.)
3 cups diced apples (from 2 to 3 apples, peeled, cored, and cut into a 3/8-inch dice)
3/8 cup sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
3 T flour

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup cold butter, cut into small pieces
1/2 tsp salt
2 T chilled water

Mix all of the filling ingredients together and set aside.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Place flour and salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Pulse once or twice to blend. Sprinkle butter pieces on top and pulse a couple of times until the butter pieces are about the size of peas. Sprinkle water on top of the flour mixture (you may not need all of it, depending on the humidity and temperature of your kitchen) and pulse a few times until the mixture just begins to stick together.

Turn the flour mixture out onto a floured surface and knead together gently. Roll out the dough to a quarter-inch thickness, using a floured rolling pin.

Cut out 6 circles, using a 4-inch cookie or biscuit cutter or an overturned bowl or container. (An empty container from a pound of cole slaw or cottage cheese works well for this.) Reroll scraps of dough as needed. Use the remaining dough to cut lattice pieces or small shapes for the top crust.

Press each dough circle into a muffin tin, making contact with the bottom and sides of the tin and folding the dough along the sides as necessary. Divide the filling among the crusts, mounding it up a bit to compensate for any sinking of the filling as it bakes. Top with dough pieces as desired.

Place the muffin tin onto a baking tray to catch any spillovers of filling. Bake for 16 to 20 minutes, or until the crust is lightly browned and the filling is bubbling.

Cool completely on a rack. Use a knife to loosen around the edges of each pie, and use a spoon or knife to gently push the pies out from the tin.

1 comment:

  1. My thanks to the folks at Public Radio Kitchen for highlighting this blogpost.