Mini-Me Caramel Apple Pies

My name is Amanda and I am addicted to sweets.

Like over-the-top, can’t control myself, would shove 15 cupcakes in at one time if I could manage it, addicted.

And I’m not one bit biased when it comes to sweets – I’ll eat any and everything – from candy and cookies to cupcakes and pies, if there is an unhealthy amount of sugar and fat in it, chances are I’ll inhale it.

There’s something about the holiday season (and all the cookies, candies, hot chocolate and pies that come with it) that reminds me just how gluttonous my sweet tooth is.

So while I’ve been curbing my sweet tooth over the last few weeks (and hopefully the next gazillion months), I’ve decided that when I do splurge on something sweet, it’s going to be really, really good.

Case and point: Mini Caramel Apple Pies.

They’re so, so, so good (and I imagine just as bad, bad, bad).

Are they something you should be eating everyday? Definitely not. Luckily though, they’re high maintenance enough that you won’t want to make them everyday!

But they’re a great treat every now and then and the making them miniature-sized makes them the perfect little pie to bring to a family gathering!

Be forewarned, these are super duper sweet (and worth.every.calorie).

Mini Caramel Apple Pies
(Makes 12)
Pie Crust Ingredients:
2.5 cups all purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 tsp salt
3 TBS sugar
2 sticks butter
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
1/2 cup vodka (I used a fruiffy whipped cream flavored version, don’t worry the alcohol bakes out!)
1/2 cup cold water

Filling Ingredients:
4 Large Apples (Use a combination to make a more complex flavor profile, I used 1 Granny Smith, 1 Braeburn and 2 Jonagolds), diced into small pieces
1/2 stick butter (to cooke apples in)
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg (or to taste)
Splash of nondairy milk (I prefer almond)

Caramel Sauce Ingredients:
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1 TBS corn starch
1/2 stick butter
1/2 cup nondairy milk (I prefer alomnd)
2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract

Crumb Topping Ingredients:
1/3 cup all purpose flour
1/3 cup brown sugar (yes, MORE sugar)
2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup butter (yes, MORE butter)

Directions for pie crust:
Blend “wet” ingredients, butter, sugar, vodka, water and shortening. Fold in all purpose flour, whole wheat pastry flour and salt. Knead until a smooth dough. Roll up in plastic wrap and stick in the fridge for at least 45 minutes.

Directions for apple filling:
Dice up all yoru apples and heat them up in a skillet with butter on medium-high heat. Add splash of milk and sprinkle cinnamon and nutmeg on top. Cook for about 10 minutes or until apples are half-way cooked.

Directions for caramel sauce:
In a small sauce pan, bring butter and milk to a low boil on medium high heat. Stir in sugars, salt and extract. Add cornstarch and stir like a mad woman (or man). Allow mixture to bubble and boil, while stirring rapidly with a whisk (don’t let this mixture settle for too long, it’ll burn and stick to your pan). Repeat for 5-10 minutes, or until the sauce thickens when removed from heat. (The longer you let it sit, the more it will thicken up).

Directions for crumb topping:
Pop the ingredients into a food processor and blend minimally to achieve a crumbly texture. Be forewarned, this part is a pain in the butt and is more than worth it.

Directions for mini pies (finally!):
Preheat oven to 375.
Take your dough and grab smaller than a baseball but bigger than a golf ball sized balls. Roll them out and place them in a greased muffin pan. Repeat until all 12 muffin cups are filled. (Tip: make sure some crust hangs out over the edge so the gooey caramel apple filling doesn’t burn and stick everywhere).
Stir apple filling into caramel sauce and fill muffin cups a little more than halfway.
Drop liberal amout of crumb topping on mini pies and bake in the oven on 375 degrees for 10-15 minutes (or until edges of pie crust are lightly brown).


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