Mini Apple Pies
2 cups whole wheat flour
1/4 cup organic sugar
1/2 cup vegan margarine OR shortening OR some combination of the two
6-8 tablespoons cold water
3 Granny Smith apples
1 Macintosh apple
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/2 cup organic sugar
1/8 cup maple syrup
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. FOR THE CRUST: Make sure water and shortening are COLD!
- Combine the flour and first sugar in a medium-largeish bowl. Cut the margarine/shortening into small chunks (between a teaspoon and a tablespoon each) and "cut" them into the flour with a pastry blender or a fork. When the mixture looks like bread crumbs that want to clump together, great!
- Stir in one tablespoon of water at a time, stopping when the whole mixture stays together and is kneadable. You don't want it to be too batter-like or sticky.
- Knead it a few times on parchment paper or a floured surface, wrap in plastic wrap, and pop it in the fridge while you're preparing your apples.
FOR THE FILLING:
- Peel and core your apples. Then, cut them into approximate sixths. Slice your apple sixths crosswise in VERY thin pieces, putting the bits into another medium-sized bowl.
- If the apples start to brown in the bowl, squeeze a bit of lemon juice on top of them. The macintosh apple will probably brown faster, so you will definitely want to squeeze the lemon juice on when all the apples are cut up.
- Stir in cinnamon and 1/2 cup sugar. Set aside (into the fridge if you must).
- Spray the wells of a regular sized muffin/cupcake pan with cooking spray.
- Halve the dough for the crust, and roll out on waxed paper or on a floured surface until the dough is about 1/8 inch thick. Cut circles in the dough, and press these out even thinner, until they are about 4 inches in diameter, and press them into the muffin tins. Play with the size, you want the edges of the dough to come right up to the brink of the wells. (For the rolling and cutting, I use a standard pint glass, and just roll the circles for the bottoms out farther after I cut them.) Gather up the scraps and continue rolling and cutting until all the wells are lined with dough.
- Poke the pie shells with a fork if there are bubbles in the bottom and press them out.
- Fill the shells with the apple mixture.
- Roll out the other half of the dough as before and cut circles for the tops. I found that the mouth of my pint glass was the perfect size for a slightly mounded mini pie. If you want to use a cute little cookie cutter to make a vent hole in the crust, please do so! Dab a little water around the underside edges of the tops to encourage the them to adhere to the bottoms, and press them on top of the pies. If you didn't use a cute cookie cutter, use the knife you used to cut your apples to cut a cross in the top of the crusts.
- Brush the tops of the pies with maple syrup, and bake for 20-25 minutes at 350 degrees F.
Let the mini pies cool for a few minutes, loosen them around the edges with a knife, and they should pop right out. Be careful with them, though, they're fragile! The tops may be a little loose, but a great way to serve them if the top comes right off is to put a scoop of vegan frozen dessert on top of the pie filling, and put the top crust on the frozen dessert. Adorable!