Apple pie is a classic dessert with delicious apple filling. It is said to be very popular in North America. It is served as such or with a scoop of ice cream or softly whipped cream or a slice of cheddar cheese. It can also be had as a tea time treat. You need lot of patience to make pastry but the end result is worth it. The apple pie was crispy, flaky and delicious with juicy apple filling flavored with cinnamon and nutmeg. Today we will learn how to make Easy Mini Eggless Apple Pie following this easy recipe with step wise pictures.
Making the dough
Chill the bowl in which you are going to prepare the pie crust. Cut butter into cubes and put it in the freezer for half an hour.
In a bowl, add all purpose flour, salt and sugar.
Mix until well combined.
Add chilled butter cubes to the flour. Using just your finger tips, rub or squash each cube of butter into the flour. Take a butter cube and a little flour and squash it. Repeat the same until all the butter is broken into fine pieces and the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Use your finger tips only as it is the coldest part of your hands and will avoid melting the butter.
You can use a food processor to make your job easier. If using a food processor, place the flour, butter and process, using the pulse button, for 10-15 seconds until the mixture is crumbly or resembles breadcrumbs.
Make a well in the center, add 1 tbsp of ice cold water. Use your hand as a whisk (picture below) and mix the flour. Add another tbsp of cold water and mix well. Stop adding water if the dough clumps together. The dough should just hold together when clumped. Add little more ice water only if the dough does not clump together. For me, it required around 2 1/2 tbsp of cold water.
Dust the surface with a little flour and gently gather and press the dough as shown below. Knead the dough gently to make it smooth. Do not overwork on it.
Divide the dough into two (3/4 and 1/4), flatten it in the shape of a disc, wrap it in a cling film and refrigerate it for 30-60 minutes.
This is the Basic pie dough and can be used to make a variety of pies.
Making the Apple Filling
Peel the apples, cut, discard the seeds and chop it into cubes. Add 1/2 tsp of lemon juice and mix well to prevent the apples from getting discolored.
Add sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, flour to the chopped apples and mix until well combined. I used 1/2 cup of white sugar as I did not have brown sugar that day.
Let it sit for 15 minutes.
After 15 minutes, you will find that the apples would have oozed out a lot of juice.
Strain and collect the juice in a cup. Heat a tsp of butter and add the juice you collected from the apples.
Stir on medium flame until it thickens and becomes lightly caramelized.
Add it to the apple and mix it well. Our apple mixture is ready.
Grease a muffin pan or cupcake pan so that it is well coated with butter. This helps to remove the mini apple pies easily after baking.
Take 3/4 of the dough from the refrigerator. Dust the surface and the rolling pin with flour. Using the rolling pin, roll out the pastry. Initially if the outside of the dough cracks, set it with your hands as shown below.
Turn it now and then and roll it to ensure even thickness and to prevent sticking. Roll it until it is fairly thin. Roll it back on the rolling pin and dust off excess flour with a pastry brush as shown in the picture below.
Using a cup larger than the size of the cupcake/muffin mould, cut out circles from the dough.
Place it in the muffin cup/mould and press it gently with your finger so that it sits well inside the cup. Remove any excess dough and tuck the edges neatly. Repeat it for all the 6 muffin cups.
Fill the apple mixture till the top.
Take the other remaining 1/4 of the dough from the refrigerator and roll it out thinly.
Cut rectangular strips, the size (diameter) of your cupcake/muffin cups. Use the strips to create a weave like pattern to cover the apple mixture. This weave like pattern is called Lattice top.
Tuck it neatly with the the bottom crust as show below. You can lightly moisten the edges of the bottom crust with water to make it stick well. Instead of the weaved pattern, you can also cover the pie with a smaller circle with a cross slit as shown in the picture below (The slit is for the steam to escape).
Repeat the same process for the remaining muffin cups. All the six muffin cups are completed in the picture below. I made 3 weaved patterns and 3 cross slit patterns.
You can brush the top with milk or egg wash (1 egg beaten with 1 tsp water/milk) if desired. Dust the top with little sugar if desired.
Pre-heat the oven at 180 degree C for 15 minutes while starting to prepare the lattice top itself. Place the muffin tray in the middle rack and bake at 180 degree C for 30-35 minutes or until the crust is light brown. Keep a watch after 20 minutes.
Once you remove the muffin pan from the oven, leave it to cool for 10-15 mins.
When cool, you can easily loosen it from the muffin cup with a toothpick and they will come right out.
Serve as such or with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a dollop of softly whipped cream.
You can store baked apple pies in airtight container at room temperature for up to two days and for a few more days when refrigerated.
The pie dough can be freezed for about a month. Before using defrost the dough in the refrigerator.
You can watch these videos by Gordon Ramsay on how to make and roll shortcrust pastry here and here.
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