I never grew up eating apple pie; I know, how unamerican! My mom just never made it. We were a peach pie eating family, and ohh, if I can ever record my mom's peach pie recipe to paper it would be a winner. But lately I have been into all things apple and am discovering that I love apple pie.
A few friends and I got together and had an appetizer party today to say goodbye to our friend Kim who is moving away :( (We'll miss you Kim!).
I still wasn't sure of what I wanted to make while I was perusing the aisles of the grocery store yesterday until I passed the apples. The craving for apple pie hit and thus this recipe was born.
I came home with a bag full of apples and hope that somehow I could make them into little appetizing bites of pie. I found a crust recipe in a pampered chef book which I modified slightly. Then I kind of just guessed with the rest and amazingly they turned out so delicious. If you like more crust than filling, like I do, than you'll love these little apple pie bites.
Apple Pie Bites
1/2 cup butter (1 stick), softened
3 oz cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup powder sugar
1 cup flour
3 apples,(I used pink lady apples), peeled, cored and cut into small bite size pieces.
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
2 Tbs. flour
1/2 cup flour
2 Tbs. brown sugar
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup butter, room temperature
Crust: beat the butter and cream cheese until smooth. Add the powdered sugar and beat until well incorporated. Add the flour and mix scraping down the sides until just combined. The dough should be soft and slightly sticky. Scoop and roll into small 1 inch balls and place in the cups of an ungreased mini-muffin tin. Here is the one tool that I recommend to make this easier. Pampered Chef sells a mini-tart shaper which is super cheap that makes this so simple. Using it you can shape the dough balls into mini pie shells by lightly flouring the shaper and pressing down onto the dough. Set aside the shells. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Filling: place the apples in a small saute pan and cover with water. Put the lid on and bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 1-2 minutes. The apples should be slightly softened but still be a little firm as they will finish cooking in the oven. Pour the apples into a collander to drain. With the apples still in the collander, add the sugar, cinnamon and flour and stir to combine. Taste for sweetness and add more sugar if necessary depending on the tartness of your apples. Let them sit in the collander to drain any excess liquid while you make the crumb topping.
Crumb topping: Mix the flour, sugars, cinnamon and salt together in a bowl with a fork. Cut the butter in using two butter knives until it resembles small peas.
Place a small scoop of apples into each mini shell, filling to the top. Sprinkle on a good amount of the crumb topping pressing slightly to adhere. Place the apple pie bites in the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes or until the top is slightly broned and the shells are a golden brown. Remove from the oven and let them cool in the pan for 3 minutes. remove them from the pan and let them cool on a cooling rack.
They are delicious warm but also taste good once they have cooled. You can reheat them in the microwave for a few seconds to warm. Store them in an airtight container.