This weekend, I was planning to make a summery, apple and lemon pie to bring to a barbecue on Saturday. However, due to a combination of dirty cookware, household demands, and general laziness, I just didn’t get around to it in time. Not wanting to waste the ingredients I had gone out of my usual way to get, I decided to stick with the apple-lemon pie for Sunday’s bakeventure, but to do it in a different format.
I had seen versions of these mini apple pies online before, but I wanted to put my own spin on it with a refreshing splash of lemon in the crust and the filling. The result turned out to be just the right amount of tart and sweet. With all the rain we’ve been having lately, we definitely needed that little hint of sunshine in adorable cookie-pie form.
I had lots of filling left over, so you could probably double the crust and make 24 of these instead of 12 without having to make more filling (or you can just eat the leftover filling while hiding in a corner in shame like I did). You could also leave out the lemon and add a teaspoon of cinnamon for more of a fall flavor if you prefer.
You will need the following ingredients:
- Sweet pie crust (see here for instructions to make this, or just use store-bought)
- 3 cups Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and finely chopped
- 1/2 of a small lemon
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
- coarse decorating sugar (optional)
*Alternatively, you can use store-bought pie crust and apple pie filling to make this really easy. Just follow the steps below, minus the part where you make the filling.*
For baking ambiance:
- When I want music as American as apple pie, there’s one place I turn: John Mellencamp. After all, what better way to follow those chili dogs you just sucked down while sitting on the porch of your highway-adjacent, pink house than with tiny apple pies? I listened to a smattering of different songs, but Uh-Huh and Scarecrow are always good choices. Canadian tuxedo optional.
Now let’s B.A.K.E. in the U.S.A.!
[One day you will grown to appreciate my terrible musical jokes.]
If you are making your own pie crust, prepare it and let it chill for at least an hour.
Once your hour has passed, prepare your apple filling. Peel and dice the apple (I used two large ones) into small pieces, about the size of corn kernels.
Peel the rind off half of a small lemon, then slice it as thin as possible and chop the slices into small wedges, being careful to discard any seeds.
Combine the apples, lemon pieces, white and brown sugar, and flour in a medium bowl and stir until well-blended.
Set the filling aside and remove one of your crust discs from the fridge. Roll it out approximately 1/8″ thick and cut six circles with a round cookie cutter or glass. Transfer the discs to a foil-lined cookie sheet. Smoosh the scraps into a ball and put it back in the fridge while you repeat with the second dough ball. If this is taking awhile, put the crust discs you have already cut in the fridge while you work too.
Preheat your oven to 350°F.
Spoon approximately a tablespoon of filling onto each crust disc, being sure to leave at least 1/4″ uncovered all the way around so you have something to attach your top crust to.
Roll out the ball of scrap crust as thin as you can and cut it into 1/4″ wide strips. If you find them still too thick to work with, you can gently roll each strip until it is of workable thickness. Trim your strips to 1/2″ longer than the diameter of your circles. (Some can be a bit shorter because they won’t all be going all the way across the widest parts of the circles.) Now comes the tricky part: form a lattice over each crust circle, pressing the ends firmly into the bottom crust. This is difficult at this scale because the crust strips are fragile and everything is becoming a bit melty from the heat of the oven. Just do your best. When you have completed your lattices to your satisfaction, carefully trim the edges with the cookie cutter or glass you used to cut the bottom circles. If you don’t have the patience for this, you can make 12 more circles with the remaining dough and use a solid top crust. Just remember to vent them to let the steam escape.
You can sprinkle the pies with decorating sugar for a little bit of added sweetness (and cuteness). Bake them for 20 minutes, or until the crust begins to brown lightly. Allow them to cool for 5 minutes on the cookie sheet, then gently remove them to a wire rack to cool completely (if you’re a fan of eating things straight out of the oven like me, just remember that these are little pockets of lava that are out to burn the inside of your mouth).
Download the printable PDF here: Apple Cookie Pies