Thursday, October 25, 2012

Mini Dutch Apple Pies

 I'm a sucker for individual desserts. And, I know I'm not the only one, since they always seem to disappear before my eyes when I bring them places (or from the kitchen table). And what better thing to miniaturize than one of the all time classic desserts - apple pie? 

Sweet apples, a touch of cinnamon, a burst of lemon zest - the simplest ingredients transform into a perfectly unforgettable dessert. Sure, classic apple pie is a little less work, but if you can't eat it with your hands, what's the point?
These little tarts will wow friends and neighbors, if you're willing to share. Just keep the dough cold as you roll it out so it doesn't rip, and have a very generous amount of flour on hand to keep flouring the surface underneath. It helps to roll it out a little, flip it over, and continue rolling throughout the process, to ensure it never sticks.

21⁄2 cups (300g) flour
1 cup (200 g) butter or margarine
1⁄2 cup (100 g) sugar
1 large egg

4-5 medium apples
zest of one lemon
1/4 to 1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 cup (100g) butter or margarine, softened
1/2 cup (100g) brown sugar
1 cup (120g) flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon

For the crust: Beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg and beat to combine, then add the flour and mix until no streaks remain. Gather the dough together into one cohesive ball, wrap in plastic and refrigerate at least 1 hour.

Peel and dice the apples into small squares. In a large pot, add the apples, lemon, sugar according to taste and cinnamon. Cook over medium heat, 20-25 minutes, until mostly softened. Taste and add more sugar as needed.

Remove the dough from the fridge, and roll out on a well-floured surface (continuously reflouring during rolling) until about 1⁄2 centimeter thick. Use to cover either a large tart pan or smaller ones. For a large one, roll the dough to a diameter 2" larger than the pan, gently drape the dough over the dish, fit the dough in to the corners then trim the edges. For little pans, use a round cutter that is big enough to cover the bottom and sides of your tart or muffin pans, cut as many circles as possible from the dough and fit in to the molds, rerolling as necessary.
Place all the shells in the freezer for 20-30 minutes.

Mix together all the topping ingredients until crumbly. Divide the apple mixture up among the frozen pastry shells, then sprinkle the topping on top evenly, breaking it up with your fingers if necessary.

Bake on 375 F for 20-30 minutes until golden brown. Let cool at least 15 minutes before serving.

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