As I’ve mentioned before, I love desserts. For the majority of the year, chocolate desserts tend to be what I turn to first. But, in the fall, I really love the warm, seasonal flavors. At the very top of my fall flavor list are apple, cinnamon and caramel.
I keep trying different variations on this theme, and they always make my taste buds happy. So, when I learned about Caramel Apple Mini Pies, I just had to try them. This recipe is a fun variation because you get your very own pie! Good news on two fronts: 1) You don’t have to share! 2) There is some portion-control built in, so you don’t have to feel guilty about not sharing.
To tell you the truth, I was a little nervous about making this recipe because the photo looked like something from a bakery. All of those flakey layers! What were the odds that I could produce mini pies that looked like that?!
I am proud to say the outcome was not only beautiful, but delicious. The trick is to use puff pastry from the grocer’s freezer section. It makes for quick prep and beautiful pastries! This might mean that when you serve these to friends, they will probably think that you produce bakery-quality sweets all the time. You can explain how easy Caramel Apple Mini Pies were to make, or you can just smile politely and tell them, “Oh, these? They are something I just whipped up.” I will leave that up to you.
So, let’s get baking! Preheat your oven to 400°F. Grab a pan and line it with parchment paper. Set that aside for later.
Combine the brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, and salt in a bowl.
Add the dry ingredients to the peeled, chopped apple pieces (I use two Granny Smith apples to make two cups). Mix thoroughly. Set that bowl aside, too.
Lightly dust flour on a cutting board or similar surface. Unfold the puff pastry, then roll it out into a 14-inch square.
Cut the pastry dough in half cross-wise, then cut those pieces into thirds length-wise. You now have six rectangles.
Place the rectangles of dough on the parchment paper. (I did three at a time). Place a generous 1/3 cup of the apple mixture on one side of each rectangle, leaving a little space around the edges.
Use a brush and some water to get the opposite (empty side) of the dough – especially the edges – wet. This will help to seal the dough-pocket.
Fold the empty side over onto the apple side. Press the edges firmly together.
Use a fork to really seal the pie edges. You can also use this opportunity to trim some of the less-than-perfect edges.
When all of your apple pockets are prepped, use a knife to cut three small slits in the top of each mini-pie. Place the pan in the oven and bake for 20-22 minutes.
When the pies are done, they will be golden brown. Remove them from the oven and place them on a cooling rack for at least 15 minutes.
In the meantime, melt 1/4 cup of butter in a small saucepan. Cook on medium-low heat for about 4 minutes, until deep, golden brown. When you notice the color change, remove the saucepan from the heat. Stir in the caramel and then whisk in the powdered sugar.
Drizzle the caramel mixture over the cooled apple pies.
Serve your Caramel Apple Mini Pies alone or with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Take a moment to savor the flakey layers that you “slaved” over, and enjoy the rich fall flavors!