TASTY BITES // caramel apple mini pies

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Hello, again MK readers! How was everyone’s weekend? Hopefully it was as good as ours—with as much fun, relaxation, and tasty food as we could pack into it! Along with all of the usual suspects that regularly fill our weekends, we were also invited to attend a fantastic birthday party right next door. Obviously, we would never dream of attending such an affair empty handed. So the question remained, what to make? When in doubt, it never hurts to ask the birthday girl.  In this particular instance, she suggested apple turnovers.

And so it was. Inspiration was born. We opted to add some salty caramel goodness, and used our favorite pie crust recipe. Voila! Perfectly personal birthday treats. And from the looks of the dessert table, our neighbor wasn’t the only one who shared a great love for flaky, apple-y, goodness. No sooner did we set the platter down, and it was empty. So, let’s hear it for super weekends, happy birthdays, and the power of homemade.

caramel + apple hand pies
(makes 10 pies)

for the crust:

  • 2 1/2 cups AP flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  •  2 sticks cold butter
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup ice water

for the caramel:

  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 3/4 teaspoon sea salt

for the filling:

  • 5 fuji apples, cored and diced into 1/4 inch pieces
  • 1/4 cup raw sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • pinch of salt

additional ingredients:

  • raw sugar for sprinkling
  • 1 egg, beaten for wash

Combine flour, salt, and sugar. Whisk to combine.  Grate cold butter over flour mixture.  Toss to distribute butter.  Add cold water, a little bit at a time, until mixture comes together.  Turn out onto counter and knead dough a few times.  Wrap in plastic and chill for at least one hour.

While dough chills, make the caramel and filling.

To make the caramel, cook water and sugar over low heat until dissolved. Add butter and bring to a low boil.  Continue cooking until mixture turns golden brown. (Keep an eye on it during this entire process. It may take awhile)

Once the mixture is a coppery golden brown, remove from heat and add  heavy cream.  The mixture will bubble. **BE CAREFUL the sugar will be extremely hot.**  If you have an overeager child or spouse, be sure they do not attempt to stick their finger in the molten sugar at this point. Seriously, folks. It’s HOT.

Whisk the mixture well over low heat and add in sea salt.  Set aside to cool.

To make the filling, add the apples, sugar and lemon juice to a small saucepan.  Cook over medium heat until sugar is dissolved and apples are just cooked.  8-10 minutes.  Remove from heat and cool.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Divide dough in half, and set aside dough you aren’t working with.  Roll dough into 1/4 -1/8 inch thickness.  Using a 4 inch biscuit cutter (I used a bowl ) cut into circles.  Lay flat on a parchment lined cookie sheet.  Repeat with remaining dough.
Place filling in the center of each pie. Top with a teaspoon or so of caramel. Fold over and pinch edges closed.  Place pies in freezer for 10 minutes to chill before baking.

Remove from freezer, poke two or three slits in each pie, brush with egg wash and sprinkle with raw sugar.
Place in the oven and bake until golden brown, 15-20 minutes. Enjoy!

Want more Tasty Bites? Go here. If you are on Instagram, be sure to follow @birdandclever for more stunning photos.

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