This is the first week that it is really starting to feel like autumn! The leaves are just starting to change, and the markets are filling up with the local Okanogan apples. When I see the fruit bins overflowing with Honeycrisp and Ambrosia apples, I can’t help but load up my shopping cart. Even after eating them during the week, in salads or on their own, we often have a surplus by the end of the week. And since the weekends are synonymous with baking, we use them up making plenty of tasty treats involving apples, cinnamon and butter.
We had a few end-of-season blackberries still kicking around and I was craving pie, but not a big pie of the usual size. I wanted something portable, that we could easily enjoy after a climbing day. So I decided to bake these single-serving Apple-Blackberry Pies, in a standard muffin tin. They tasted fantastic, a perfect autumn treat! And besides, who doesn’t love to have their own little bite-sized pie to themselves?
I’ve made these mini pies a few times now, and they really are a perfect little sweet treat. And I’m convinced that most desserts feel more individual and taste better when they’re bite-sized. Another bonus is that they freeze really well, so bake up a batch to save for those rainy Vancouver days you know are coming!
Tips for making Mini Apple-Blackberry Pies:
- Butter the muffin tins really well. I’m serious. Make sure you butter the tops of the pan too. Nothing will anger a wife quicker than having a pie stick to the pan. True story.
- Make sure to cut up the apples into very small chunks (think thumbnail sized), if you don’t want to pre-cook the apples first. These mini pies don’t take as long to bake as a full-sized pie, so cutting the apples into bite-sized pieces will ensure they soften before the baking time finishes.
- If you make a full double-crusted mini-pie, make sure to cut a big hole in the top pastry, to release the steam and avoid too much overflow.
The deal with making these mini pies is pretty easy. Roll out the pastry and cut out 6 circles. I used a 10-cm / 4-inch crumpet ring, but I’ve seen suggestions of using the lid of a yogurt container, too. Gently press the pastry into the well-greased muffin tin, fill with the fruit filling, then use any remaining pastry dough to make a top crust, if you’d like. Brush the tops with milk, and sprinkle with a coarse sugar, then pop them into the oven. In less than 45 minutes, you will thank yourself for creating such cute, delicious treats 🙂
I think these Apple-Blackberry Pies are best enjoyed after a hard climbing day, with a good cup of coffee. Hubby fully agrees 😉
- 150 g all-purpose flour
- 112 g (1/2 cup) unsalted butte
- 8 g (1/2 tbsp) granulated sugar
- 8 g (1/2 tbsp) apple-cider vinegar
- 3 - 4 tbsp ice-cold wate
- 245 g (~1 large) cored and diced apple (we like Ambrosia)
- 60 g (~3/4 cup) blackberries, fresh or frozen
- 10 g (2 tsp) lemon juice or apple-cider vinegar
- 15 g (1 tbsp) brown sugar
- 15 g (~1.5 tbsp) flour or cornstarch
- In a food processor, pulse together the flour, butter, sugar and apple-cider vinegar.
- Add the water, 1 tbsp at a time and pulse until the dough just starts to clump together.
- Remove from the food processor, wrap tightly in plastic or place in a container with a tight-fitting lid. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour, up to a few days.
- Let sit at room temperature about 15 minutes before you plan on rolling it out, to soften it up a bit.
- Core a large apple and dice into small pieces. Place into a bowl, along with the blackberries.
- Add the lemon juice or apple-cider vinegar, brown sugar and flour and toss very gently to combine.
- Set aside while you are preparing your muffin tins.
- Pre-heat the oven to 350 F and place a baking tray in the oven, to catch any over-flow.
- Grease 6 muffin cups very well, ensuring both the cup and the top edge of the pan are greased.
- Lightly flour your counter-top and roll out the pastry dough into a rectangle, about 5-mm thick. Cut out 6 circles, each about 12 cm (4.5 inches) in diameter. Gently press each pastry circle into a prepared muffin cup.
- Spoon the apple-blackberry filling into the prepared pastry cups. The filling will shrink down as it cooks, so don't worry if the cups look quite full. Really pile it in!
- If you are doing a top crust (there is enough pastry dough), roll out the remaining pastry and cut into your desired shape - either strips for a lattice, or circles for full coverage. Regardless of the shape, make sure you have enough holes in your top crust to let out the steam.
- Pinch together the edges to seal. Brush the tops with a bit of milk and sprinkle with a coarse sugar.
- Bake in the pre-heated oven for 20 minutes, then rotate and bake for another 15 to 20 minutes, until the tops are golden brown and the filling starts to bubble
- Remove from the oven and leave to cool on a rack for 5 minutes. Then gently remove the mini pies from the muffin holders and cool completely on the rack.
- While the pies are still hot, use a knife to loosen around the edge of the muffin cups, so that any overflowed filling will not stick to the pan while the pies are cooling.
These pies freeze very well.