Spiced Apple Mini Pies: Flaky buttery pie dough is filled with soft cream cheese spiked with apple butter and warm fall spices. These compact mini treats are like biting into a cool September morning!
In about two weeks we will be entering the month of September; by far my favorite of the year. Crisp like the bite of a red delicious apple, September’s cool breezes are welcomed following the stifling heat of July and August. My hair will cease to do this weird wet scarecrow thing and stay Dark and Lovely; at least till the winter months hit. But let’s not even talk about winter yet. The last thing I want to do is give you Polar Vortex PTSD.
Let’s talk about September and apples and apple butter. Have you made apple butter yet? You need to get on that situation. Apple Butter isn’t really butter at all, but a spread made of apples that are cooked down and reduced with spices. I make tons of it and use it in my baked goods. Today I made these Spiced Apple Mini Pies.
Flow with me… Put away the sunscreen and grab a scarf. We’re about to enter the cool crisp breeze of September and apples. If only through the end of this post.
These mini pies are perfection. And not because I baked them (though, yeah…), but because they are compact flaky squares of spiced crisp fall. The pictures don’t do them justice. Real talk? I wasn’t feelin’ pictures that day. It was an off day for me. None of that matters, though. These pies are, again, perfection.
The crust? Flaky with an INSANE amount of butter. Don’t even think about how much butter is in the making of this crust, just flow with this situation and trust the process. This pie dough is the only dough I will ever use for mini pies. Foh sho’.
The filling? A cream cheese filling spiked with apple butter and a boatload of fall spices. Some of it won’t make it to the pies. Accept it. Finally, there’s a cinnamon glaze that gets poured all ovah these mini pies and allowed to dry. Because… I like to glaze things. It’s only right.
These Spiced Apple Mini Pies are a crisp fall morning in your mouth areas. Compact perfection. That first crunchy bite of glaze makes way to a flaky, buttery pie dough. You are then greeted by a soft mix of cream cheese laced apple filling that is welcome on your tongue following that constant stream of summer berries.
These Spiced Apple Mini Pies are gone in 3 bites flat. Fortunately for you this recipe makes 12 mini pies.
To share. Or not to share. I won’t tell you how to live.
Welcome to fall.
- For the pie crust
- all-purpose flour, scooped then leveled - 2 cups
- granulated sugar - 2 ½ tablespoons
- salt - 1 teaspoon
- unsalted butter, cold and cut into cubes - 1 cup (2 sticks or 8 ounces)
- egg - 1 large
- milk - 2 tablespoons
- 1 large egg, beaten (for brushing the dough)
- For the filling
- Full fat cream cheese - 4 oz. (half an 8oz package)
- confectioners' sugar - 3/4 cup
- vanilla bean paste - 1 teaspoon
- ground cinnamon - 1/4 teaspoon
- ground cloves - 1/4 teaspoon
- ground ginger - 1/4 teaspoon
- freshly grated nutmeg - 1/4 teaspoon
- apple butter - 1/2 cup
- For the cinnamon glaze
- confectioners' sugar - 1 cup
- ground cinnamon - ¼ - ½ teaspoon
- milk - 3 tablespoons
Make the pie dough:
In a bowl of a food processor, add the flour, sugar, and salt. Add the cubes of butter and pulse about 8-10 times until the flour is incorporated with the butter, and the butter is in pea sized pieces. It is totally cool if the butter pieces are larger than pea size.
In a separate bowl, beat the egg with the milk, then add them all at once to your dry ingredients. Pulse a few times until the flour is moistened. This will take about 7-8 pulses and you'll be left with a very wet looking dough which will resemble sugar cookie dough. This is fine.
Turn the dough over a lightly floured surface and gently knead a couple of times. Divide the dough in 2 and gather the dough pieces in a rough square. Lightly sprinkle flour over top of the dough and wrap in plastic wrap or place in a zip lock bag. Place in the freezer for about 30 minutes. While the dough is chilling, make the filling.
Make the filling:
In a medium bowl combine the cream cheese, confectioners' sugar, vanilla bean paste, spices, and apple butter. Mix until the cream cheese is softened and ingredients are fully combined. Wrap the surface of the bowl with plastic wrap and set aside. Assemble and fill the pies.
To assemble the pies:
Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper and preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Remove one piece of dough from the freezer. Turn the dough onto a floured surface and roll out a 9x12 inch rectangle to about 1/8 of an inch in thickness. If you can't get a 9x12 inch rectangle, get as close as you can. If it’s a square, it’s a square. No one is judging you. Trim the edges of the dough with a pizza cutter or a knife to make a nice rectangle (Or a square. Still not judging you).
Using a square biscuit cutter, as many 3x3 inch squares as you can. Alternatively, you can use a pizza cutter, cutting each side into quarters, creating the squares. We're trying to cut 12 small squares. Note: You may have to re-roll the dough to get the 12 squares. If this is the case, gather the dough pieces into a rough square. Freeze for a few minutes, then roll and cut once more. Place the squares onto your prepared cookie sheet and place the sheet in the refrigerator to chill as you cut the second piece of dough in the same way as the first. Remove the first batch of squares from the refrigerator and place the newly cut batch of squares in the refrigerator to chill.
Are you ready to fill? Let's fill. Remove the filling from the fridge. Spoon about 2 teaspoons of filling onto the center of the dough square. Repeat with all dough squares.
Remove the second batch of dough squares from the refrigerator and use them to top the filled dough squares. Crimp the sides with a floured fork. Use the tines of the fork to create a few vent hole on surface of each mini pie. Brush the surface with beaten egg and place in the oven. Bake for 22-25 minutes until the tops are golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before glazing.
Make the glaze:
In a small bowl, combine the powdered sugar, ground cinnamon and milk until combined. Adjust ingredients as needed. Wrap the surface of the bowl with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator until ready to use.
To glaze the mini pies:
Place a wire rack over a piece of parchment. Place the mini pies on the rack. Stir the glaze with a fork to remove any clumps that have formed, if any. Pour the glaze over the mini pies. Allow the glaze to dry completely before serving.
Makes 12 mini pies.