Monday, November 28, 2011

Pumpkin Pies, Apple Pies, Pecan Pies...pie, pies, pies


Mini Crumble Apple Pies


This was my drive home at 5:30am Thanksgiving morning.  Charles and I left my house in Alexandria, VA at approximately 5:15am  and drove into DC to pick up a friend. 
Happy Thanksgiving Dusty!  We then hopped on 395S to merge onto 95S heading to Wilson, NC.  We of course stopped along the way at the best Starbucks because the people are just so darn nice! Thanks Ashland Starbucks employees.  We then hopped back on the road and pulled into Wilson around 9:10ish, dropped off Charles and hopped back on the road to Greensboro.  We finally pulled into Greensboro between 11:00 and 11:30am.  These pies traveled all the way with us. So, I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving!  I had two in one day and had the best of both worlds; a turkey lunch and a ham dinner.  These pies kind of fit in with this. 

I decided to make mini pies so that if you wanted a bit of each you could have it.  Plus, I really like all three types and I had every intention of stuffing myself on Thanksgiving with everything the holiday had to offer. 

Did you do the same?  Please say YES.  Please don't make me feel bad for eating that extra roll or that extra mini apple pie.  Please...Oh yeah did I mention these reheat great in a toasted oven...350 degrees F for 5 minutes. So good! 




Yummy pecan filling awaiting the pecans.


Mini Pecan Pies


The Granny Smith apples all peeled and cored.



Just need a little crumble topping.


Into the oven we go.


Mini Pecan Pies: (adapted from Utterly Deadly Southern Pecan Pie)
*makes approximately 2 dozen pies
2 store bought pie crust from the refrigerator section (2 in one box)
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups light corn syrup 
1 cup egg substitute (such as egg beaters)
1/4 cup unsalted butter (1/2 stick)
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups pecan pieces

1.  In saucepan boil sugar and corn syrup together for 2 to 3 minutes; set aside to cool slightly.

2.  On a large cutting board, roll out one of the pie crusts.  Using a 3 inch round cookie cutter or glass, cut circles into the pie crust.  Gently push pie crusts into muffin tin.  (I made a dozen at a time.)

3.  In large bowl beat eggs lightly, then add two tablespoon of the warm sugar mixture, one tablespoon at a time, mixxing with the addition of each, to temper the eggs.  Next very slowly pour the eggs into the syrup mixture, stirring constantly.

4.  Stir in butter, vanilla, and pecans and pour into crusts.  Do not over fill or the pies will stick to the muffin tin.

5.  Bake in a 350°F oven for about 20-25 minutes or until set.  Let cool for approximately 2-3 minutes in the pan, then carefully remove to a cooling rack.  Enjoy!

Mini Crumble Apple Pies:  
*makes approximately 2 dozen mini pies

2 store bought pie crust from the refrigerator section (2 in one box)

Filling:
3 firm apples, a mix granny smith and 2 firm red sweet apples peeled and sliced and diced(don't use red delicious or mcintosh, generally too mushy)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Crumble Topping:
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup (packed) brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes

To prepare filling:
1. Peal, core, slice and cut apples so they are approximately 1 centimeter large.

2. Mix all filling ingredients in a large bowl

3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F

4. On a large cutting board, roll out one of the pie crusts.  Using a 3 inch round cookie cutter or glass, cut circles into the pie crust. Gently push pie crusts into muffin tin.  Fill pie crusts with apple filling until almost full, do not fill with excess liquid or the pies will turn out slight soggy.

To prepare crumble topping: (If you are making both the pumpkin and the apple pies, you can use the same streusel/crumble topping for both.)
5. Blend first 5 ingredients of topping in a food processor. Add chilled butter cubes; using on/off turns, cut in until mixture resembles wet sand.  If you do not have a food processor, mix try ingredients and then cut in butter.  Sprinkle the tops of the pies with crumble.

6. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees and bake until apples in center are tender when pierced and filling is bubbling thickly at edges, about 18-20 minutes.  Let cool for approximately 2-3 minutes in the pan, then carefully remove to a cooling rack. Cool until warm and serve. 

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