Saturday, November 20, 2010

Apple-Cranberry Mini Pies ~ A Twist to the Apple Pie


Do you like desserts in miniature size?
A dessert small enough for one…no guilt…no excess…no leftovers…just small nibbles to enjoy.

I discovered these adorable pie molds from Williams-Sonoma some time ago and finally got around to using them.

You can see a video on how to use the molds on Williams-Sonoma website.

Thanksgiving dessert traditionally includes ‘apple pie’.
For a different twist on the tradition, how about baking mini apple-cranberry pies?

At first, I hesitated to add the cranberries. I didn’t think I would like the combination. Glad I tested it. I loved it!

Speaking of music, I got my cd ‘Illuminations’ autographed at Barnes and Noble in New York City by Josh Groban on 11/15/10.


Josh has a great voice. What I like about his baritone voice is that there is a power behind it, yet gentle at the same time. It’s very unique.


A few facts about Josh Groban:

Name                           ~ Joshua Winslow Groban
Birthdate                      ~ February 27, 1981 (age 29)
Birthplace                     ~ Los Angeles, California (U.S.)
Genres                         ~ Classical, pop, vocal, Operatic pop
Occupation                   ~ Singer-songwriter
Instruments                   ~ Vocals, piano, drums, percussions
Years active                 ~ 1997-present
Labels                          ~ 143/Reprise
Associated acts            ~ We Are The World 25 for Haiti

Website                        ~ Josh Groban - http://www.joshgroban.com/
Twitter                         ~ joshgroban   - http://twitter.com/joshgroban
Facebook                     ~ Josh Groban  - http://www.facebook.com/JoshGroban
Youtube                       ~ joshgroban    - http://www.youtube.com/user/joshgroban
Myspace                      ~ Josh Groban - http://www.myspace.com/joshgroban

It was lots of fun talking with others while waiting to get Josh’s autograph.  
A shoutout to Cathi, Anna and Corina! You were all so sweet!

Enjoy some of Josh Groban’s music videos from his new album, “Illuminations”.


Josh Groban - "Hidden Away" Official Music Video




Ready to bake?
My apron is on…let’s head to the kitchen …

Apple-Cranberry Mini Pies

Adapted by Carmen of Baking is my Zen

INGREDIENTS:

For the crust:
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
16 tablespoons (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch dice
6 to 8 tablespoons ice water

For the apple-cranberry filling:
1 1/2 pounds apples, peeled, cored, cut into 1/2-inch dice (McIntosh recommended)
1/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg (I used a pinch)
2 teaspoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
5 ounces fresh cranberries
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons water
1 egg, lightly beaten with 1 teaspoon water
Granulated sugar for sprinkling

DIRECTIONS:

Make the dough:
1.      In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the flat beater, beat together the flour, salt and the 2 Tbs. granulated sugar  on low speed until combined, about 10 seconds.
2.     Add the butter and beat for 30 seconds, then increase the speed to medium-low and beat until the mixture resembles coarse meal, about 1 1/2 minutes more.
3.     Add the 6 Tbs. ice water, reduce the speed to low and beat for 20 seconds.
4.     The dough should hold together when squeezed with your fingers but should not be sticky.
5.     If it is crumbly, add more water, 1 tsp. at a time, beating for 5 seconds after each addition.
6.     Turn the dough out onto a work surface.
7.     Divide the dough in half, wrap with plastic wrap and shape each into a disk. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to overnight.


Make the apple-cranberry filling:
1.      In a large bowl, stir together the apples, brown sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg and cornstarch.
2.      In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter.
3.      Add the apple mixture, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the apples are just tender but not mushy, 16 to 18 minutes.
4.      Remove from the heat, stir in the lemon juice and let cool for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the cranberries, granulated sugar and water.
5.     Cook, stirring occasionally, until the cranberries have broken down slightly and the liquid has thickened to the consistency of a loose jam, about 14 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool for 30 minutes.
6.     Add the cranberry mixture to the apple mixture and stir to combine.

Form dough and assemble the mini pies:
1.      Let the dough stand at room temperature for 5 minutes.
2.      On a floured surface, roll out 1 dough disk into a round 3/16 inch thick.
3.      Brush off the excess flour.
4.      Using an apple pocket pie mold, cut out 8 of each shape (4 solid and 4 with the decorative cutout).
5.      Reroll the dough scraps, if necessary, and cut out more shapes.
6.      Repeat with the remaining dough disk.
7.      Place a solid dough shape in the bottom half of the cutter and gently press the dough into the mold.
8.      Fill the center with 2 Tbs. apple-cranberry filling and brush the edges of the dough with some of the egg wash.
9.      Top with a shape with a decorative cutout.
10.    Press the top half of the cutter down to seal and crimp the edges of the pie.
11.    Remove the pie from the mold and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
12.    Repeat with the remaining dough and filling.
13.    Freeze the pies for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400°F.

1.      Brush the top of the pies with egg wash and sprinkle with granulated sugar.
2.      Bake until the crust is golden brown and the filling is gently bubbling, 22 to 24 minutes.
3.     Transfer the pies to a wire rack and let cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Makes 8 pocket pies.


 

Recipe Photo Tutorial

Apple-Cranberry Mini Pies

Adapted by Carmen of Baking is my Zen

Mis en place: Gather all your ingredients and equipment before you begin.

Make the dough:
Put a sifter in your mixer bowl. Add flour to bowl. (I always sift the flour)
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the flat beater, beat together the flour, salt and the 2 tablespoons granulated sugar on low speed until combined, about 10 seconds.
Add the butter and beat for 30 seconds, then increase the speed to medium-low and beat until the mixture resembles coarse meal, about 1 1/2 minutes more.


Add the 6 tablespoons ice water,
reduce the speed to low and beat for 20 seconds.
The dough should hold together when squeezed with your fingers but should not be sticky.
If it is crumbly, add more water, 1 teaspoon at a time, beating for 5 seconds after each addition.
Turn the dough out onto a work surface. Form into a disk. (Don’t overwork the dough)
Divide the dough in half,
wrap with plastic wrap and shape each into a disk.
Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to overnight.

Make the apple-cranberry filling:
Peel, core and cube the apples.
In a large bowl, stir together the apples, brown sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg and cornstarch.
In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter.

Add the apple mixture, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the apples are just tender but not mushy, 16 to 18 minutes.

Remove from the heat, stir in the lemon juice and let cool for 30 minutes.
and let cool for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a small saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the cranberries, granulated sugar and water.
Cook, stirring occasionally,

until the cranberries have broken down slightly and the liquid has thickened to the consistency of a loose jam, about 14 minutes.

Remove from the heat and let cool for 30 minutes.

Add the cranberry mixture to the apple mixture and stir to combine.


Form dough and assemble the mini pies:
Let the dough stand at room temperature for 5 minutes.

On a floured surface, roll out 1 dough disk into a round 3/16 inch thick.
Brush off the excess flour.

Using the LATTICE SHAPE pocket pie mold, cut out 8 of each shape (4 solid and 4 with the decorative cutout).

Reroll the dough scraps, if necessary, and cut out more shapes.
Repeat with the remaining dough disk.
Place a solid dough shape in the bottom half of the cutter and gently press the dough into the mold.
Fill the center with 2 tablespoons apple-cranberry filling
and brush the edges of the dough with some of the egg wash.

Top with a shape with a decorative cutout.
Press the top half of the cutter down to seal and crimp the edges of the pie.


Remove the pie from the mold and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
Repeat with the remaining dough and filling.
Freeze the pies for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 400°F.

Take the pies out of the freezer.
Brush the top of the pies with egg wash and sprinkle with granulated sugar.

Bake until the crust is golden brown and the filling is gently bubbling, 22 to 24 minutes.

Transfer the pies to a wire rack and let cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Makes 8 pocket pies. (My result: I ended up making 9 pies and had leftover filling).

Using the directions above, here’s a photo tutorial using the APPLE SHAPE pie mold:


Enjoy these little apple-cranberry bundles of sweetness
with your family this Thanksgiving!




Peace in baking,
Carmen
Baking is my Zen…sweet nibbles for the soul

4 comments:

Irina@PastryPal said...

I can tell you are a huge Josh Groban fan. He is quite a cutie. Is that what inspired these cute-as-can-be mini pies? I love the look, and the fact that you can eat them standing up, in a few bites. Great for a cocktail party.

Baking is my Zen...sweet nibbles for the soul said...

Irina,

Yes, I'll have to admit...I'm a GROBANITE. Huge fan.

I like to try different twists on the regular holiday recipes. So, I thought these would be a great replacement to the standard 'apple pie'.

Carmen

rebecca said...

Your pies look fantastic. I love their size.

I also love JG's voice- such clarity and purity of tone. I remember first hearing him on Ally McBeal and being struck with his fabulous voice.

Baking is my Zen...sweet nibbles for the soul said...

Rebecca, I too, love the size of the pies.

And...Josh Groban's voice is divine!

Carmen

DO NOT USE MY PHOTOGRAPHY WITHOUT PERMISSION

ALL PHOTOGRAPHY (UNLESS INDICATED) IN THIS BLOG BELONGS TO CARMEN ORTIZ OF BAKING IS MY ZEN.

PLEASE DO NOT USE MY PHOTOGRAPHY WITHOUT MY PERMISSION.

Thank You.

~ Carmen Ortiz - blogger (Baking is my Zen)