mini apple pie on plate with bite taken out
Individual Desserts,  Pies and Pastries

Mini Honey Apple Pies

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These mini honey apple pies are what you never knew you wanted! Take a traditional apple pie, shrink it, and replace the refined sugar with honey. The all butter crust is super flaky and packs a warm gooey apple filling. The subtle warmth from the cinnamon make these mini apple pies the perfect comfort food, brunch item, or both! Serve them warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a drizzle of raw local honey.

They are practically healthy too! After all, these mini honey apple pies are refined sugar free. This recipe only uses honey and the natural sugars from the apples for the perfect amount of sweetness.

I prefer the higher ratio of crust to filling in these mini honey apple pies than a traditional 9″ pie (check out my apple pie with flaky all butter crust recipe) because I am absolutely obsessed with how flaky and tender this all butter pie crust is. It is almost indistinguishable from a puff pastry, but so much easier to make!

Don’t throw any of the leftover pie crust out! Lay them out in a single layer and bake them in a 180°C (350°F) oven until lightly golden brown and crispy, about 20 minutes. They make the perfect snack (and reward) for making these pies. No one needs to know that they even existed!

mini apple pie with two scoops of ice cream

What makes the crust to these mini honey apple pies so flaky?

The key to having such a flaky crust in this apple pie recipe is using very cold butter, handling the dough as little as possible so as not to melt the butter, and folding the dough a few times before letting it chill and rolling it out. This helps to create all of those delicious layers in that flaky all-butter crust.

Did you know…

Some claim that vinegar helps to prevent overworking the dough by inhibiting gluten production, resulting in a flakier crust. But the amount added is so small that it doesn’t actually make a significant difference. Vinegar does however help to reduce the risk of your dough oxidizing as it rests, helping the crust brown properly in the oven.

I love the extra depth of flavour that vinegar lends to the pie crust, offsetting the richness in the all-butter crust. It just makes it that much better!

Tips for a super flaky crust

  • Folding the pie dough a few times helps create those beautiful flaky layers. Be careful to do this step as quickly as possible so that you don’t have much gluten formation, which will make your crust tough.
  • Keep the pie dough in the fridge in between handling, and handle it as little as possible. You don’t want the butter to melt while you are working with it because it will destroy all of your flaky layers.
  • Refrigerate the pies before baking. Do not skip this step! This will help firm up the butter before baking to make the crust stay flaky.
  • Don’t let the pies cool in the muffin tins because it will be very difficult to remove them without breaking once they cool completely.
mini apple pies in muffin tin

Let’s get baking!

Pie Crust

Combine the flour and salt in a food processor and pulse to incorporate.

Add the cubed cold butter and pulse until the mixture resembles very coarse bread crumbs with pea sized pieces of butter. This takes about 5-8 pulses.

Mix together the ice water and apple cider vinegar in a separate bowl.

Add the water mixture tablespoon by tablespoon into the crumb mixture, pulsing after every few tablespoons. Once the dough just starts to come together (you will notice it start to clump up in the food processor), stop adding the liquid. You should not need to use all of the liquid; I usually have a quarter of it left over.

Into a bowl, gather the dough into a ball, working quickly so that the butter doesn’t melt. Flatten out the ball into a disk with your hands and fold that disk in half. Repeat this flattening and folding another 2 times.

Shape the dough back into a disk and cut in half. Shape each half back into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap, and let rest in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.

Apple Filling

Peel and core the apples. Cut the apples into small (1cm) cubes. Place the cubed apples into a large saucepan. Add the lemon juice, honey, butter, and cinnamon to the apples.

Cook the apple mixture, stirring on medium-low heat until the apples release their liquid. Bring up the temperature to a medium heat and simmer for 7-10 minutes, stirring occasionally to soften the apples and to reduce the amount of liquid by a quarter.

While the apples are cooking, whisk together the flour and water in a small bowl to make a smooth slurry.

Pour the slurry into the apples and stir well so that there are no clumps. Continue cooking, stirring constantly, until the liquid thickens. This should take only a few minutes. Take the filling off the heat and let cool to room temperature or refrigerate overnight.

Assembly

Take out the first half of the dough from the refrigerator. On a lightly floured surface, roll it out to ⅛” (3mm) thickness. Using the bottom of a bowl or glass as a guide, cut out as many 4” diameter circles as you can. Try to cut them out as close to each other as possible, so that there are fewer scraps. Place the scraps in the refrigerator. Roll out the second half of the dough the same way and continue cutting out 4” diameter circles until there are a total of twelve. When working with the crust, work as quickly as possible to prevent the dough from getting too warm.

With the remaining rolled out dough, cut out as many 3.5” diameter circles (using the bottom of a glass as a guide). Re-roll the scraps with the refrigerated scraps from the previous step, and keep cutting out circles until there are twelve.

Gently place the larger rounds of dough into each individual muffin tin, pressing the dough into the sides of the tins to remove any large folds of dough. You do not want to stretch the dough, just let it fall into the bottom of each tin and gently press your fingers to even out the crust.

Spoon the filling into each bottom crust, filling each up two thirds of the way.

Place the top crust onto each pie and press the edges of the crusts together, forming a seal. Once the edges are sealed, crimp the crust of each pie with your fingers to make a wavy pattern (see photos above the recipe). This will help prevent the pies from leaking while they are baking.

Let the pies chill in the refrigerator for 20 minutes, or in the freezer for 10 minutes. While they are chilling, whisk together the egg and milk for the egg wash. Set aside.

Bake the pies

Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F).

Brush the top of each pie with egg wash with a pastry brush, making sure to coat the whole surface. With a small knife, make an X-shaped cut into the top of each pie to let steam escape while baking.

Bake the pies for 40-45 minutes, checking them every 5 minutes after 35 minutes. The tops will be golden brown and crispy when ready. Use a metal spatula to help lift out a pie to peek at the bottom. The bottom crust should be crispy and browned as well.

Remove the pies from the oven and let them cool in the muffin tins for 5 minutes. Using a spatula to help, gently remove the pies from the tin and place them on a cooling rack to cool completely. Do not let the pies cool in the muffin tins because they will be very difficult to remove once they cool completely.

Enjoy! Best served warm with ice cream, honey, or your favourite apple pie toppings.


Happy baking! xx

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mini apple pie on plate with bite taken out

Mini Honey Apple Pies

Mary
These mini honey apple pies are what you never knew you wanted! The all butter crust is super flaky and packs a warm gooey apple filling. This recipe has no refined sugar and only uses honey and the natural sugars from the apples for the perfect amount of sweetness. The subtle warmth from the cinnamon and honey make these mini apple pies the perfect comfort food (or brunch item). Serve them warm with a scoop of ice cream and a drizzle of honey.
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Chill Time 50 mins
Total Time 2 hrs 5 mins
Course Baking, Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 12 mini pies

Equipment

  • Food Processor
  • regular sized muffin tin

Ingredients
  

Pie Crust

  • 2 ½ cup all-purpose flour (300g)
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter cut into small (1cm) cubes
  • 1 cup ice water
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar

Filling

  • 4 large apples tart (granny smith and northern spy are great options)
  • 1 lemon squeezed
  • ½ cup honey raw
  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter (42g)
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 ½ tbsp all-purpose flour or cornstarch
  • 2 ½ tbsp cold water

Egg Wash

  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tbsp whole milk

Instructions
 

Pie Crust

  • Combine the flour and salt in a food processor and pulse to incorporate.
    2 ½ cup all-purpose flour, ¼ tsp salt
  • Add the cubed cold butter and pulse until the mixture resembles very coarse bread crumbs with pea sized pieces of butter. This takes about 5-8 pulses.
    1 cup unsalted butter
  • Mix together the ice water and apple cider vinegar in a separate bowl.
    1 cup ice water, 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • Add the water mixture tablespoon by tablespoon into the crumb mixture, pulsing after every few tablespoons. Once the dough just starts to come together (you will notice it start to clump up in the food processor), stop adding the liquid. You should not need to use all of the liquid; I usually have a quarter of it left over.
  • Fold the dough: Into a bowl, gather the dough into a ball, working quickly so that the butter doesn't melt. Flatten out the ball into a disk with your hands and fold that disk in half. Repeat this flattening and folding another 2 times.
  • Shape the dough back into a disk and cut in half. Shape each half back into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap, and let rest in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.

Filling

  • Prepare the apples: Peel and core the apples. Cut the apples into small (1cm) cubes. Place the cubed apples into a large saucepan. Add the lemon juice, honey, butter, and cinnamon to the apples.
    1 tbsp apple cider vinegar, 4 large apples, 1 lemon, ½ cup honey, 3 tbsp unsalted butter, ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • Cook the apple mixture, stirring on medium-low heat until the apples release their liquid. Bring up the temperature to a medium heat and simmer for 7-10 minutes, stirring occasionally to soften the apples and to reduce the amount of liquid by a quarter.
  • Make the slurry: While the apples are cooking, whisk together the flour and water in a small bowl to make a smooth slurry.
    1 ½ tbsp all-purpose flour, 2 ½ tbsp cold water
  • Pour the slurry into the apples and stir well so that there are no clumps. Continue cooking, stirring constantly, until the liquid thickens. This should take only a few minutes. Take the filling off the heat and let cool to room temperature or refrigerate overnight.

Assembly

  • Bottom crust: Take out the first half of the dough from the refrigerator. On a lightly floured surface, roll it out to ⅛” (3mm) thickness. Using the bottom of a bowl or glass as a guide, cut out as many 4” diameter circles as you can. Try to cut them out as close to each other as possible, so that there are fewer scraps. Place the scraps in the refrigerator. Roll out the second half of the dough the same way and continue cutting out 4” diameter circles until there are a total of twelve. When working with the crust, work as quickly as possible to prevent the dough from getting too warm.
  • Top crust: With the remaining rolled out dough, cut out as many 3.5” diameter circles (using the bottom of a glass as a guide). Re-roll the scraps with the refrigerated scraps from the previous step, and keep cutting out circles until there are twelve.
  • Mold the bottom crusts: Gently place the larger rounds of dough into each individual muffin tin, pressing the dough into the sides of the tins to remove any large folds of dough. You do not want to stretch the dough, just let it fall into the bottom of each tin and gently press your fingers to even out the crust.
  • Spoon the filling into each bottom crust, filling each up two thirds of the way.
  • Seal the pies: Place the top crust onto each pie and press the edges of the crusts together, forming a seal. Once the edges are sealed, crimp the crust of each pie with your fingers to make a wavy pattern (see photos above the recipe). This will help prevent the pies from leaking while they are baking.
  • Chill: Let the pies chill in the refrigerator for 20 minutes, or in the freezer for 10 minutes. While they are chilling, whisk together the egg and milk for the egg wash. Set aside.
    1 large egg, 1 tbsp whole milk

Bake

  • Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F).
  • Brush the top of each pie with egg wash with a pastry brush, making sure to coat the whole surface. With a small knife, make an X-shaped cut into the top of each pie to let steam escape while baking.
  • Bake the pies for 40-45 minutes, checking them every 5 minutes after 35 minutes. The tops will be golden brown and crispy when ready. Use a metal spatula to help lift out a pie to peek at the bottom. The bottom crust should be crispy and browned as well.
  • Remove the pies from the oven and let them cool in the muffin tins for 5 minutes. Using a spatula to help, gently remove the pies from the tin and place them on a cooling rack to cool completely. Do not let the pies cool in the muffin tins because they will be very difficult to remove once they cool completely.
  • Enjoy! Best served warm with ice cream, honey, or your favourite apple pie toppings!

Notes

  • Folding the pie dough a few times helps create those beautiful flaky layers. Be careful to do this step as quickly as possible so that you don’t have much gluten formation, which will make your crust tough.
  • Keep the pie dough in the fridge in between handling, and handle it as little as possible. You don’t want the butter to melt while you are working with it because it will destroy all of your flaky layers.
  • Refrigerate the pies before baking. Do not skip this step! This will help firm up the butter before baking to make the crust stay flaky.
  • Don’t let the pies cool in the muffin tins because it will be very difficult to remove them without breaking once they cool completely.
Keyword all butter crust, apple, honey, pie

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