Dutch Apple Mini Pies: Simplifying Holiday Desserts

When it comes to Thanksgiving, I am all about the pies.   I enjoy the turkey and I look forward to the stuffing.  I live for the pies!  But if pies are the best part of the holiday meal, they are also the most daunting.

With pumpkin, apple, and pecan pies on the menu for fifteen hungry guests this year, I am determined to simplify just a little bit.  After all, it won’t be a very memorable holiday if I spend the entire day in the kitchen.  These Dutch Apple Mini Pies, baked in a mini-muffin pan, cut cooking and prep time in half without sacrificing a bit of the beloved pie taste. 

Dutch Apple Mini Pies

Yield: 24 Mini Pies

Crust Ingredients:

1 1/3 cups flour
1/2 cup butter, cut into chunks
3 oz. cream cheese, cut into chunks
1 large egg yolk

Filling Ingredients:

3 to 4 medium apples ( Fuji, Golden Delicious, or mixture)
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons flour
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice

Topping Ingredients:

1/4 cup flour
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degree F.
1. For crust: Combine ingredients flour, butter, and cream cheese in a food processor.  Pulse 2 to 3 times until coarse crumbs form.  Add egg yolk and pulse until dough comes together.
2. Pull off approximately one tablespoon of dough and press evenly into one cup in a 24-cup mini muffin pan.  Repeat for all cups.  Chill while preparing filling.
3. For filling: Peel, core, and thinly slice apples.  Mix all ingredients together.
4. For topping:  Blend all ingredients until pea size.
5. Fill mini crusts with apple mixture.  Spread topping over apples.  Bake for 25 minutes or until topping and crust is golden. 

Serve warm with whip cream and enjoy! 

Are you sticking to traditional holiday desserts this year? 
What do you do to simplify the cooking process?
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