An Apple A Day

Mini Caramel Apple Pies

Celebrate cooler weather with Mini Caramel Apple Pies. (DTN/Progressive Farmer photo by Rachel Johnson)

Makes: 12 mini pies | Time: 2 hours 30 minutes

3 cups peeled and finely chopped Granny Smith apples
1 teaspoon lemon juice
¼ cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Cooking spray
1 (14.1-ounce) box prepared pie crusts (2 rolls)
¼ cup caramel sauce or dulce de leche
4 tablespoons cold butter, cut into 12 pieces
1 egg, beaten
Ice cream or whipped cream, optional

1. Toss apple, lemon juice, brown sugar, cinnamon and vanilla in a bowl; let sit for 15 minutes.

2. Spray a 12-count muffin tin with cooking spray. Using a drinking glass or round biscuit cutter, press out 3-inch circles of pie crust. Roll out gently to create a 4-inch circle.

3. Press pie crust cut-outs into the bottoms of the muffin tin. Prick bottoms with a fork.

4. Microwave caramel sauce about 15 seconds. Toss with apples to coat.

5. Divide pie filling equally, scooping into cuts. Top each with a piece of butter.

6. Roll out remaining dough; cut into ¼-inch-wide strips. Using beaten egg, brush edges of the pie crust cups with a small amount of egg wash. Working one at a time, lay 3 strips on top of the pie. Weave 3 more strips at a 45-degree angle, alternating horizontal and vertical strips, and weaving over and under for a lattice crust. Press top crust into sides of pies to adhere. Brush with egg wash.

7. Let pies chill in refrigerator for at least 20 minutes.

8. Preheat oven to 350°F; bake straight out of the refrigerator for 30 to 35 minutes or until crust is golden brown and filling is bubbling.

9. Let cool 15 minutes; remove from muffin tin. Serve with ice cream or whipped cream, if desired.