It’s officially autumn, so I’m officially in full-on apple mode! I love using the bounty of fresh produce at my local farmer’s market, and right now, apples are everywhere!
This recipe is a fun twist on traditional baked apples. Obviously, you can bake these without the crust, but they are so pretty with the crust that I couldn’t resist! Either way, make the most of the apples around you and get baking this weekend! These impressive little “pies” are much easier than they look, and are oh so yummy!
Baked Apple “Pies”
Apples & Filling:
- 4 medium-large firm apples
- 1/2 cup apple cider
- 3 Tbs. raisins
- 3 Tbs. chopped pecans or walnuts
- 2 tsp. cinnamon
- Agave nectar, maple syrup or honey (I used Madhava Organic Maple Agave Nectar)
In a large bowl or a food processor, sift the flour and salt. Cut in the butter and shortening using a pastry dough blender, two knives or a food processor. Do not over-work – the fat should resemble small pebbles at this point. Gradually add the vodka, then water, only one tablespoon at a time, mixing with a fork or food processor until the dough holds together as a ball.
Form dough into a disc shape and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Set aside on the counter while you prepare the apples.
Wash and core apples (I find it is easiest to straightly core an apple by starting at the bottom of the apple and pushing the corer through to the top). Pour enough apple cider to cover the bottom of an 8×8 microwave and oven-safe baking pan. Arrange cored apples in the baking pan.
Toss raisins, chopped nuts and cinnamon in a small bowl. Fill each cored apple with this mixture, then pour at least 1 teaspoon agave nectar on top of the filling. Drizzle agave across each apple in a zig-zag pattern.
Microwave the apples, uncovered, on high for approximately 4 minutes. The apples should be tender at this point, but not mushy.
Preheat oven to 375° F.
Roll the pie crust out onto a surface dusted with Jules Gluten Free™ All Purpose Flour or gluten-free cornstarch. Roll the disc out gently to a thickness of 1/8 inch (approximate the thickness of 4 business cards stacked on top of each other). Using a cookie cutter that is at least as wide as the top of each apple, cut out one shape for each apple. Lay one cut-out dough shape on top of each apple. Cut small slits in the center to allow steam to escape. Make a disc with any remaining dough and seal in a zip-top bag – freeze for the next time you need a small amount of pie crust dough.
Brush the dough with your milk of choice or a beaten egg (this will help the dough to “brown” while baking). Sprinkle the tops with cinnamon-sugar and bake for 35 minutes, or until the dough is puffing slightly and browning a bit.
Remove to cool and serve as individual pies.