The Apple Cranberry Mini Pies is definitely inspired by Lauren Sharifi’s award-winning Healthy Holiday recipe.
However, instead of a graham crust, I tried making it with the original pie crust recipe. The end result was brilliant, and I highly recommend you try it.
With that said, let’s bake it!
Just so you know, given that I used butter for the crust, it’s not as low fat as the original recipe.
How to make the pie crust?
Sadly, this is the most cumbersome part of the apple cranberry mini pies, yet also the most rewarding.
You can use a food processor for this job. You can technically use your hands, but it won’t be as straightforward. Also, you can use a blender capable of making and kneading dough—such as a Vitamix blender or Blendtec.
Anyway, start by combining the flour and salt together. You only need to pulse your machine a few times for this.
If your food processor has a grating attachment, use that to grate the butter. Otherwise, you’d have to grate the butter manually. Remember that the butter has to be extra cold or frozen for this.
Now, blend the flour mixture and butter together.
At slow speed, add ice water (1 tablespoon at a time). Do this until the mixture becomes cohesive or has a dough consistency.
Turn the dough out onto your floured work surface. Gently knead until it’s not too crumbly. Cover it with saran wrap and shape it to a thick round disc. Keep it in the fridge for about 30 minutes to hydrate.
Meanwhile, you can prepare the filling and topping of the apple cranberry mini pies.
After 30 minutes, flour your work surface (again) and the rolling pin. Flat out your dough onto the work surface. Make sure to keep adding flour when needed to prevent any sticking. (It’s going to be a lot, flour-wise.)
Keep rolling until it’s about ⅛ inches thick.
Using a cookie cutter, cut out up to 12 pieces. If you can’t cut any more dough, you must regroup the dough, then knead and roll again for cutting. Do this until you’ve used up all the dough.
On a lightly greased cupcake baking pan, lay the small doughs and shape them to fit the muffin molds.
Then, place it again in the fridge when you’re preparing the rest of the recipe. Ideally, the dough should stay cold before cooking.
Tips and Tricks
To be honest, this apple cranberry mini pies recipe is a bit more challenging than a full-sized pie.
In any case, there are numerous things you can do to make things easier. First off, you can buy a ready-made mini pie crust from your local store. Or, you can use regular graham crumbs crust.
For the topping, you can also use a regular granola cereal. If you already have that, it will save a ton of time and effort.
Now, cranberries are seasonal. But, if you want to make the apple cranberry mini pies at any time of the year, there’s actually a workaround. You can use frozen cranberries! Simply thaw it to room temperature (don’t heat it up), and it’s ready to use.
Apple Cranberry Mini PiesCourse: Snacks, DessertCuisine: AmericanDifficulty: Medium
The apple cranberry mini pies are like one of those one-bite snacks, but better. It may be a bit complicated, but the end product is just too delicious to pass over.
6 ounces all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
¼ cup butter, cold or frozen
3-4 apples, peeled and diced
1 cup cranberries, fresh
½ teaspoon orange zest
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ cup maple syrup
⅛ cup orange juice
3 tablespoons cornstarch
¼ cup old fashioned oats
¼ cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
2 teaspoons milk, fat-free
2 teaspoons brown sugar
½ teaspoon cinnamon
- In a food processor or blender, add flour and salt. Pulse until mixed.
- Grate the butter into the processor bowl or pitcher. Then, pulse again until mixed.
- While pulsing intermittently, add ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time. Keep adding until it’s cohesive. Please note that the amount of water will be drastically different for everyone.
- Place the dough onto your floured work surface, and knead gently.
- Wrap your dough in a saran wrap and flatten it into a thick round disc.
- Let sit in the fridge for about 30 minutes to hydrate.
- After 30 minutes, sprinkle flour on your work surface and your rolling pin.
- Roll the dough until it’s flat, about an eighth of an inch thick. Keep adding flour as necessary to prevent sticking.
- Using a round cookie cutter (more significant than the diameter of your cupcake tray), cut out the dough into 12 pieces. Once you can’t cut any more dough, re-combine it and repeat steps 8-9.
- Slightly grease your baking cupcake tray.
- With your smaller pie doughs, lay them one by one on your cupcake tray.
- If your filling isn’t ready yet, place the tray in the fridge.
- Preheat your oven to 350ºF.
- Wash your fresh ingredients.
- Peel and remove the seeds from the apple. Then, dice it up into about ½” small pieces and place them in a large bowl.
- Mix up all the filling ingredients until all apples and cranberries are fully coated.
- Mix the topping ingredients together.
- Portion your filling into the mini pies and sprinkle the topping. It doesn’t have to be fully covered.
- Bake for 30-45 minutes or until the crust is golden brown.
- Bring out your mini pies, and let them cool for about 10 minutes.
- Recipe inspired by Lauren Sharifi.