Mini (palm sized) pies are roughly equivalent to cupcakes, plus a little bit of extra work rolling dough, minus the frosting, which no one but sugar freaks actually like anyways. My good pal Craig (Sugar Daddy) invented this idea one Christmas handing out individual mince pies at a party. This recipe is dedicated to him! So simple they should a phenomena found everywhere. Fill 'em up with apples or whatever pie you like. If you want to be fancy make 2 small batches of filing for variety. McDonald's has nothing on these.
Whole Wheat Pie Crust
1 cup ice water
1 tblsp apple cider or white vinegar
1 cup fat (butter, or shortening, or a mix)
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 1/2 cups white flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sugar
1 egg, beaten
t tblsp water
1 tblsp brandy
8 oz dried fruit (pears, figs, apricots, raisins, dates etc), chopped coarsely
3 granny smith apples, peeled, cored, and diced 1/4 - 1/2"
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp cinnamon
pinch of sea salt
2 tsp white flour
1 tblsp butter, cut up
Prepare the crust first. Pour ice water and in a 2 cup measuring cup. Its exceptionally easy to measure the fat into the water adding until water displaced up to the cup line. Add vinegar, swirl, and freeze for 5-10 minutes. Add flours, salt, and sugar to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse to blend. Add half of the chilled fat to the food processor and pulse until medium crumbs form. Add the remaining fat and pulse until small and medium crumbs form. Its better to under mix in the processor then over to avoid tough crust. Stop the processor, remove lid and smoosh in any stray large clumps of fat with fingers. Be careful to avoid the blade. Put lid back on and add beaten egg while pulsing. You may need to add a few drips of ice water to bring the dough into a ball. Dough should be soft but floury and modestly dry. The dough is ready when it holds together when pinched. Dump dough on a sheet of wax paper. Form into a disc, and wrap in wax paper. Chill in refrigerator for 1-2 hours or freeze for up to a week inside an air tight plastic bag.
Prepare the filling. Mix brandy and water in a small sauce pan. Bring to nearly a boil over medium heat. Add chopped dried fruit, and turn off heat. Mix and let soften for 5-10 minutes. Drain fruit. Add apples, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, salt, flour, and dried fruit to a bowl. Mix and let sit for 10-30 minutes allowing fruit to macerate.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Remove dough from the fridge. Let sit at room temp for 30-45 minutes if its been in the freezer. Butter the bottoms and sides of a dozen muffin tins. Place disk of dough on a well floured surface and roll 1/8 inch thin. Cut 3 inch circles with biscuit cutters and gently place in muffin tins. Fill each crust to the top, or a little over, with filling. The apples will bake down. Dot with pieces of cut butter. Cut little circles or shapes with remaining pie scraps and use to decorate pies, leaving some areas open for air to escape. Bake for 30-40 minutes until crusts are browned and filling bubbles. Cool for 15 minutes. Serve plain or with a dollop of rum spiced whipped cream, like Craig did.