Recipes: Fall Baking

Remember that Gemini reference? Yeah, so there’s two sides – the thrill seeker that can’t survive without pushing limitations and the domesticated lush (where’s my Bulleit Manhattan?) content with lounging.

Right now, you’re reading words from the docile version of myself. I just finished baking mini apple pies and pumpkin spice whoopie pies. I don’t know why other than it’s fall, which means spices and delicious pies are on the brain.

If you prefer to read about something from the adventurous – click here or here and you’ll likely be more satisfied.

I usually get fairly fancy on my apple pie fillings – caramel, extra spicy, with cranberries, etc – but this time, I decided to make it simple and opted to use my favorite “basic” recipe from the good ol’ jailbird herself – Martha Stewart’s Apple Pie.

Despite that it’s housed elsewhere, I always relist the ingredients and directions in the case that the website it’s shared from gets removed. Also, I modified this one just a bit to accommodate 12 personal size pies instead of one traditional size. Just to be… dangerous…

Before you begin on this – it takes about 3 hours (or more if you’re a beginner). It’s not for the faint of heart, but it’s definitely worth the time if you’re willing. Fruit pies are my favorite! And the best part about single serving ones is that you can make multiple fillings and bake them all at once so everyone is happy!

Single Serving Apple Pies
Filling Ingredients
1/4 cup all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (this keeps the apples from turning brown)
5 cups of diced apples (I like using 4 Galas and 1 Granny Smith)
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt

For the best pie crust – use this one, also from Martha Stewart. Be sure to chill your butter and your final dough. Ultimately, follow the directions EXACTLY – tools and all, it makes the difference. However, for this recipe, in order to make 12 individual pies, you will need to quadruple this recipe or make Martha’s version 4 times. Each recipe makes one disk of dough and you’ll need 4 total.

If you don’t have that time, trust me, no one will know the difference if you buy these at your local grocery store. Very impressive, Pillsbury.

Directions
1. Place lemon juice in a large bowl.
2. Peel, core, and dice apples into small squares.
3. Add diced apples to lemon juice as you work.

4. Add sugar, flour, cinnamon, and salt; toss to combine. The mixture will get a little watery and a little gooey. This is good – don’t panic! Set aside.

5. Preheat oven to 450 degrees with a rack set in lowest position.
6. Lightly flour a large piece of waxed paper or your cutting board or whatever surface you’re using.
7. Place a disk of dough in center (one of the dough recipes or 1/4 of what you made total).
8. Rolling from center outward, form into a 12-inch circle. (Use paper to rotate dough, and flour rolling pin and paper as necessary to prevent sticking.) If you’re using the Pillsbury pre-made dough, be sure to roll it out past it’s normal 9″ to the 12″ described above. It’ll be too thick for small versions of the pie if you don’t.
9. Transfer dough (still on paper) to a baking sheet; cover and refrigerate.
10. If you have room, continue doing this for all four disks of dough. If you don’t have room, skip to step 11, but you’re going to have to figure out what to do for each 30 minutes inbetween. I say… make a martini.
11. Remove first circle of dough from refrigerator after chilled (about 30 minutes).
12. Place circle of dough on work surface and use a martini glass (told you it was relevant!), which is the perfect circle size, to make cutouts for pie base. Anything about 4.5″ in diameter works.
13. Gently place each circle of dough into cupcake tin (ah ha! the secret is revealed) and pleat around the edges to create a basket.

14. Repeat until circle of dough is used. Move onto disk #2 and disk #3. Each disk will fill approximately 4 spaces in the cupcake tin, so use three total and save the fourth for the lattice topping.
15. Repeat until you have filled all 12 spaces in the cupcake tin.
16. Refrigerate the dough in the cupcake tin for another 30 minutes. Trust me, this matters, it helps ensure that the crust remains flaky. If you skip this, you’ll have bland crust.
17. Once chilled, quickly and generously spoon fill with pie filling.

18. Rerefrigerate while you work on the lattice pieces.
19. Using your fourth disk of dough, roll it out a little thinner than you usually would for pie crust (cause these are tiny) and cut 1/4″ strips.
20. Once you have your lattice pieces… do the obvious thing – make the lattice tops! I won’t go into this because there’s already a great tutorial here that I always use for reference, which also has a trick for doing all the small ones simultaneously! Put it in your reference box.

21. Wash tops with egg whites and sprinkle with sugar and/or cinnamon.
22. Place finished pies into oven for 30 minutes (on lowest shelf) or until golden brown on top.

BIG TIP
Pie filling overflows, but you need it to because after it’s baked, it settles, so if you don’t generously lump it in, you’ll have empty pies. However, you don’t want that leaking into your oven – it creates white smoke because it burns when it hits the bottom of the oven and that smoke will ruin the taste of your pie. So place a cookie sheet on the base of your oven to catch any dripping! Super simple. Makes all the difference.

Nom nom nom.

Looking for something easier now? You’re in luck – Pumpkin Spice Whoopie Pies are like… easier than pie? (couldn’t resist)

Pumpkin Spice Whoopie Pies
Cookie Ingredients
1 bag Betty Crocker Pumpkin Spice Cookie Mix (no joke, but if you’re feeling energized, here’s a from scratch recipe that I recommend)
1 egg (for mix)
1/3 cup vegetable oil (for mix)
2 tablespoons cold water

Cream Filling Ingredients
1 stick of butter, room temperature (don’t melt it in the microwave)
8 oz. of Philly cream cheese (1 package), room temperature
16 oz. of powdered sugar (1 package)
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

BIG TIP
If you want flawless cookies – invest in these three items:
1. Crate & Barrel Silicone Baking Mat – you’ll never burn anything again
2. Crate & Barrel Cookie Scoop – you’ll have perfectly round cookies, always and no mess
3. Oxo Thin Cookie Spatula – you’ll never break cookies again

With all of these powers combined – you’ll be like super hero status in the baking world.

Directions
1. Bake cookies as directed on mix.
2. Mix butter and cream cheese until smooth.
3. Add powdered sugar and vanilla.
4. Mix with electric mixer on medium for 2-3 minutes until creamy.
5. After cookies have cooled, spread frosting on the underneath of one and kiss with the underneath of a second cookie to make a sandwich.

Enjoy!

If you aren’t burnt out, check out my Pinterest’s Sweets board to see tons of great looking sweets!