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Mini Apple Pies with Cheddar

November/December 2012

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Here’s a healthy—and adorable—twist on deep-dish apple pie. This mini apple pie recipe will give you just a bit of something sweet and the melted wedge of Cheddar on top is a nod to the New England tradition of serving cheese with apple pie.


Mini Apple Pies with Cheddar

Makes: 12 servings

Active Time:

Total Time:

Ingredients

Crust

  • 2/3 cup pecans
  • 6 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 3/4 cups white whole-wheat flour (see Tip) or all-purpose flour
  • 6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon water

Filling

  • 4 large crisp, sweet apples, such as Honeycrisp or Gala, unpeeled, diced
  • 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon white whole-wheat flour or all-purpose flour

Topping

  • 1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 2 tablespoons white whole-wheat flour or all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of salt
  • 12 small wedges Cheddar cheese (about 3 ounces)

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Coat 12 (1/2-cup) muffin cups with cooking spray.
  2. To prepare crust: Combine pecans, granulated sugar and salt in a food processor; pulse until the nuts are finely ground. Add 13/4 cups flour; pulse to combine. With the motor running, add butter a few pieces at a time until well incorporated. Then add egg and water and process until starting to clump together. Using about 1/4 cup each, press the dough into the bottom and all the way up the sides of each muffin cup to form a crust. Prick the bottom with a fork.
  3. Bake until the crusts are set and the edges are just beginning to brown, 6 to 8 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack.
  4. Reduce oven temperature to 350°.
  5. To prepare filling: Combine apples, 1/3 cup brown sugar, lemon juice, 1 teaspoon cinnamon and nutmeg in a large saucepan. Place over medium-high heat and cook, stirring frequently, until the sugar melts, about 1 minute. Reduce the heat to medium, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, just until the apples start to soften, 6 to 8 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in 1 tablespoon flour. Divide the filling among the crusts (about 2 tablespoons each).
  6. To prepare topping: Combine oats, 2 tablespoons each flour, brown sugar and oil, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon and pinch of salt in a medium bowl. Press the topping onto each mini pie (about 1 tablespoon each).
  7. Bake until the topping is beginning to brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and nestle a cheese wedge in the center of each pie. Return to the oven and bake until the cheese is melted, about 5 minutes more. Let cool at least 15 minutes before serving. Run a sharp knife around the edge of each mini pie to loosen it, then gently pry from the muffin tin with a butter knife. Serve warm.

Tips & Notes

  • Make Ahead Tip: Prepare crust (Step 2) and topping (Step 6), cover and refrigerate separately for up to 3 days. Equipment: Muffin tin with 12 (1/2-cup) cups
  • Bake with white whole-wheat flour, made from a special variety of white wheat, and whole-wheat pastry flour, milled from soft wheat and containing less gluten. Both provide the nutritional benefits of whole grains. Find them in large supermarkets, natural-foods stores and online at bobsredmill.com and kingarthurflour.com. Store in the freezer.

Nutrition

Per serving: 318 calories; 15 g fat (6 g sat, 6 g mono); 38 mg cholesterol; 43 g carbohydrates; 15 g added sugars; 6 g protein; 5 g fiber; 163 mg sodium; 171 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Iron (18% daily value)

Carbohydrate Servings: 3

Exchanges: 1 starch, 1/2 fruit, 1 other carbohydrate, 2 1/2 fat, 1/2 high-fat meat


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