Mini Apple Pies with Cheddar

Don’t be fooled by their small size. These individual pies combine a harvest of hearty flavors.


  • ⅔ cup pecans
  • 6 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1¾ 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
  • ⅓ cup packed light brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon white whole-wheat flour or all-purpose flour
  • Topping
  • ½ cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 2 tablespoons white whole-wheat flouror all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of salt
  • 12 small wedges Cheddar cheese (about 3 ounces)


  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Coat 12 ( ½-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 1¾ 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 ¼ 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 degrees .
  5. To prepare filling: Combine apples, ⅓ 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, ¼ 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.

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