Apple Pielets: Small sweets for a big crowd
With the dough nice and cold, I used a cutter that was just about 3 inches in diameter to make the rounds for the bottom crusts. I cut them out, waited for them to soften enough to be pressed into the molds without breaking, and then stowed the muffin tins in the freezer while I worked on cutting out the top rounds, using the next-smallest cutter, which was about 2 3/4 inches. When the tops were cut, I just slid them into the fridge.
You’ll have lots of dough scraps. Gather them all together, flatten them into a disk and re-roll them. I used mine to make this plum and pear galette.
You can fill the pielets with just about any favorite pie filling. Each little pie will hold about 2 tablespoons of filing (I portioned mine out with a small Oxo Cookie Scoop), which will bake and bubble and cook down in the oven … just as it’s supposed to.
For my filling, I mixed together:
2 medium apples, peeled, cored and cut into small cubes
1/4 cup applesauce (I’d just made some, but you could use storebought)
1/4 cup apple jelly (you could use other jam or marmalade)
1/4 cup plump raisins
1/4 cup plump dried cherries, halved
5 moist dried apricots, cut into small pieces
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Once the filling was scooped into the crusts, I moistened the rim of each crust with water and topped it with a circle of dough, pressing against the sides of the pielets to ‘glue’ the top and bottom crusts together. To finish, I brushed the top crusts with a little water, sprinkled them with sugar and cut out three little air vents.
I put the muffin tins on baking sheets — it just makes it so much easier to move the tins around and to rotate them in the oven, if necessary — and baked them in a 400 degree F oven to about 45 minutes. It’s easy to tell when they’re done: the top crusts will be deeply golden brown and there’ll be syrupy juicesbubbling up through the vents. In fact, some of the juice may bubble over and dribble down the sides of the pielets. I love when this happens becasue you get a kind of caramel coating. Run a knife carefully around the sides of the pielets to loosen them and then turn the muffin tin over onto a rack. Turn the pielets right side up and let them cool until they are only just warm or until they come to room temperature.
And yes, they’re very, very good served warm with ice cream.