Need a dessert that will wow your guests? Make these Mini Cran Apple Pies filled with real cranberries and diced apples sandwiched between a lattice mold. Rich butter home made crust makes the perfect base for these mini tarts. Easy to make using a mini pie mold from Williams & Sonoma. Once baked and cooled these tarts can be sprinkled with sparkling sugar or just served as they are. Super fun to make to impress yourself and your guests this Christmas.
How to make Mini Cran Apple Pies
Prepping the golden delicious apples. Peel and dice apples for a cooking in a small saucepan. This recipe makes 7 mini 4″ pies. You can use granny smiths but since there are tart cranberries in this recipe I chose a sweet apple like golden delicious. Plus it held its shape during baking which made the filling thick and not soft in texture.
Sprinkle a half of lemon over the fresh cut apples to prevent browning. Drain lemon juice before adding to flour mixture if you have too much lemon. You can also grate the lemon rind if you’d like add about 1 teaspoon. I did not add the zest to my pies.
Add the flour, corn starch and spices with fresh cranberries and diced apples. Toss to coat. Place in small saucepan over medium heat, stir until thick, scraping down sides and bottom of pan. No need to add pectin the apples and cranberries will thicken on their own.
Filling should look thick like this photo. Allow filing to cool while you make your buttery pie crust.
Making the Lattice Butter Crust for the Mini Pies
Grate 1 stick or 8 tablespoons chilled butter with box grater over wax paper. Place paper with butter in freezer for about 5 minutes to make sure it is well chilled. Add to the bowl of food processor along with 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour, 2 tablespoons sugar and 3/4 teaspoon salt. Pulse a few seconds just until mixture begins to look like pea sized pieces.
Add exactly 3 tablespoons ice water. This is very important… make sure the water is icy cold, this will set the butter and make your crust perfect in texture. Add 1/2 teaspoon white vinegar not apple cider vinegar. This makes the crust easy to roll it works well with the gluten in flour.
Process dough until it leaves the edges of the bowl and forms a ball. Remove and flatten crust into a flat disc, wrap in plastic wrap and chill about 25 minutes. Once Chilled
Roll dough into a large rectangle about 1/4″ thick. This dough needs to be a little bit thicker for this mold. I used these 4 1/2″ mini pie tart molds from Williams & Sonoma.
Using the bottom mold as a cutter, cut 7 pieces of dough. Place dough on parchment lined baking sheet and chill while you make the lattice tops.
Use the top lattice mold as a cutter to cut out the lattice diamonds. The dough should be thick enough to get the impression of the lattice and remove the diamonds. If the diamonds don’t come out, use a toothpick to gently remove the dough once cut. Cut 7 lattice pieces.
Tip: Cut the dough on parchment so you don’t have to pick up the cut out pieces to prevent mis shaped rounds. Chill the parchment and cut out pieces in refrigerator or freezer to firm up before baking. Dough pieces should be well chilled before baking.
At Last Assembling The Mini Pies
Place one chilled pastry round in bottom of mold, the smooth part of the mold. I used about 2 teaspoons of filling. Dot with diced butter. Be careful not to overfill your pies for the filling will ooze out during baking and not be so pretty.
Place chilled lattice crust over the filling. Now for the fun part. Making sure your mold lid is attached to the bottom mold, press the top smooth part of mold on top of the filled crust. Press firmly as to get the pretty rope design as well as sealed edges.
Important: Chill pies at least 30 minutes before baking.
Brush with egg wash and sprinkle with sparkling sugar. Sugar is optional. Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for 12-15 minutes. Pies should be golden brown more on the light side than dark.
Tip: Bake on light baking sheets lined with parchment for best results. Darker the baking sheet the darker the crust will be.
These are glazed and ready to bake. That is diced butter inside the mini pies.
Baked Pies. Allow pies to completely cool before removing from baking sheet. These are so delicious! You can serve them with a little bit of French Vanilla Ice Cream or Whipped Cream if you would like.
Aren’t these the cutest little Pies!!! They coordinate with the table setting. You can use any pie filling you would like, I am glad I added the fresh cranberries for that made the apples and filling turn the best red color for my table.
To see this tartan plaid tablescape check out my new digital magazine All About the Table.
Mini Cran-Apple Pies
Buttery home made pie crust and cran apple cooked filling fill cute little lattice molds making these mini pies adorable and festive desserts. Great for Christmas.
- Prep Time: 60 minutes-make ahead
- Cook Time: 15 minutes + intermetten chills
- Total Time: 2 hours
- Yield: 7 –4 1/2” mini pies 1x
- Category: Dessert
- Method: Roll & Chill, Bake
- Cuisine: American
3 cups finely chopped granny smith apples
1 teaspoon lemon juice
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground all spice
3/4 cup whole fresh cranberries
1/4 teaspoon orange extract
All Butter Pie Crust- Makes 2 crusts
1 stick pure butter, grated and frozen
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons ice water
1/2 teaspoon white vinegar
1–4 1/2” Mini Hand Lattice Pie Mold-Williams & Sonoma
Egg Wash: 1 beaten egg with1 teaspoon water
Garnish: sparkling sugar-optional
Filling: chill 60 minutes
Place chopped apples and lemon juice in large bowl.
Add sugar, cornstarch, salt and spices. Toss to blend. Pour mixture in large saucepan add fresh whole cranberries. Over medium heat bring mixture to a boil. Stir constantly until mixture is thickened and reduced to 1½ cup’s. Mixture will be red in color. Remove from heat add ¼ teaspoon orange extract. Stir to blend. Place filling in 2-cup bowl- cover and chill one hour or overnight.
Pie Crust: Chill time 30 minutes
In food processor with steel blade, add flour, salt and sugar. Process a few seconds. Add frozen shredded butter to flour mixture. Pulse processor until mixture becomes clumpy, as butter begins to form with flour. Add only 3 tablespoons icy water and vinegar. Process until mixture forms a ball around the sides of the food processor bowl. Remove from bowl flatten into two rounds. Cover with plastic wrap chill 30 minutes.
Prepare baking sheet, (one that will fit in your refrigerator or freezer) with parchment paper. You will be chilling the cut rounds & mini pies before filling and baking.
On floured surface, with rolling pin, roll both dough discs slightly thicker than 1/8 inch. Using top of mold with lattice, dip in flour then cut out 7 tops, use a toothpick to remove the dough caught in the lattice, reroll these pieces with leftover dough. Place tops on parchment lined baking sheet and chill. Repeat with bottom mold cutting out 7 rounds.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Assemble Mini Pies
Position one solid chilled crust in bottom well of mold, press gently to extend dough up and on top of the mold edge. Fill with 2 tablespoons cran apple filing. Place lattice crust over the top of the filling. With top of solid rounded side of lattice mold press the two crusts together forming a perfect mini pie. Chill all pies 30 minutes before baking. Brush with egg wash and sparkling sugar. Bake at 375 for 15 minutes. Cover with foil if edges brown to quickly. Cool and serve.
- Make pie crust and filling one day ahead so it makes assembling quicker.
- Chilling dough through out this process is important if you want crisp cut outs and firmly baked pies. You can cut the chill time by 15 minutes placing filled mini pies in the freezer. Just make sure they are on the parchment lined baking tray during the freeze. Do not move the assembled pies to avoid a weird shape.
- After baking the pies can be frozen up to 2 weeks.
Keywords: Mini Cran Apple Pies, Butter Pie Crust, Cranberries, Golden Delicious Apples, Spices, Mini Lattice Pie Mold
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