Friday, November 14, 2008

Holiday Apple and Pumpkin Tarts

© copyright Carrie Boyko

Thanksgiving Dinner desserts are always an interesting part of our family's meal. Most of us want more than one piece of dessert, but don't have room to eat that much. This year, I'm solving that problem. I've designed mini apple pies and pumpkin pies, made in muffin pans. You won't need anything special to make these cuties, and everyone can have both. I know my family will love this.
Of course, if you prefer pecan or cherry, you can fashion your own recipe using this same idea. After I make the pie crust, I use a 5-inch round container as a "cookie cutter" to create the mini pie crusts for each muffin container in the muffin pan. I am using the medium sized muffin pans.
Because of the waste, you have to do this much like making rolled cookies. Pull up the excess, knead it back into the larger portion of unrolled dough, and go at it again. It takes a couple of batches of pie dough to make one muffin pan (12 count) of tarts. If you have a smaller dinner group, you could make 1/2 apple and 1/2 pumpkin, or whatever type you like--just split it up.
You can make your tarts open-topped or add a few slivers of dough to create a decorative top crust. Either way, they're undeniably cute, and delicious.

For the pumpkin tarts, I'm using the recipe on the organic pumpkin can label. I never met a pumpkin pie recipe that I didn't like. As for the apple, here is mine:

Apple Tart Filling Recipe (for 12 muffin-sized tarts)
  • 4-6 medium organic apples; I prefer Granny Smith
  • 1/3 cup organic sugar
  • 1/4 cup organic flour
  • 1/8 cup organic butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon organic cinnamon
  • 1 egg white
I may not do this the way the TV cooking icons do it, but I do get lots of compliments on the pie:
  1. Sift each muffin tin container with flour.
  2. Roll out your mini tart bottom crusts and place inside the muffin containers. You can either press the excess crust along the sides, or flute it--make it wavy--around the sides.
  3. Sift each crust lightly with flour on the inside.
    Using the leftover crust pieces, you can cut some slivers to create your own toppers.
  4. Make sure you have all your supplies out before you begin peeling the apples. You know how brown they can get in a hurry.
  5. I use an apple peeler from Williams Sonoma to speed up this process. This gadget is amazingly fast (3 seconds per apple) at coring, peeling and slicing. You'll be done in a jiffy!
    Either way you do it, cut up the apples small.
  6. As each apple is peeled, cored and cut into small chunks, place them in a bowl and sprinkle with a mixture of the sugar, flour, and cinnamon. Stir quickly and move on to the next apple.
  7. When done, stir well and spoon generously into the muffin containers.
  8. Top each with a dot of butter, and any slivers of extra crust, if you like.
  9. Turn the edges of the crust out and brush with an egg wash of 1 egg white mixed with 1 tablespoon water.
  10. Bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes, or until crust is starting to turn golden brown.

After they cool for a few minutes on a cooling rack, remove gently with fingertips to finish cooling. Enjoy!




© copyright Williams Sonoma, copied from their website

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