Whistlin’ Whiskey Mini Apple Pies…For the Drunk in All of Us

My dad used to tell me that hating apple pie was un-American. I just didn’t like the squishy apples, soggy crusts, and limp excuses for whipped cream I was being subjected to. After experimenting, I crafted this mini apple pie recipe to highlight all the ingredients I love in apple pie without all the depressing side effects I was tortured with growing up. Crisp apples, the snap of a good nut, and of course, booze because…who doesn’t like booze in desserts? The nuts add extra texture while the buttery crust flakes away. The crust even stands up to ice cream and whipped cream without become a sad sogg-fest. For those who claim they despise pie, like the former me, give this one a try, and all those ill-fated recipe disasters will fade away while the cinnamon-apple smell wafts through your kitchen.

Ingredients:

Makes 12 mini pies

Pie Crust

– 2 cups All-Purpose or Better for Bread Flour

– 1/4 teaspoon salt

– 11 tablespoons cold salted butter

– 5 tablespoons water

Filling

– 3 Granny Smith Apples

– 1/2 cup 2% milk

– 3 tablespoons whiskey (Maker’s Mark or Jack Daniel’s work best)

– 2/3 cup light brown sugar

– 3 teaspoons cinnamon

– 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

– 1 tablespoon cornstarch

– 1/2 cup pecans

– 1/2 cup hazelnuts

Instructions:

Pie Crust

  1. Combine flour and salt in a large bowl, then cut the cold butter into one tablespoon portions and add them all to the bowl. Using your hands, break the butter apart until the mixture looks like coarse sand. Add one tablespoon of water at a time until a loose ball of dough is formed.
  2. Turn the loose ball out onto a floured surface and knead it slightly, just until it forms a unified ball. Cover with plastic wrap and let chill in the fridge for 1-2 hours.

Filling

  1. Peel the apples then cut them into quarters. Cut the core from each quarter, slice the quarters lengthwise, then cut them into quarters. You should now have 8 pieces of apple per quarter. Place the apple chunks into a large bowl and set aside. (I HATE soggy apples so I prefer the big chunks of apple in my pies; having the larger chunks mean they won’t get as squishy when you bake them.)
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the milk through cornstarch.
  3. Place the pecans and hazelnuts in a food processer and pulse until you have pea-sized pieces. (I also like to pulse just enough to have a little powder at the bottom of the food processor so that the nutty flavor really sinks into the pies.)
  4. Add the nuts to the medium bowl and stir to combine. Then pour the medium bowl mixture over the apples and stir to combine. Set this mixture aside for about 30 minutes to marinate at room temperature.
  5. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Roll out the dough until it’s about an 1/8th of an inch thick, then use a round cutter to cut out tops and bottoms for the pies. Spray a muffin tin with pam. Place the pie crust bottoms into the muffin tin and work the dough to make sure it’s evenly spread throughout each muffin cup.
  6. Pour the filling into each muffin cup (I like mine overstuffed), then place a pie crust top on and mold it around the apple mixture. (I like my pies to have a homemade feel so I just lightly work the top dough around until it touches the bottom piece. Plus I don’t like that hard piece of crust many pies have around the top from using a fork to seal it. Bake for 20-30 minutes (until the pie crusts are golden brown). Let them cool slightly on a baking rack.
  7. Pop on a scoop of your favorite ice cream, and devour!

 

Pie Crust

Combine flour and salt in a large bowl, then cut the cold butter into one tablespoon portions and add them all to the bowl. Using your hands, break the butter apart until the mixture looks like coarse sand. Add one tablespoon of water at a time until a loose ball of dough is formed.

Turn the loose ball out onto a floured surface and knead it slightly, just until it forms a unified ball. Cover with plastic wrap and let chill in the fridge for 1-2 hours.

 

Filling

Peel the apples then cut them into quarters. Cut the core from each quarter, slice the quarters lengthwise, then cut them into quarters. You should now have 8 pieces of apple per quarter. Place the apple chunks into a large bowl and set aside. (I HATE soggy apples so I prefer the big chunks of apple in my pies; having the larger chunks mean they won’t get as squishy when you bake them.)

In a medium bowl, whisk together the milk through cornstarch.

Place the pecans and hazelnuts in a food processor and pulse until you have pea-sized pieces. (I also like to pulse just enough to have a little powder at the bottom of the food processor so that the nutty flavor really sinks into the pies.)

Add the nuts to the medium bowl and stir to combine. Then pour the medium bowl mixture over the apples and stir to combine. Set this mixture aside for about 30 minutes to marinate at room temperature.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Roll out the dough until it’s about an 1/8th of an inch thick, then use a round cutter to cut out tops and bottoms for the pies. Spray a muffin tin with pam. Place the pie crust bottoms into the muffin tin and work the dough to make sure it’s evenly spread throughout each muffin cup.

Pour the filling into each muffin cup (I like mine overstuffed), then place a pie crust top on and mold it around the apple mixture. (I like my pies to have a homemade feel so I just lightly work the top dough around until it touches the bottom piece. Plus I don’t like that hard piece of crust many pies have around the top from using a fork to seal it.) Bake for 20-30 minutes (until the pie crusts are golden brown). Let them cool slightly on a baking rack.

Can’t wait to dig in!

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Flaky crust for all…oh yeah…and exceptional whisky-spiked apple pie filling :)

Warning: Please do not try to lick your monitor. Taste-O-Vision has not yet been invented.