Apple Pie Bites

 

A plate of apple pie vites

Crunchy and sugar-coated on the outside with a warm, gooey apple filling, these bite-sized beauties are treats no one could resist. With a spiced apple filling, these indulgent little parcels are packed with flavor and make perfect finger food for a holiday party. Or try serving them at home warm with ice cream for an extra indulgence on a cold winter night!

This week's recipe: Apple Pie Bites

To make the filling you will need:

2 large or 3 small Fuji apples (or Granny Smith’s)

2 tbsp of unsalted butter

1/4 cup + 1 tbsp of sugar

1 tsp of lemon juice

1/4 tsp of ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp of ground allspice

1/8 tsp of grated nutmeg

¼ cup apple juice

1 tbsp of cornstarch

1/4 tsp of vanilla extract

Ingredients required to prepare apple pie bits

Filling: Peel and remove the cores from the apples, then cut into smaller-than-bite-sized cubes.

Apples peeled and cored

Add the apples, unsalted butter, sugar, lemon juice, ground cinnamon, ground allspice, and grated nutmeg in a skillet.

Apples tossed in butter, sugar, and spices

Cook over medium heat while stirring occasionally until the apples are soft and the sauce is very thick, sticky, and dark brown -- approx. 5 minutes.

Apple mixture after being cooked over stovetop

Once the apples are ready, remove the skillet from the heat and add the apple juice. Add the cornstarch and vanilla extract and mix until there are no visible clumps of cornstarch.

Return the skillet back to medium heat and cook until the mixture has thickened up completely. Continue to cook for 2 more minutes to reduce it even further.

Transfer the fillings into a bowl and chill in the freezer for 1 ~ 2 hours until almost frozen and workable.

Adding cornstarch to the apples

For the Apple juice pie dough you will need:

2 1/4 cups (280 grams) of all-purpose flour

1 tsp of baking powder

1/2 tsp of salt

1 stick (113 grams) of very very cold unsalted butter, cubed

10 tbsp of very cold/iced apple juice

Preparing the apple pie dough

To make the pie crust: In a food-processor (or inside a large bowl with a pastry blender), mix together all-purpose flour, baking powder, and salt.

Add the cubes of very very cold unsalted butter, then pulse until the mixture resembles a very coarse meal, with the largest bit of butter about the size of a large pea.

Add 4 tbsp of iced apple juice and pulse 2 ~ 3 times to incorporate, then another 4 tbsp and pulse 2 ~ 3 times again. Check the consistency of the dough by pinching a piece of it together and see if it sticks easily. You’ll most likely need to add another 2 tbsp of iced apple juice to bring the dough together.

Now transfer the dough onto a working surface and knead just a couple of times to bring it into a big ball.

Press the dough into a flat disk, wrap with plastic wrap, and chill in the fridge for at least 1 hour before using.

Dough being worked in a food processor

The Pie: Lightly dust the surface with flour and roll the pie dough out into a thin sheet, no thicker than 1/8″ (3 mm).

Use a round pastry-cutter (about 3 1/2″ in diameter) to cut out as many wrappers as you can. Gather the scraps, roll it out again into a thin sheet and again, cut as many wrappers out as possible. (You should get about 16 ~ 18 wrappers out of this dough.)

Cutting out the dough with a pastry cutter

Take the filling (which should be relatively hardened but workable) out of the freezer.  Place about 2 tsp of filling in the center of a wrapper (don’t even think about stuffing more than 2 tsp…or good luck with closing that one), dab a little water on the edge, then close the wrapper and pinch the seams together FIRMLY with your fingers. Use a fork to make deep impressions along the seam/edge to make sure it is securely closed. Repeat with the rest.

If at any given point the fillings start to thaw and soften, return both the wrappers and the fillings back to the freezer for 15 min to firm up. Once you are done making all the pies, keep them in one single layer on a sheet pan and keep in the fridge until needed.

Adding the filling and folding over the pie dough

For the Cinnamon and cardamom sugar you will need:

1/3 cup of sugar

1/2 tsp of ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp of ground cardamon

Sugar and spices for coating

Frying the Pies: Evenly mix sugar, ground cinnamon, and ground cardamom in a large bowl, then set aside.

Add enough canola oil in any frying-pot until you have about 1 1/2″ (4 cm) deep of oil.  Heat the oil over medium heat until when a wooden chopstick is inserted, the oil bubbles up along the surface of the chopstick.

Without crowding the pot, slowly lower 2 ~ 3 pies into the oil to fry (keep the rest of the pies in the fridge). Turn them occasionally until they are golden browned and crispy on both sides.

Drain through a slotted spoon for a few seconds then roll them in the spiced sugar. Repeat with the rest.

Frying the pies in oil

It would be tempting to eat them immediately, but I warn you, it’s piping hot inside!  Wait a few minutes… if you can.

Pie bites after being rolled in sugar

 

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