Miniature Apple Crisp Pies

Baking is starting to be something I live for on the weekends. Snowy or cold days in general just really motivate me to put on some sweats and get out the standing mixer. Okay, who am I kidding, I don't really need motivation for sweats because they're kind of my at-home staple :/ But anyway! One of my friends made an apple pie and she put it on Facebook this past week (thanks, Rebecca!) and I thought, "Well now I want to make an apple pie!" My husband informed me he actually prefers apple 'crisp' to a crust covered pie so I started looking up recipes with that in mind. At the store he found mini pot pie tins, six came in a package, and they were the perfect size for the personal pies I had in mind! 

I found several recipes and the one that I went with most consistently was one from Pillsbury. There's was a 9-inch Cinnamon Raise Apple Crisp. I didn't want raisins and I actually added some brown sugar to the filling, which theirs doesn't call for. (Look at me, getting creative! HA!) Even though there's is for a standard pie, the filling worked out perfectly for four miniature pie tins. I should have doubled their topping ingredients so I am going to write it for that (x2). Mine just didn't end up being as filled to the brim as I had hoped, but they were still SO good. And then lastly, I looked up a homemade caramel recipe and the Pioneer Woman has SUCH an easy one to follow; that too turned out delicious.

I used store bought frozen roll-out crust that I let thaw in the fridge before using. And then I outlined the pie tins with a knife and cut them accordingly.

The ingredients for the pie filling is this:
1/3 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
4 cups thinly sliced peeled apples (I used four Granny Smith)
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
*I was able to almost perfectly divide the filling into four miniature pies with no filling left over*

Pre-heat the oven to 350°
In a large bowl, stir together the sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg and brown sugar. Stir in, tossing it all to coat the apples well and then fill the pies. 

For the topping:
1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup butter or margarine
1/4 cup chopped pecans (or nut of your choice or omit entirely if you just don't like them)

In medium bowl, mix the topping ingredients except the pecans with pastry blender or fork until crumbly; stir in pecans and sprinkle generously over filling.

Bake on cookie sheet 20 minutes. Place sheet of foil over pie to prevent excessive browning. Bake 20 to 30 minutes longer or until filling is bubbly and topping is golden brown. Cool at least 30 minutes before serving.

These not only smelled irresistible while they were baking, they are among my favorite pie creation thus far. As soon as they came out and I was letting them cool, I decided a warm caramel topping would be the perfect final touch.

Caramel Sauce Ingredients:
1 cup Brown Sugar
1/2 stick Butter (4 Tablespoons)
1/2 cup Half-and-half Or Cream (cream Will Make It Thicker)
1 Tablespoon Vanilla
 Pinch Of Salt

Mix all of the ingredients in a medium saucepan over medium-low to medium heat. Cook while whisking gently for 5 to 7 minutes, until thicker. Turn off heat. Serve warm or refrigerate until cold. If sauce is thin, just continue cooking for a few more minutes. (Mine took around 12 minutes total).

Now it's time to just DIG IN! My husband walked in the kitchen as soon as I was wrapping up. I literally poured the sauce over the mini pie and handed him a fork. He can vouch for it's pure wonderful taste and I am so excited we have a few of these to eat for dessert this week.