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Apple Pie Pops – apple pie on a stick!
I have a bone to pick with Thanksgiving. It pretty much takes my food mantra (everything in moderation) and not just ignores it, but stomps it into the ground. I mean, how are we expected to be moderate when there is a cornucopia of buttery, carb-y, nostalgia laden favorites to be consumed and celebrated with our nearest and dearest? This is absolutely my favorite meal of the year and unfortunately all my common sense is bogged down by gravy and mashed potatoes. I overdo it. Every. Single. Time. And judging by the post-meal moans and groans and Tryptophan-induced napping while “watching” the football games, I know I’m not alone.
Thing is, I still want dessert. I want to be better than this, but alas I am not. I think my son Max is on to something when he declares that he cannot possibly have another bite of dinner (and subsequently scrapes whatever is green on his plate into the trash), but then asks “what’s for dessert?”.
“Mom,” he says matter-of-factly, “My dinner stomach is full, but I have a second stomach for dessert.”
And you thought your child was a genius.
So as it happens, that second stomach thing is hereditary. Turns out, I have the same affliction. Post turkey gluttony, I’m ready for some sweetness. And in keeping with the holiday decadence, I want to try it all…pumpkiny-y, apple-y, pretty much anything baked in a buttery crust and dolloped with whipped cream, I want on my plate. And I don’t want to choose; I want a little bit of everything.
So, turns out genius is also hereditary because I have the Thanksgiving dessert solution. Mini-everything. That’s right. Take all of your favorites and shrink em, a la Wanye Szalinski from Honey I Shrunk the Kids. Since I don’t have his shrinking gun, I have to take all of our favorites and miniaturize them the old fashion way…cookie cutters. And today we’re tackling apple pie.
My version of apple pie celebrates the apple. A hint of cinnamon and nutmeg, the toastiness of brown butter, a little sweetness, a wallop of apple. Call me crazy, but an apple pie should taste of apples; not cinnamon and sugar, but apples enhanced by cinnamon and sugar. And don’t overlook the crust. It should be buttery and flaky and melt in your mouth. And today’s recipe packs all of this into a couple of bites. And on a stick. I told you it was genius.
You can pretty much miniaturize all of your Thanksgiving favorites. Pecan pie, pumpkin pie…they can all be put on a stick or baked in a muffin tin. Instead of a slice of everything, a bite or two of everything. At last! We can have our pie(s) and eat it too!
- 1½ cups all purpose flour
- 1 Tbsp sugar
- ¾ tsp kosher salt
- 4 oz 1 stick unsalted butter, very cold
- 1 Tbsp shortening very cold
- ¼ cup ice water
- 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup brown sugar packed
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- 1 pound apples peeled, cored and cut into a 1/2 inch dice
- 1 egg slightly beaten
- 2 tsp water
- Turbinado sugar for topping
- *18 6-inch or 8-inch lollipop sticks
- **you’ll need a 2 1/2-inch and a 3-inch cookie cutter
Pie Crust: Combine the flour, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Pulse a few times to mix.
Add the butter and shortening and pulse about 10 -12 times until the fat is cut into the flour mixture and it’s pea size.
Pour in about ⅔ of the ice water and pulse a few more times until a ball begins to form, adding more water as needed. Be careful not to overmix. The dough should not be completely blended, it will come together on the counter.
Scrape dough onto the counter and form it into a flat disc. Wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour or overnight. (Dough can also be frozen for several weeks. Defrost in refrigerator before proceeding.)
Make the Pie Pops: Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Heat butter over medium heat, until just golden brown with a slightly nutty aroma (foam will subside and you’ll see little brown flecks).
Add brown sugar, spices, salt and lemon juice. Stir to combine.
Add diced apples, stirring to coat.
Cook apples for 5-7 minutes, over medium heat until tender.
Remove from heat and let apple mixture cool to room temperature (you can put apples in the frig to speed up the process).
Mix beaten egg and water together for an egg wash.
Roll out pie dough to 1/8 inch thickness.
Cut out 18 2 1/2-inch rounds and place on 2 parchment lined sheet trays.
Using a pastry brush, lightly dab egg wash around the edge of each round and then lightly press one lollipop stick about halfway up each round. (Be gentle, you want the stick to stick, but not poke through.)
Place one tablespoon of apple mixture in the center of each round.
Re-roll out dough (be gentle – don’t over-handle dough) and cut out 18 3-inch rounds (you may need to re-roll the scraps to get the full 18).
Place each round on top of apples and crimp to seal the edges.
You’ll also need to vent the top. Either cut out a decorative shape or prick with fork.
Place sheet trays in freezer for 10 minutes to set.
Remove trays and brush each pie pop with egg wash and sprinkle with turbinado sugar.
Bake 20 minutes or until golden brown.
Allow to cool slightly before eating.