Jumbo Muffin Tin Apple Pies
Jumbo Muffin Tin Apple Pies are twice as nice as minis! Fresh, crisp apples are coated with dulce de leche then baked in a jumbo muffin tin to yield petit pies that are perfect for fall. Add a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream to the buttery, flaky crust and you’ll take this all-American dessert to the next level.
What’s the one, life-defining thing that links Adam and Eve, Snow White and Steve Jobs? Of course it’s their correlation with that shiny, red fruit from fall’s harvest crop: the apple.
Apples are my favorite fruit, not only because they make that crunchy sound effect when your teeth bite through the skin, but because they’re at the core of three significant happenings in history.
As can be seen from the first book in the Bible to the first animated movie by Disney Studios to the first Macintosh computer, religion, entertainment and modern technology have been shaped by the round apple. The forbidden fruit is the most influential fruit of all time and it’s due to a serpent in the Garden of Eden, a Wicked Queen in the Enchanted forest and an iOS inventor in Silicon Valley.
Then again, apples are cool for a bunch of other reasons, too. They are the only food you can coat with corn syrup and red food coloring and still call healthy. Not to mention, apples are the key ingredient in all that hard cider you drank in your college house party days. Also, let us not forget, the daily apple’s ability to keep the doctor away.
Or, to repeat my favorite saying, an apple a day will keep anyone away if you throw it hard enough.
Be that as it may, the only place I’m throwing apples today is into dulce de leche apple pies. Honestly, what could be better than warm, cinnamony apples coated in a gooey caramel sauce that’s tucked into a flaky, homemade pie crust?
Absolutely nothing, that’s what.
Since good things come in small packages, I’m foregoing the standard 9 inch pie and making dulce de leche apple pies in jumbo muffin cups instead. By and large, jumbo muffin pies are right smack in between an individual pie baked in a 5 inch plate and a mini pie baked in a muffin tin.
Not too big nor too small, these petit pies are just the right size to make apple lovers rejoice. Jumbo muffin tin pies are perfectly proportioned for your next sweet craving, baby shower as well as your holiday dessert display.
Regardless of the occasion, make an extra delicious impression by serving these small pies with a big fat scoop of homemade ice cream.
Jumbo Muffin Tin Apple Pies
- 2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour chilled
- 1 tsp sea salt fine
- 1 Tbsp granulated sugar
- 1 cup unsalted butter chilled in freezer and cubed
- 1/2 cup buttermilk plus extra if needed
Dulce de Leche
- 1 can sweetened condensed milk, unopened (14 ounces)
Apple pie filling
- 4 Honeycrisp apples peeled and cubed
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 Tbsp dark brown sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla pure
- 1 Tbsp butter
- 2 Tbsp butter melted
- Chill flour in refrigerator for 30 minutes.
- Chill cubed butter in freezer for 30 minutes.
- Add dry ingredients to food processor.
- Add chilled butter and pulse until butter is the size of small peas.
- Drizzle in buttermilk and pulse until mixture begins to clump.
- If dough does not hold its shape when pinched together add buttermilk one teaspoon at a time until it reaches the correct consistency.
- Divide the dough in half on a floured surface. Form each half into a ball then flatten into disks.
- Cover each disk with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 3 hours or up to 2 days.
Dulce de leche
- Peel the label off the can of sweetened condensed milk.
- Place unopened can on its side in a large saucepan. Fill pan with water until can is completely submerged by several inches.
- Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for 3 hours. Add water as needed to keep can covered. Note: be sure to keep can covered with at least one inch of water at all times.
- Remove can with tongs and let it reach room temperature before opening.
Apple pie filling
- Melt one tablespoon of butter in a large skillet over medium heat.
- Add apples, cinnamon and dark brown sugar. Stir to combine.
- Cook 8 to 10 minutes or until apples are softened.
- Remove from heat. Add vanilla and melted butter. Stir to combine.
- Cool slightly then stir in dulce de leche.
- Allow apple mixture cool to room temperature before assembly.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Generously grease a 6-hole jumbo muffin tin with butter.
- Remove dough from refrigerator and let it sit for 15 minutes.
- Roll out dough on a floured surface into two 16 inch circles.
- Using a 5 inch circle-shaped cutter, cut out six circles. Use remaining dough for lattice,
- Press one dough circle into each muffin cup and fill with dulce de leche apple mixture.
- Top with pastry lattice, trim excess dough and crimp edges to seal.
- Brush surface of pie crusts with a beaten egg.
- Bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until pies are golden brown and filling is bubbly.
- Remove pies from oven. Brush tops of warm pies with melted butter and sprinkle with brown sugar.
- Serve warm or at room temperature with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
- This recipe calls for Honeycrisp apples but you can substitute Granny Smith or use a combination of the two for a taste that’s both sweet and tart.
- Cold ingredients are key when making pie crust. For best results, butter, buttermilk and, yes, even the flour should be extra cold before beginning.
- Pie dough is finicky and will require different amounts of liquid each time it’s prepared. To know if you have enough moisture in your batch, pinch a handful of dough with your fingers. If it holds together you’re good to go. If not, add more buttermilk one teaspoon at a time until the consistency is perfect.
- In order to fit jumbo muffin cups, rolled dough needs to be cut into 5 inch circles. If you don’t have a cutter that large then you can use the rim of a small bowl.
- I’m gonna give it to you straight because making homemade dulce de leche is crazy time consuming. The bright side is that the 3 hour time requirement is 99% hands off. Trust me, making the caramelly sauce yourself it is worth it.