Friday, November 4, 2011

Apple Pear Cranberry Honey Creme Mini Pies

Most of the desserts I make are shared with my co-workers, friends, or family. So I love anything that is easily parsed out and portable. As much as I enjoy making pies, they aren't always the easiest to share. After making blackberry mini pies, I was convert to mini pies. Or pie babies, baby pies, pielets, hand pies. Whatever you call them, they are too darn cute!

When an apple pear mini pie recipe from Soup Addict hit my inbox, I couldn't wait to make them myself. Especially since I came home to find some beautiful pears on the counter the day before. I love the class apple-pear combination of Fall and like to add in some dried cranberries for some tang and additional texture.

Pie crust has become one of my very favorite things to make. I love how a few simple ingredients create a vehicle for an endless list of fillings. I used Dorie Greenspan's Good For Almost Everything Pie Crust here, but you could easily use refrigerated pie crust.

The star of these little babies is the honey creme. So good. Rich, velvet, sweet custard creates a pillow for a mixture of apples, pears and cranberries. The result is a handheld pie that is pretty to look at and even better to eat.

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Apple Pear Cranberry Honey Creme Mini Pies

1/2 cup milk (whole or 2%)
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup butter
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 sweet-tart apples, peeled, cored, and sliced very thinly and then into small 1″ pieces
2 pears, peeled, cored, and sliced very thinly and then into small 1″ pieces
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg, freshly ground
1 recipe of your favorite homemade pie crust recipe divided equally and rolled into rounds (or, if desperate, one 15 ounce package pastry for double-crust pie)
1. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine sugar, 1/2 cup milk, heavy cream, butter and honey. Heat until butter is melted, stirring occasionally. Whisk together the cornstarch, 2 tablespoons milk, and vanilla in a small bowl, then stir into the butter mixture. Cook until thickened, stirring constantly (should just take a few minutes after the cornstarch has been added). Remove from heat, and set aside to cool slightly.
2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C) with rack in the center of the oven. In a medium bowl, combine the apple and pear slices, lemon juice flour, cinnamon and nutmeg. Mix well.
3. Grease and flour a standard muffin tin (or use a non-stick version, greasing unnecessary). Use a 4″ round cookie cutter to cut 6 circles from each pie crust round (note: it may be necessary to gather up the scraps and reroll to make the 6th circle from each round). Optional: use small decorative cookie cutters to cut 12 shapes from leftover dough scraps.
4. Fit one dough circle into each muffin compartment, pressing lightly so as not to rip the dough. It doesn’t need to be a snug up-against-the-walls fit, but the dough should form a round bowl.
5. Spoon the honey creme evenly into each of the pie dough cups. Then spoon the apple-pear-cranberry filling on top of the creme.
6. Bake for 17 to 20 minutes, or until the edges of the crust are golden brown and fruit is tender. Allow pies to cool completely in the pan.
7. Lift out each pie one by one, taking care not to squeeze too hard (the crust should be firm, so they’ll lift right out). Serve at room temperature.
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  1. I'd gladly be the recipient of your delicious sweet treats! Seriously, when do you find the time for all these great recipes?!

  2. That is mouth-watering, Candy. Love this recipe. Thank you for sharing it at Joy of Desserts. :-)

  3. ooh those pies look delicious I love all things tiny.... and the word creme just has me envisioning the most delicious texture ever yummmm!


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