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~ Love is the Sweetest Personal-Sized Apple Pie(s) ~

IMG_6724The only thing that could possibly be more heartwarming than a home-baked apple pie for dessert on Valentine's Day, or almost any occasion, would be a personal-sized apple pie -- for me it would be absolute perfection.  The great part about serving personal-sized pies is they're so easy to serve -- no slicing and no transfer from pie dish to plates, which means no crumbs scattering all over.  The only things it requires (next to a good apple pie recipe) are the right size pie dishes and a foolproof formula that allows you to make as many as you want without waste.

IMG_6768My personal-sized pie dishes are made by Pyrex and they are 4 1/2 wide, which is the mose common size of individual dishes.  FYI:  Pie dishes, which all have slanted sides, which leave them smaller at the bottom than at the top, are always measured at the widest part of the top of the dish.  Personal-sized pie tins may ba substituted, but, I prefer glass because it allows me to keep an eye on the browning process as the pie bakes.  Pie dishes that might be a little bit larger or a little bit smaller will indeed affect outcome.

For each personal-sized apple pie you will need:

IMG_66861, 8-9-ounce Granny Smith apple, peeled and thin-sliced

2  teaspoons Minute tapioca

2  tablespoons cinnamon-sugar

2  teaspoons granulated sugar

1/4-1/2  teaspoon apple-pie spice

1/4  teaspoon salt

1/2  teaspoon pure apple extract or lemon juice

1/2  teaspoon vanilla extract

1  store-bought Pillsbury pie pastry (Note:  Do not roll your eyes.  By all means, feel free to try these pies with your favorite homemade pie pastry, but, experience has taught that, in THIS instance, Pillsbury store-bought pie pastry gives me the foolproof thickness and consistency necessary for the success of this recipe.)

IMG_6688 IMG_6691 IMG_6693 IMG_6695 IMG_6698~Step 1.  Peel and slice the apple as directed, placing the slices in a medium bowl as you work.  Add the tapioca.  Using a large rubber spatula, fold the tapioca into the apples.  Add the cinnamon-sugar, granulated sugar, apple pie spice and salt.  Fold again, until the apples are evenly coated in spices.  Fold in the extracts.  Set aside.

IMG_6772 IMG_6700 IMG_6702 IMG_6704 IMG_6707 ~Step 2.  Using a small rolling pin, roll the pie crust to a 12" diameter. This will give you the surface area to make one personal-sized pie*.   Invert the pie dish, about 1" from the perimeter the pastry.  Using a paring knife, cut a circle of pastry about 1" larger than the perimeter of the dish.  Repeat this process with a second circle of dough (which will be come the top crust).  Fit one of the pastry circles into the bottom of the pie dish and using a pair of kitchen shears, trim it to hang slightly over the perimeter (about 1/8").  Spoon the apple pie filling to the pie pastry, mounding it towers the center*.  Cut a vent into the center of the second pastry circle -- I use a mini-mini- cookie cutter for this.  Place the second pastry circle atop the pie.  Using your fingertips, seal the two crusts together and form a decorative edge all the way around.

IMG_6840 IMG_6844*Note & FYI:  Each 14-ounce box of Pillsbury pie crusts contains two pie crusts.  One box, two crusts, will be enough to make three individual-sized apple pies.  Simply do the math and increase the other ingredients accordingly.   

IMG_6716 IMG_6718 IMG_6722~ Step 3.  Bake on center rack of 350° oven for 30 minutes.  Reduce temp to 325° and bake 15 more minutes.  Remove from oven and transfer to wire rack to cool at least 20-30 minutes prior to serving warm.

Only one thing left to do -- open the ice cream! 

IMG_6726Everyone is going to adore their own apple pie!

IMG_6848Try my ~ Old-Fashioned Individual-Sized Chocolate Pie(s) ~ too:

6a0120a8551282970b01b8d28c5216970cOr my ~ Personal-Sized Pineapple-Meringue Tartlets ~:

6a0120a8551282970b01bb09a15b76970dLove is the Sweetest Personal-Sized Apple Pie(s):  Recipe yields instructions to make as many personal-sized apple pies as you want to make.

Special Equipment List:  vegetable peeler; cutting board; chef's knife; large rubber spatula; small rolling pin; paring knife; 4 1/2-sized pie dish, preferably glass; kitchen shears; mini-mini-heart-shaped or other shaped cookie cutter (optional); wire cooling rack

6a0120a8551282970b01b8d2b2d8b1970cCook's Note:  The best apple pie recipes aren't fancy -- they're special.  Just put one in the oven and see what happens.  Word travels fast.  Everyone wants a slice of old-fashioned appleiscious goodness. "It's as easy as apple pie."  Truth told, that's a kind of misleading statement.  Baking a really good apple pie is not as easy as "A, B, C", "one, two three" or even "snap, crackle, pop".  Too many people think that just because they've baked an apple pie it automatically qualifies for awesome apple pie status.  It does not.  I have encountered more than a few nasty renditions:  from overcooked to undercooked, sickeningly sweet to vapid, and, soupy to pasty -- anything but the "pleasant and accommodating" experience Mark Twain painted in his 1885 novel The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (the sequel to his 1876 novel, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer).  Try my ~ Nothing Fancy:  Old-Fashioned Autumn Apple Pie ~.

"We are all in this food world together." ~ Melanie Preschutti

(Recipe, Commentary and Photos courtesy of Melanie's Kitchen/Copyright 2023)


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