Everything you love about apple pie – the gooey cinnamon filling, the warm apples, the buttery homemade pie crust – all baked inside an apple. These apple pie baked apples are a fun and festive dessert that everyone will love.
I had no clue what to call these. Mini apple pies? Baked apples with apple pie filling? Baked apple pie apples? Remixed apple pies? HEAVEN?
My favorite dessert has always been and will always be good ‘ole apple pie. I prefer my homemade apple pie served warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on the side. There is absolutely no dessert I would choose over that masterpiece. Except for, maybe, today’s crazy cute apple pie treats. I made them last weekend. It was our little indulgence after a week of running, biking, errands, wedding planning meetings, more running, and salad.
(I run for apple pie.)
The recipe I’m sharing today is a twist on traditional apple pie. It’s a fun way to make, serve, and eat America’s iconic dessert. You’re looking at gooey cinnamon apple pie filling baked inside a cored-out apple and covered with a buttery lattice pie crust. And, of course, salted caramel on top.
Everything is made from scratch; none of that refrigerated pie crust or canned pie filling stuff. Pure homemade apple pie goodness.
I have lots of step-by-step photos so you can easily make theses at home.
The first thing to do is to make homemade pie crust. You need 1 pie crust. My recipe makes 2 pie crusts, so you can freeze the other half now for pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving. Or you can make 8 of these adorable apple pie baked apples. Four were plenty for us.
You *could* use pre-made crust, but nothing compares to the taste and texture of homemade. If you’ve never attempted my homemade crust before, now is the time. The world of pie crust possibilities is endless. Homemade pop-tarts anyone?
My homemade pie crust is simple. I use both shortening and butter to obtain optimum flakiness and tenderness. These fats must be COLD. You also need very cold ice water. Why the emphasis on temperature here? Keeping your pie dough as cold as possible prevents the fat from melting inside. If the butter melts before baking, you lose the flakiness of the crust. When the lumps of fat melt in the oven as the crust bakes, the steam helps to separate the crust into multiple flaky layers. Warm fats and water will lend a hard, crumbly crust instead of the nice flaky crust we all love.
As the pie dough chills, I make the homemade apple filling – pictured above. This stuff is incredible. It’s similar to what I use in my caramel apple turnovers. It’s thick, gooey, cinnamon-spiced, and everything nice. If you have leftovers, spoon it over ice cream. 🙂
Back to the crust. Once the pie dough has chilled as instructed in the recipe, cut it into 4 quarters, then each of these pieces into 1/4 inch strips. Use a pizza cutter for ease; it’s the easiest tool to use in this process. Chill your strips in the refrigerator as you core the apples. Remember, the dough must always be cold.
The apples. I use granny smith for not only their flavor, but because they are fat and round. The perfect “cups” for our mini apple pies. I have a feeling large honeycrisp apples would be just as fantastic. Use any apple varieties you enjoy – keeping in mind that perfectly round apples are the best choice.
Coring out apples. This is a little trickier than it looks, but doable. I use a very sharp paring knife and a spoon. If you have a melon-baller, use that. Slice off the tops, then dig out the core. It doesn’t have to look perfect. Spoon the filling into the cored-out apples.
Time for pie crust lattice. Lay 3 or 4 pie dough strips on top of the apple. Take another strip and, going perpendicular, weave the strip over and under the bottom strips. Repeat with 2-3 more strips to finish the lattice style.
Don’t forget the egg wash. The egg wash gives your crust that beautiful golden, glossy sheen.
The apple pie baked apples take about 25-30 minutes in the oven. You want the filling to be bubbly and the crust to be cooked through and lightly browned. During this time, your home will smell like a crisp autumn day. Not really – it will just smell like apple pie. Glorious, glorious sweet apple pie.
If you live in this house, salted caramel on top is a necessity. Only 4 ingredients and 8 minutes on the stove. Make a few batches over the holidays to give in cute little jars. Trust me, anyone receiving this homemade salted caramel sauce will be on cloud 9. And it’s truly the perfect finishing touch on these little pies!
Oh, and the best part of all? Edible serving dishes. (!!!)
Grab a fork and knife and let’s DIG IN. Enjoy, apple pie lovers.
Apple Pie Baked Apples
Everything you love about apple pie - the gooey cinnamon filling, the warm apples, the buttery homemade pie crust - all baked inside an apple. This fun and festive dessert is something everyone will love.
- 1/2 recipe homemade pie crust1
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- 1 Tablespoon (15ml) warm water
- 5 large, perfectly round and firm apples (I prefer Granny Smith or Honeycrisp)
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon milk
- homemade salted caramel sauce, for drizzling (optional)
- Prepare the pie crust, including allowing it to chill for at least 2 hours. I usually prepare it the night before and leave it in the refrigerator until the next day when it's time to begin the apples. The colder the pie crust, the better.
- Make the apple filling: In a very small bowl, mix the cornstarch and warm water together until smooth, creamy, and the cornstarch has disolved. Set aside. Peel and dice 1 apple. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, cook the apple pieces, cornstarch/water mixture, cinnamon, and sugar. Stir constantly for 5 minutes. Switch to low heat and allow to simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in the vanilla, and allow to cool off for 20 minutes.
- Assemble: On a floured work surface, roll out the pie dough. Turn the dough about a quarter turn after every few rolls until you have a circle 10-11 inches in diameter. Cut into fourths, as if you were cutting a pizza. (Pizza cutter works best here!) Then, cut each quarter into 1/4-inch wide strips. I like to chill the strips as I cut out the apples. I suggest putting them on a large cutting board and placing in the fridge. Remember, you always want your pie dough to be COLD.
- Preheat oven to 375F degrees.
- Slice off the tops of the 4 remaining apples. Using a spoon (or melon baller), dig out the core. It doesn't have to look perfect. Spoon the prepared apple filling into the cored-out apples. You may have some filling leftover - it's great warmed up over vanilla ice cream. Lay 3-4 strips of the pie dough on top of the apple. Then, working with one new strip at a time, alternate weaving it over and under the dough strips already in place. Repeat until the top of the apple has been covered in this lattice style crust. Using a sharp paring knife, trim excess pie crust around the edges. Repeat with remaining apples and pie dough strips.
- Place apples into an 8-inch or 9-inch square baking pan or pie dish-- really any size baking pan works. In a small dish, whisk the egg and milk together. Lightly brush the tops with egg wash. I sprinkled a little bit of cinnamon on top of the egg wash before going into the oven- this is optional. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the crust is browned and the filling is bubbly.
- If desired, drizzle each with salted caramel. We ate ours with a knife and fork and vanilla ice cream on the side. These apples are best enjoyed immediately. Store any leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
- You need 1 (one) pie crust per four apples. This homemade pie crust recipe makes 2 crusts. I suggest making it all and freezing the other dough (for up to 3 months) to make your favorite pie at a later time.
Inspired by my intense love for apple pie and adapted from food.com
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