A lot of times, my recipes are a bunch of ingredients thrown together with a prayer that something magical will happen. That’s what happened with this apple pie filling. I thought, “How can I make an apple pie go well with beer?” So I researched a bunch of different apple pie recipes, picked out the parts I liked, and experimented. Luckily, the first try was successful. I didn’t use beer though. I used Pome Mel by Colorado Cider Company. This cider is beautiful. Unlike other ciders, it is not too apple-y and its made with honey and lavender. I picked it because I wanted the filling to be unique. When poured out of the bottle, it is light in color and smells a spa weekend. The flavors of the cider showed up very subtlety in the end. Overall it made the filling unique but the pie still tasted like a slice of home cooking.
Serving Size: 15 mini pies or 3 pint size mason jars of filling
7 honey crisp apples, chopped
2 cups Pome Mel Cider
1 cup light brown syrup
¾ cup corn starch
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp allspice
2 ½ cups of flour with a little extra for rolling
2 stick of butter cut into cubes
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
6-8 tbsp ice cold water (just fill a glass with ice water and scoop the water out of it)
You must first put the crust together because it will need to sit in the fridge for at least an hour. Grab your food processor and throw in the flour, salt, and sugar. Pulse this a few times to get them well combined. Next, you will add the butter cubes.
I let mine sit in the fridge until it was time to add them so they stayed really cold. (When they stay cold, they won’t get all melty in your dough. Then you will have little chunks of butter in there so when you cook, the dough becomes flaky, buttery, goodness). Once the butter is added, pulse the food processor about 10 times for 2 seconds each time. Finally, its time to add the ice water. It is really important that the water is ice cold so make sure you actually have a glass of ice water. Add 6 tablespoons. The dough should look kind of clumpy. If it’s not sticking together at all when you pinch it, add another tablespoon. When everything is combined, mold the dough into two balls on the counter. Wrap them in plastic wrap and refrigerate them for at least one hour or up to a day.
Chop up all your apples and throw them into a big pot with the two cups of Pome Mel and the ¾ cup of corn starch. Using two cups of cider should leave you enough to enjoy a small glass while you cook.
Turn the stove on low and start to add all of the other ingredients. Once everything is in the pot, turn it up on high for about 5 minutes or until it starts boiling a bit. Then, cover the pot and turn it on low for 10 minutes. This will allow the apples to soak in all the goodness and get nice and tender. When the stewing is complete, uncover the apples, turn off the heat, and let them sit for an hour to cool down.
If you taste the filling at this point, it is really sweet. It is has a lot of liquid. At first I thought this was bad, but it actually helps if you want to jar some of the filling and use it later. If you decide to jar the apple filling, put it in mason jars that have been boiled to become sterile (leave a ½ inch of room at the top) and you can store it for up to 12 months!
Preheat the oven to 450. Grease a muffin tin so the mini pies will come out easily. After the dough is refrigerated, roll it out to about a ¼ inch thickness.
Cut out circles that are about the size of one muffin spot on the tin. I used the top of a glass but you can use a cookie cutter too. Roll the little circles out to half of their original thickness, about an 1/8 inch.
Using your fingers, press them into the tray with a little bit overflowing on the edges.
Next, scoop up some apples and put them into the pies. Push them in there so you can fit lots of apples and spoonful some liquid on top. Cook for 25-30 minutes on a low rack, until the edges are golden brown. When they are cool enough to pull out of the tin, they are ready to eat!