This fall season, try these mini apple pie bites with puff pastry! These cute individual pies are made with a homemade apple pie filling and flaky puff pastry. Forget the hard work of making your own pie crust, use a store-bought puff pastry for a quick treat!
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Why These Mini Puff Pastry Apple Pies Are The Best!
Apple pie is the perfect fall recipe! Tart apples paired with a crisp and flaky crust is perfect for special occasions or just when you want to use those fresh apples picked from the local orchard. If you have never quite perfected a regular homemade apple pie or just want a simple recipe try making these mini pies.
Individual apple pies are a perfect way to serve dessert at a holiday get-together. Especially after a big holiday dinner a small bite of apple pie is really all you need, making this the perfect treat!
What Is Puff Pastry?
Puff pastry is buttery and flaky dough that is made with only 3 ingredients. What makes puff pastry so remarkable is that it rises wonderfully when baked even though it contains no yeast.
The technique for making puff pastry dough requires a rolling technique using cold butter to form hundreds of layers within the dough. This is what creates the rise and the flaky crust.
Although the ingredients are minimal, rolling the cold butter into the dough is a painstaking process. Luckily you can buy frozen puff pastry at the grocery store. This apple pie recipe take a fraction of the time using the frozen puff pastry as a short cut.
apples- avoid apples that are too soft such as Gala, Macintosh and Red Delicious. The best apples for baking are Granny Smith, Honeycrisp and Golden Delicious.
puff pastry- puff pastry sheets can be found at your local grocery store in the freezer section.
You will just need one sheet of puff pastry to make this recipe. Save the other half for another use or you can easily double the recipe. Give the pastry about 20 minutes to thaw at room temperature so that it is easier to work with.
Whenever you roll dough it is always important to use a lightly floured surface. Add a little flour to your rolling pin as well. This will prevent the puff pastry from sticking as you work with it.
Use your floured rolling pin to roll the pastry out into a larger square. You will need a sharp knife or a pizza cutter to cut the puff pastry into 12 smaller squares.
Fit all of the small squares inside the muffin tin. You will need to use your fingers to gently press the puff pastry into the cups.
Mix together the egg wash and use a pastry brush to give a light coat to the puff pastry. Bake in preheated oven for 8 minutes.
While the puff pastry is baking peel and cut the apples. Because they are going into a mini apple pie it is important to chop the apples into small bite sized pieces.
If you do not have an apple corer you can remove the core with a knife.
Heat a large saucepan over medium heat. Add 2 tablespoons of butter with the brown sugar. Add the diced apples and spices to the melted butter mixture. Cook the apples until they are soft, about 10 minutes. This step is very important because the apples will not soften enough in the oven and the puff pastry would over bake before the apples are cooked enough.
Because the apples release a bit of water as they cook it is important to thicken up the sugary liquid before putting the apples in the puff pastry cups. To do this mix a cornstarch slurry by mixing the cornstarch with a tablespoon of cold water. You can not simply add the cornstarch to the apples because it will not dissolve in the heat. Dissolve the cornstarch first and watch how it thickens the liquid from the apples into a sugary sauce.
When the pastry has baked for 8 minutes, remove it from the oven. Use a spoon to press down the center of the pastry after it has puffed up from baking. Fill the cavities with the sweet apple filling. Depending on the size of the apples you may have a little bit of the apple mixture left. Trust me save it to add to ice cream or just eat with a spoon like I did!
Next make the streusel topping by cutting in the butter into the flour and sugar. You can use a pastry blender or forks to form the streusel topping.
Sprinkle the topping over the top of the already filled pastry. Bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes. The puff pastry will be golden brown.
These are delicious on their own or you can add a scoop of vanilla ice cream, whipped cream or a drizzle of caramel sauce on top. You can even add all 3! I won't judge!
These are the best right out of the oven when the puff pastry is crisp and flaky. You can store leftovers in an airtight container for 2-3 days.
If you are planning for a holiday dinner and you want to be able to make these ahead, make the apple filling up to 2 days ahead. Store the apple pie filling in the refrigerator until ready to assemble. Rewarm the apples on the stovetop over low heat while preparing the puff pastry. Then assemble as directed. Because the puff pastry is best when fresh and crispy I would not prebake the pastry.
Looking For Other Mini Dessert Ideas? Try These!
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Mini Apple Pies With Puff Pastry
- flour for dusting countertop and rolling pin
- 1 frozen puff pastry (only 1 sheet from box)
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon heavy cream or milk
- 3 large apples, peeled, seeded and chopped into small cubes
- 2 tablespoons butter
- ⅓ cup brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ginger
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon cardamom
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon cold water
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- ⅛ teaspoon cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly spray a muffin tin with cooking spray.
- Dust counter top with flour and lay thawed puff pastry on workspace. Use a rolling pin to roll the pastry out into a larger square.
- Use a knife or a pizza cutter to cut the puff pastry into 12 squares. Fit each square into the muffin tin.
- Beat the egg and cream together to make an egg wash. Brush over the puff pastry. Bake in preheated oven for 8 minutes. Remove from oven and use a spoon to press down on the center of the puff pastry that raised during the baking process. Set aside while finishing the apple mixture.
- While the pastry is baking, peel and chop the apples into bites sized pieces.
- Melt the butter and brown sugar in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the apples, spices and lemon juice to the butter mixture. Cook for 10 minutes to soften the apples.
- In a small bowl whisk together cornstarch with 1 tablespoon cold water. Once cornstarch has dissolved pour into the apple mixture. This will thicken the sugary liquid. Cook for an additional 1-2 minutes as liquid thickens.
- Fill the puff pastry with the apples. Depending on the size of the apples there may be leftover apples to serve with ice cream.
- Add cold butter, flour, brown sugar and cinnamon to a bowl. Use a pastry blender or forks to cut the flour into the butter.
- Sprinkle the mixture over the top of the apples in the puff pastry.
- Return the puff pastry to the oven and bake for 10 minutes. The puff pastry will be golden brown.
- Serve immediately with ice cream, cream or caramel sauce.
- Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator.