“this is the best thing you’ve ever baked, mommy.”
That is a direct quote. And I have baked a lot of things.
I think that is all the introduction this recipe needs.
Apple Pie Cups with Cinnamon Streusel
For the Crust:
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
approx. 1/3 cup ice water
A few words about pie crust:
At this time of year I really love having some pie crust hanging around in my fridge. It keeps in there for weeks (maybe even months?). Come Fall, I just never know when the pie-baking urge will strike. And with it already sitting there, all chilled and ready to roll, it’s that much easier to just go for it! I suggest whipping up a double batch, just so you have some extra at the ready. This recipe works beautifully for sweet or for savory recipes (chicken pot pie, anyone?). Which leads me to my next point…
About this pie crust recipe. It holds a special place in my heart. For a few reasons.
Number one, it is the best pie crust recipe/method, EVER. The shortening makes it tender, and the butter makes it flaky. The folding/rerolling step makes it CAN’T FAIL.
My own pies were always a little bit of a letdown for me, until this recipe came along. It is everything I ever wanted a homemade pie crust to be. So, my second reason is, it got me over my fear of pies.
And third, when I posted my White Peach and Blueberry Pie, using this crust, it was Freshly Pressed on WordPress, gaining our little blog A LOT of attention. I’m still plugging away at trying to reciprocate all the comments and likes we got.
I owe it all to a beautiful, fun, and sweet blog called BakeAt350, where I first saw the recipe. (Thank you, Bridget!) If you’ve never read it, please be sure to go check it out.
To make this magic pie crust, you will begin by placing the flour, salt, and shortening in a large bowl. Cut the shortening in until the pieces are pea-sized. Cut the cold butter into thin slices and toss them around in the flour until they are all dusty-coated. Now dribble in the ice water, about a tablespoon at a time, while stirring the whole mess around. As soon as it starts to come together into a ball, you are done adding water. Divide it into two equal portions so it’s easier to work with.
Dust each dough-ball in flour, and roll out to about 1/4″ thick. Fold it into thirds, like a letter. Turn it 90 degrees, and fold into thirds again. Fridge for 30 minutes, or till you’re ready to make pie.
So now that you have a ridiculously long pie crust explanation, and the beginnings of the best thing you’ve ever baked in your fridge, we’ll move on to the filling.
For the Filling:
6 granny smith apples
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons lemon or orange juice
Peel, core, and cut your apples into 1/2″ pieces. Toss them with the remaining filling ingredients.
For the Streusel Topping:
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Just melt the butter in a little bowl and then throw the rest of the ingredients on top. Mix it up with a fork and you’re good to go!
Roll out the crust and cut big circles. I used a 4 1/2″ diameter cookie cutter.
Gently press a circle into each well of an ungreased, unlined cupcake pan.
Spoon the filling in…
…and top with the cinnamon streusel.
Bake for 45 minutes at 350 degrees.
These are perfect for a packed lunch! As are these other recipes from my Lunch Lady Land series:
Homemade Gummy Fruit Snacks and Juicy Jigglers
Healthy (Nut-Free) Reese’s Cups
Corn Dog Muffins
Homemade Pudding Snack Pack
Those flaky layers! I mean, come on, right?
What is the best thing you’ve ever baked? Do you make a lot of pies in the fall? Have you had much luck with your crust? What do you think of this method I’ve been using? Leave us a comment!