A Taste of Autumn

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Late August: The dog days of summer. Sweltering heat. Humidity off the charts. Air conditioners running day and night…

…unless you live in northwestern Pennsylvania.  Here the weather does whatever it wants, thank you very much. And right now, it apparently wants to be October. Cool temps (I had to go looking for a jacket yesterday evening!), gentle rain, and cloudy skies have been the daily offering in these parts for the last three days or so.

As much as I love fall, I’m feeling disappointed. I’m not ready to hang up my swimsuit just yet! Thankfully all signs point to this trend being a temporary anomaly.  In the meantime, I’ve decided to make the best of the situation – in this case, that means making homemade pie.

Normally I wouldn’t even think of cranking up the oven in the summer, but we attended a church potluck yesterday. I took advantage of the chilly weather and baked a cherry pie to share at the event. I wasn’t paying attention, I guess, because I mixed up twice as much crust as I needed.  It was sitting in the fridge when I reached for my coffee creamer this morning, staring at me and begging to be turned into a delicious dessert.

applepie4I didn’t have any more pie filling in the cupboard, but I did have quite a few apples rolling around the refrigerator fruit bin. I decided to make mini apples pies — and don’t they look delicious? Believe me, they are!  You don’t have to take my word for it, though.  You can whip up a batch yourself:

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 recipe pie dough – enough for double crust pie  (Use your favorite recipe or buy pre-made dough at the grocery store.  I like to make my own because my mom gave me the best recipe!)
  • 4 or 5 apples
  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • honey
  • cinnamon, ground cloves
  • flour
  • butter, about 1-2 tablespoons
  • Optional: chopped walnuts, raisins

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Get muffin tin out.
  2. applepie6Roll half of the pie dough out on a floured surface until about 1/4 inch thick. Cut out 12 circles, about 4 inches across. (I used a cup with a wide mouth. Look around your kitchen to see what works for you.)
  3. Put the dough circles in the ungreased muffin tin, pressing all the way up each side to make a bowl of crust. Set aside while you make the filling.
  4. applepie3Core and peel the apples, and. chop into small pieces. Place in a medium sized bowl.
  5. Add the following to apples: 1/2 c. sugar, large dollop of honey, 2 tsp. cinnamon, couple dashes of ground cloves (or whatever spices you like), and 5 or 6 tablespoons of flour. (I lost count…) Mix by hand until all ingredients are incorporated. (You can also add walnuts and raisins to taste if you wish at this time.)
  6. applepie5Fill muffin bowls with apple filling.
  7. Put a small piece of butter atop each mini pie.
  8. Roll out the rest of pie dough, cutting into 12 circles.  Place over each mound of pie filling, pinching around edges to close with bottom crust.
  9. Cut small slits in top of each mini pie and sprinkle with sugar.
  10. applepie10Place in oven, and check after 15 minutes. Remove pies when crust is golden brown. Let cool in pan. Pies can be easily lifted from pan by sliding a butter knife around the edge to pop each one out.

Serve warm or cold.  Especially delicious with a cup of hot coffee, or a dollop of vanilla ice cream on the side.

Enjoy – and remember, when life hands you an early autumn, don’t make a fuss. Make apple pie instead.

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