Fall is my favorite season. It’s cozy, colorful, crisp, and kind of delicious. Summer has its berries, winter has its blankets of snow, and spring its budding flowers, but fall will always be my most-loved time of year. And with fall comes my favorite autumn produce: gourds, pumpkins, and, especially, apples.
The first apple pie I ever made -- and ever tasted -- was for my grandfather’s birthday. I think I was only thirteen years old, but I was determined to make it myself. I made my own crust and I was surprised by how easy the whole process was, and by how delicious my pie turned out. Out of all the pies I've made since then, that one is still my favorite. For some reason, I've never been able to make any other pie taste quite as good; they've still been delicious, but just not as unforgettable as that first pie.
Whether you're making your first apple pie or your fiftieth, these cute little mini pies are perfect. They're different from regular apple pies not only because of their small size, but also because they're fried, which gives them an incomparably flaky crust. I used puff pasty for ease and Honeycrisp apples because they are my favorite. I coated the pies with cinnamon sugar for a sparkly, sweet finish.
10 ounces puff pastry 4 Granny Smith or Honeycrisp apples 4 tablespoons unsalted butter 1/2 cup light brown sugar 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1 tablespoon bourbon 1 teaspoon apple vinegar cider 1 teaspoon vanilla 3 quarts oil, for frying 1/4 cup granulated sugar 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
Chop the apples into thin slices. Heat a skillet over medium heat and add the butter. When it's melted, throw in the the apples, brown sugar, and cinnamon, and cook the apple slices, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes, or until the apples are caramelized.
During the last minute, add the bourbon, apple cider vinegar, and vanilla. Cook for another minute, then remove the skillet from the heat and set it aside.
If needed, roll out your pastry dough so that it's 1/4-inch thick. Cut the dough into 1 1/2- to 2-inch circles. Divide the apple filling among half of the pastry rounds.
Place the remaining rounds over top of the apples (you may need to stretch the dough to help it fit over the apples). Crimp the edges of the pies with the tines of a fork. (I also placed wooden skewers in the pie pockets to make them easier to eat later, but that's optional.)
Heat a pot of oil to 350° F. Fry the pies in the hot oil for about 30 seconds on each side, until they are golden brown. Place them on a baking sheet lined with paper towels to drain.
Mix together the cinnamon and the sugar and use them to dust each pie.