Apple tartlet. Courtesy of Mead Bowen and Julie LeBlanc.
We've all been there. The party. The wedding. The birthday. Who can say "no" to dessert? Let's not forget the singles and couples living together with an excess of sweet, sweet leftovers. Can you really just have one piece of pie?
Yes, Virgina: there is a way. Make the decision to indulge easier on yourself and your mates by baking sweets in single portions.
This is where your muffin tin comes in. If you only use it for muffins, you are missing out on its diet-aiding-and-abetting capabilities. It's the perfect cooking contraption for portioning out single servings so that you won't be tempted to add that extra inch to your slice of heaven. Even if the recipe isn't technically good for you (and let's be honest, this is still apple pie), at least it helps you practice portion control.
There are cupcakes, but why stop with them? The following recipe saved me a lot of time one morning when I'd promised my co-workers breakfast and didn't have the time to create a smorgasbord of treats. A variation on Alton Brown's pie crust recipe (I'm Just Here for More Food: Food x Mixing + Heat = Baking, Stewart, Tabori & Chang: 2004) make for an easy, quick crust and the filling is a snap. These treats would probably taste great substituted with pureed pumpkin, sprinkled with chocolate chips and walnuts... but that's another entry.
Tiny Apple Tartlets
3 small or 2 large Granny Smith apples, cubed
1 T cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. all-spice
2 T sugar
butter (to grease pan)
pie dough (recipe follows)
Place all ingredients (besides finished dough) in a zip-top bag and shake until the apples are well-coated.
Grease a muffin tin and cut circles of the pie dough with which to line each cup.
Once lined with dough, fill each cup with a spoon of apple mixture
Bake at 350F for about thirty minutes, or until crust is golden.
Basic Pie Dough
(altered from Alton Brown's Basic Pie Dough recipe, pg. 162 of the aforementioned book)
1 1/4 c. flour (I used half-and-half white and whole wheat flours)
1/2 tsp. salt
8 T (1 stick) unsalted butter, frozen
Place the flour and salt together in a bowl and whisk for a minute or two to incorporate air.
Using a cheese grater, grate the stick of butter into the flour mixture. Work the butter into the flour slightly with your hands.
Slowly add ice water, a tablespoon at a time, and work with the mixture until it forms a ball. Place in the fridge until ready to use, or at least half an hour.
For tartlets, cut into disk about 4-5 inches across, or slightly wider than the width of a single muffin cup.
For more apple info:
Check out Peach Valley Cafe' on 3275 SW 34th St. for their fantastic apple fritters!
Alicia King shares her knowledge of gluten-free pie crusts with links to Amy King's extensive blog on gluten-free recipes.
The best apple crisp recipe by Carol Hilker. Delicious!