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October 10, 2010

Fall~Fun~Fear

Brandy-Apple Mini Pies with Cornmeal Crust.


Fall is my favorite season by far! Vibrant fiery colors blanketing the slopes, crisp air, jackets. I love jackets.

I also love all the "fall activities"...hay rides, apple picking, corn mazes. Ever been through a corn maze? Oh, you should! Although I must say, I had a little toughening up to do the first time we tried it.

You see, I have this irrational fear of corn fields. It's silly, I know. Maybe it stems from watching too many scary corn field movies at junior-high slumber parties. It's also the noise they make. You know EXACTLY what I'm talking about, if you've ever walked down a country road with corn fields on either side. Towering over you. Impenetrable. Crackling in the wind. Murmuring, rustling... Is someone moving through them...watching? You'll never know. The haunting sound covers a multitude of sins.

They creep me out to say the least!

However, when wide, well-planned walkways have been cut through, and I have a map, and a hand to hold, I can enjoy them--in the daylight!


In the Asheville area, the Eliada Corn Maze is the best we've visited. It is massive, with areas sectioned off for children and beginners. There are also elaborate mazes that may take over an hour to get through. The kids, who have no irrational fear of the stalks, look forward to the corn maze every year. It's a great family activity!


When you return home from the corn maze, a fresh fall treat is well deserved. Try these Brandy-Apple Mini Pies with CORNmeal Crust as your reward!


These little babies are as close to PERFECT as any pie I've ever made. The cornmeal crust has a hearty flavor, but delicate texture. The Brandy syrup saturates the apples and wafts through the house with an intoxicating perfume! If only you could bottle the aroma!

This would be a GREAT dessert for your Halloween Party! Use a spooky cookie cutter for the tops!

Sommer


Brandy-Apple Mini Pies with Cornmeal Crust

1 ¾ cup flour
¾ cup yellow cornmeal
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1 ½ tsp. salt
1 cup vegetable shortening
3-5 Tb. ice water

3-4 large tart green apples, peeled and diced
¼ cup unsalted butter
1 Tb. + 2 tsp. flour
2 Tb. Brandy
¼ cup sugar
¼ cup brown sugar
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
Pinch of salt

Add the flour, cornmeal, powdered sugar, and salt to the food processor. Pulse a couple times. Then cut the shortening in to cubes and pulse it into the dry mixture.


Add 3 Tb. of ice water and pulse until the dough comes together. Add a little more water if needed.


Dump the dough onto a sheet of plastic wrap and divide it into a large and small piece--80/20. Shape the dough into two disks, then wrap both pieces and place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.

Peel and dice the apples. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.


In a small sauce pan, add the butter and remaining six ingredients over medium heat. Stir and bring to a simmer. Pour the syrup over the apple and toss.


Take the larger disk of dough out of the fridge. Roll it out on a well-floured work surface to approximately 1/8 inch thick. Using a drinking glass with a 3 ½ -4 inch wide rim, cut out dough circles. Press the dough circles into muffin tins—if you gather the extra pieces and re-roll, you should be able to get 14-16.


Fill each crust with an equal portion of apple mixture.

Roll out the smaller piece of dough. Using a 2-3 inch decorative cookie cutter, cut out “tops” for each pie. Place each top on the pies and Brush them with the remaining syrup from the apple bowl.


Bake the mini pies for 15 minutes. Then reduce the heat to 350 degrees F, and bake another 15 minutes. If the tops are golden after the first 15 minutes, lay a sheet of foil over them.

Allow the pies to cool completely before trying to remove them from the muffin tins.


NOTE~ Silicone muffin pans make it extremely easy to extract the pies. If using metal muffin tins, run a small sharp knife around ONE rim at a time, and gently dump one pie out into your hand, before moving on to the next.

If you would like to make this as a whole 9 inch pie, make the crust as directed and split the dough into equal pieces. Then DOUBLE the amount of apples and syrup mixture. Bake the pie for 30 minutes at 425, then 30 minutes at 350!


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Brandy-Apple Mini Pies With Cornmeal Crust on Foodista

57 comments:

  1. Those are such trendy little apple pies! I'd like one right this second... I think I saw Children of the Corn years ago. I can understand you fear - lol!

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  2. this is my first time in your blog. i must say the blog is very impressive , has a funky approach and the recipes are amazing!!!! very very well done. keep it up !

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  3. Love these cute baked goodies. They look gorgeous, kids are surely going to love them.

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  4. These are so gorgeous! I LOVE LOVE LOVE corn mazes! Especially at night with a flashlight.

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  5. I am sure these treats were excellent for your cute children. They sure have worked for me.

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  6. These look delicious -- and the tops are so cute! Theresa

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  7. Oh, they look very delicious. I like the idea with the cornmeal instead of flour.
    Your kids are so cute. They look a lot like you. I am sure they had a blast in the maze.

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  8. The little pies look adorable, loved the star on top. And how fun was that...I should check if there is something similar around here. ( LA ). Have a great week Sommer.

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  9. These look delicious... Funny about the corn fields, I have never been up close but have seen all those scary movies, lol :)

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  10. These are just stunning...I would be so happy with about 5 of those right now. I loved seeing all of your fall photographs too. I always got scared in corn mazes when I was a child, but I'm sure they would be more fun for me now. Thank you for sharing; what a beautiful, beautiful job!

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  11. Those are adorable, One of my favorite old time horror movies is Children of the Corn

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  12. How cute...we just went to our first corn maze this Saturday...I was freaking out the whole time, I kept hearing things and hubby thought it was super funny...lol I love these treats and they would go over well after a trip to the corn maze, lol

    sweetlife

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  13. You had me at Brandy! These look fantastic and I love the cornmeal in the crust. They would be a hit served at any get-together! I have to admit I've never been in a corn maze but would love to go :o)

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  14. Beautiful pictures,...oooh,..Aaah,..the little apple pies look amazing & must taste so flavoursome!

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  15. first, your kids are too cute!

    Second,those are such a fun little idea- such a perfect fall dessert! Any suggestions for other fillings?

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  16. I love small desserts! These are so beautiful. Can I have one?

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  17. I like the idea of these little tarts for a Halloween dessert, now to figure out the rest of the menu:)

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  18. Freakin' adorable.


    ...the kids, too ;-)

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  19. So pretty and they sound intoxicatingly delicious (; Sommer! I've never been through a corn maze and it sounds like I've been missing out.

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  20. Cute little apple parcels. This gives me something to do with all the apples we picke dthis past weekend

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  21. wow I love these, and your kids are adorable

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  22. Sommer, I hear you on the corn fields. I think of Signs and The Village. Do you think you can substitute butter in place of the shortening? These are so cute and I love the individual servings size.

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  23. Nirmala~ Absolutely on the butter! I was out when I made these, and decided they didn't NEED it for extra flavor because of the cornmeal. But butter would be lovely!

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  24. These little piea are so cute! I love them - what a great treat!

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  25. Fall really is magical! And anything with cornmeal crust will draw me in :) And apples. yum, I really need to make these!

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  26. Those look really delicious! Love them!

    I love the look of your corn maze. We have a pretty fun one down this was too that we've made a tradition. We were supposed to go this weekend, but somehow 85 degrees and a pumpkin patch just didn't mesh.

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  27. I love fruit pies with tons of crust. The use of cornmeal and brandy makes this an unique apple recipe.

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  28. I love fall too...primarily because of great recipes like this one! I love the star cut outs on top...it's the perfect touch :)

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  29. These are adorable little fall treasures! Great flavors. Love them.

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  30. Cute little pies! Why are bite-sized things so much more tasty-looking??? I've refused to watch Children of The Corn my whole life, but I can imagine how much more scary that would make a cornfield seem!

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  31. These mini pies are such a great idea! I can almost smell the aroma. Looks like you guys had fun at the corn maze. It's a good thing kids have no fear or they would not experience a lot of things.

    BTW, I love jackets too ;) I need to stay away from the stores...

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  32. The mini pies are adorable and sound so good with the addition of brandy!

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  33. These look so delicious! I've never tried a cornmeal crust before, I'll have to give this a try:)

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  34. I love corn meal crust and these look great. I would be proud to have these on my table. Super job.

    Plan B

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  35. I also love fall! I guess your irrational fear of corn fields comes from watching those scary movies...

    What gorgeous pies! Droolworthy...

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  36. Those couldn't be any cuter! Love the little hit of brandy you put in them. And corn fields do have a certain creepy factor to them - remember the Children of the Corn movies? That's what I think of.

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  37. How cute! I love the stars on top!! Why is it that everything that's individually sized looks so much cooler than the normal-sized stuff? haha

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  38. Just adorable! Love the brandy syrup idea. Corn mazes sound like immense fun but I've seen enough scary movies (with corn fields) to know how terrifying it can be to have to run through one, for your life, especially at night *Eeeeeek*!

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  39. Creative indeed! I am so glad I found your blog! So many wonderful recipes and lovely pics.

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  40. Such a wonderful post in every respect Sommer. Wonderful with the corn, apples and spice. Perfect after a run through the corn maze....wonderful children, yours!

    Ciao, Devaki @ weavethousandflavors

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  41. Oh my do those look delicious?! And then you went and added brandy, I love you! :) Those mini pies are just incredible and what a great idea to make them also for a Halloween Party. Since I'm Halloween obsessed, I'm definitely taking your suggestion on that. :)

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  42. i love mini pies:) they look really gorgeous. i will have to give this a try soon. thank you for sharing.

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  43. super sumptuous mini pies...love the recipe

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  44. I'll be saving this one! I'm helping with the preschool Thanksgiving feast and this is a perfect dessert (not a peanut in sight!). Thanks for sharing it.

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  45. Hey Sommer! I am trying this concept for sure;) I can whip up a crust in no time. Plus, I love the way the remaining syrup makes them look on top-that's so pretty...

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  46. Oh wow!!! These are adorable and would also make a very lovely snack for my daughter's lunch box! She would go nuts over the decorative tops and the crunchy cornmeal! Yummy! We are going apple picking this weekend, so will plan on making these shortly thereafter!

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  47. This looks dangerously delicious! Brandy + apple pies, yum!

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  48. I just saw a recipe for cornmeal crust and had it clipped out. It sounded delicious and interesting. I love what you have done with it hear. You are a creator!

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  49. what a lovely presentation! this apple mini pies looks delicious :)Your kids looks very nice. They're so adorable-=)

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  50. These look amazingly delicious! Beautiful photos!

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  51. Oh! I just luv the portion-controlled size of these little pies and the cornmeal crust sounds like great texture. Definitely trying this and saved to recipe file!

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  52. Mmm, these are so cute and look so yummy!:)

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  53. nice finding your site! lovely apple treats. how awesome to have during a great rainy day during tea time!

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