Miniature apple pie puffs with homemade caramel sauce

date02.13.12

For some reason, packing any dessert into a personal serving size boosts its appeal. Seriously, cupcakes are WAY more fun than cake; it’s like 2 dozen parties instead of just one! With that in mind, I set out to make dessert ravioli. I had two ideas brewing, but by a unanimous vote (Lucas only), personal apple pie ravioli with warm caramel sauce won. This concept arose mostly because I was eager for an excuse to use my ravioli maker attachment. Well, as it turns out, flakey, delicious pie crust dough does NOT like the pasta-maker and crumbles at the mere sight. No sweat, though, I just hand pressed the ravioli. After baking these apple pocket treats, we discovered they looked less like ravioli and much more like little personal pie puffs (the best word we could find to describe the creation – notice that Lucas gets an honorary inclusion in the baking process by proximity from the couch to the stove). Let me rephrase: totally delicious personal pie puffs! O man, these baked goods are out of this world. I didn’t even need to make the caramel sauce, but the combination was scrumptious. I’ll surely be baking these pastries as a finger food dessert for a party in the near future; in fact, maybe I’ll throw a party just so I can bake them.

My only homemade apple pie attempt happened earlier this year when I decided to bake Margot’s favorite pie as a going away treat. I’d never baked an apple pie before and wasn’t in the mood to follow a recipe (I used at least five different types of apples and threw in a couple of pears because that’s just want I wanted  to do and Martha couldn’t convince me otherwise). The crust puffed up tall, while the filling sunk; when I cut into it, the insides were still a tad runny and the apples slightly crunchy. I still thought it was delicious and ate it without complaint, but it wouldn’t have won any awards at the county fair. Margot, if you’re reading, these apple pie puffs are in your honor; they could definitely compete with grandma’s old-fashioned apple pie. I’ll make it up to you one day, I promise.

For these bite-sized puffs, I decided not to make my own pie crust (even though they certainly would have been even better with a homemade crust) because we were short on time (we slept in half the day). Instead, I used two Betty Crocker’s boxed just-add-water pie crusts; I didn’t want to fuss with a handmade crust (nor did I have the patience to refrigerate it for an hour beforehand).

Did I mention that I burned myself? AGAIN! This time it wasn’t my fault at all – the hot-off-the-stove caramel sauce dripped off the spoon and landed splat between my index and middle fingers. Listen when I tell you, this stuff is HOT; stir with caution. This incident is a perfect example of the reason why I will never deep fry anything in my kitchen. Ever. Mark my word, and if I ever tell you otherwise, something’s gone horribly wrong.

I’ve raved about the pie puffs, but I should really give the caramel sauce its moment; I never realized just how easy it was to make luscious caramel sauce. Actually, If I’m being candid, I’ll admit that I had to make two batches because I let the sugar cook 5 seconds too long and burned my first batch just slightly. For the second try, I watched the color like a hawk and the instant my thermometer even looked like it was going to rise from 310ºF to 320ºF, I removed the pan from the heat. With the blink of an eye, your perfectly sweet and flavorful caramel could turn into bitter burnt sugar. This second attempt was a great success and put Smucker’s jarred caramel sauce to shame.

 

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31 Comments

  1. Angi Wu says:

    Can I be invited to the party? cuz these look delicious!

  2. Party indeed. I am having a blast just looking at the photos. GREG

  3. Mmmmmmmm!! I made some cherry pie pops the other day! Yours look fab! Love the caramel topping!

  4. myfudo says:

    I love the caramel sauce on top. The mini versions are so cute. Makes the treat more delightful to eat. Feels like you are eating in moderation, ;) when in fact you have eaten a lot ;)

  5. These look amazing! And you’re right – bit size anything like, tripples the treat factor!

  6. A great recipe for apple lover like me. Thanks for sharing your recipe.

  7. Looks delish!!! It’s true how one-person serving makes everything look cuter ;)

  8. Carina says:

    In the ingredients for the sauce, what kind of cream are you talking about?

  9. jenniferleaf says:

    You mention two different temperatures for the caramel sauce. When describing your experience you used one temperature, and the recipe a different one. Could you clarify which is correct? I have turned fudge into a brick because I read the thermometer wrong, I wouldn’t like to repeat that ;-) Thanks!

    “the instant my thermometer even looked like it was going to rise from 340ºF to 350ºF”

    Followed by

    “Just as the candy thermometer reaches about 320ºF”

    • snixykitchen says:

      Oh, geez! *Palm to face* Nice catch. I made it again when I made my caramel apple pizza, and liked my outcomes with 320ºF better, but forgot to change it in my narrative! That said, go with the 320ºF. So sorry for the confusion! Do let me know if you make it:)

  10. sciophile17 says:

    I just baked a bunch of these for my husband on his birthday because he loves apple desserts, and he wouldn’t stop raving about them! I was pleasantly surprised that he said they taste like McDonald’s apple pies (he assured me that this is actually a very good thing) but better, because I’ve never made apple pie before. But this was such a nice, easy recipe to follow, and the pielets (which is how we’ve referred to them) turned out pretty tasty.

    So, thanks a lot for this post, along with all the other great posts on your blog! Keep up the good work; I love browsing on here!

    • snixykitchen says:

      Candice!! What a nice surprise! Thanks for reading! I’m so glad you (and your husband) liked them – thanks for sharing:) I wonder if it’s time for me to make them again…(I say as I’ve got a tupperware full of freshly baked cookies)

  11. These look really tasty. The caramel topping is what makes it pop.

    • SnixyKitchen says:

      Anything with caramel sauce makes my mouth water! Wish these were on my pre-wedding diet and I could eat them again soon – drats!

  12. billyjean808 says:

    Im making these for our thanksgiving desert!!!!

  13. annie says:

    will the caramel sauce freeze and reheat well? I know the pastry will. Thanks.

    • SnixyKitchen says:

      You know, I haven’t tried to freeze the caramel sauce, but I have kept it in the refrigerator for up to ten days and it was totally fine. Just be sure to gently reheat it, but not boil it. I’ve read that you can keep it in the freezer for up to 3 months, and will need to let it defrost over night in the refrigerator before gently reheating. Good luck!

  14. Jeannie says:

    Thanksgiving is coming and my in laws have designated me as the cook this year. Not sure if this is because I am going into culinary school or not, but anyway. I saw this and though… hmmm I bet I can make this too! So for Thanksgiving going to be making this! Thanks for the recipe.

    • SnixyKitchen says:

      Goodluck with your Thanksgiving cooking! My mom has decided that this is also my first year learning how to cook the turkey.

  15. Granny27 says:

    Wonder how Filo dough would work with these??? They DO look yummmmmy!

    • SnixyKitchen says:

      My only concern with phyllo dough is that it might puff up a ton and I’m also not certain if the edges would hold all the filling in. If you give it a try, please report back the results – I’d love to know if it works!

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