Since I married my husband, I’ve spent Thanksgivings with our combined family and incorporated their traditions into our own. There is not much ritual left in our modern American culture, but this is the time of year that we can cling desperately to what little we have. Like many of you, one of the regular holiday practices we engage in involves going around the table and letting each person tell one thing they’re thankful for.
Momma Reiner and I like to encourage creating new family traditions, particularly in the kitchen, and especially with baking fun involving sugar. So to inspire our honorary “sugar mommas” out there to incorporate a similar ceremony into their holiday season, here’s a list of things we’re thankful for:
1. A healthy family.
2. A happy child.
3. Kettle Corn. Salty, crunchy, sweet, and oh so available at that time of month, every month of the year. Can I get a hallelujah?
4. A warm, safe place to eat a delicious Thanksgiving meal.
5. My grandmother’s holiday dessert recipes.
6. My fellow Sugar Momma, who keeps me from taking things too seriously (or supports me when I have no choice).
7. Belgian chocolate. Any old chocolate will usually do, but once in a while to indulge in GREAT chocolate is truly divine.
8. My Kitchen Aid mixer. My triceps are just not as toned as they used to be.
9. Tahitian Vanilla and sea salt to add yin and yang to our creations.
10. Readers who understand and appreciate our whacky need to create endless treats to enjoy with family and friends.
We suggest you make one of our fabulous Sugar Momma recipes with your meal this year, and as your family enjoys all the love you baked in, start your own list. Enjoy making these lovely Sugar Mommas’ Mini Apple Pies with your children, nieces, nephews, grandkids, and the neighbors and don’t forget to be grateful for all of life’s small gifts. Happy Thanksgiving!
Sugar Mommas’ Mini Apple Pies
4 Medium Pippin or Granny Smith apples
8 Mini Pot Pie Pans (aluminum foil) 4 3/8“ dia. x 1 3/16”
4 Boxes pre-made pie crusts*
1 cup sugar
1 cup graham crackers*
½ cup flour + ¼ c. for rolling out pie crust
1 Tsp. cinnamon
1/2 lb. unsalted butter (2 sticks)
1 sheet parchment paper
- Roll out the dough. Place a piece of parchment paper on a flat work surface. Sprinkle the work surface with some flour. Unwrap one chilled roll of pie crust dough and place it on the floured surface. Sprinkle the top of the dough with a little more flour. Cut two, 6 inch circles from each sheet of dough.
- Cut out lattice strips. With the remaining dough use a ruler or a straight edge and a pizza wheel or a small knife. Cut 4 strips per pie. Each strip should be 2 inches long x ½ inch wide to lay across the top of the pie. You should have 32 strips total. Set aside.
- Cut the appl
es. Peel and thinly slice apples. Then cut the apples slices once more into 1 inch x 1 inch pieces. One apple is enough for two (2) mini pies. Make a small pile of ½ apple pieces for each pie. Set aside.
- Make the mixture. In a bowl combine sugar, graham crackers, flour and cinnamon. Mix together. In a separate, microwave safe bowl, melt butter (heat in 10-20 second increments until melted so you don’t overdo it).
- Assemble each pie. Gently press the dough into the mini pie tin with your fingertips. Any excess dough should hang over the tins. Use a pastry brush to spread a thin layer of butter on the dough in the bottom of the tin. Place the cut up ½ apple into the pie shell. Pour 1/3 cup of the dry mixture over the apples. Pour 3 tsp. melted butter over the mixture.
- Finish the lattice top. Lay 2 of the lattice strips horizontally across the pie. Lay the remaining 2 lattice strips vertically over the bottom strips. Cut away any extra dough hanging over the edge of the pie tin with a small knife.
- Pinch the edges. Pinch the edge of the pie with your fingers around the border. Use a pastry brush to brush a thin layer of butter over the lattice strips and the border. Sprinkle the top of the lattice strips with cinnamon sugar just for fun!
- Bake. Put the pie on a baking sheet. Put in the oven. Bake pie for 30 minutes on 350ºF until crust is golden brown and the smell of cinnamon sugar overwhelms you! Using oven mitts, carefully remove the baking sheet and set aside to cool
- Eat. Eat your mini pie plain or rush to the freezer and put a dollop of vanilla ice cream on top. DELISH!
Yields 8 mini pies.
· You can find these pie crusts in the refrigerator section by the cookies – look for Pepperidge Farm, Pillsbury, Kroger, etc.
- CARPOOL CRUNCH! Buy graham crackers and grind them in a Cuisinart OR you can buy Honey Maid Graham Cracker Crumbs in the boxed cake section of the market.