Every year I have all good intentions to try something new for Thanksgiving dinner, but I always revert back to all the tried and true dishes that everyone looks forward to each year. Then I thought what if I take a traditional dish and at least make it appear different.....say, mini apple pies vs. a huge pie? Even though it sounds more difficult, it was actually a lot easier!
Begin by purchasing a box of pre-made pie crust, which contains 2 rolls. Take one out and roll it out as thin as you can make it. Then, find a glass or cup that will cut out a circle slightly larger than the mini cupcake cups. Place one circle of crust in each cup, pressing down in. Bake at 425 degrees for only 10 minutes, or until the crust just begins to cook. Take them out and turn the oven down to 350 degrees. (I re-rolled the excess pie crust and cut out leaves. Place them on a cookie sheet and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. Bake until they begin to brown....maybe 10 minutes, just keep an eye on them).
Next, prepare the filling using the following:
1/4 cup of butter, melted
4 apples diced
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp nutmeg
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup chopped pecans
Combine all but the pecans in a saucepan and simmer over low heat for about 10 minutes. Add the pecans and cook for about 2 more minutes.
Spoon as much filling as you can into each crust. Only one step left... the topping.
In a small bowl, combine 1/4 cup of rolled oats, 1 tbs of brown sugar, 1 tsp of flour, and 2 tbs of melted butter. Using your fingers, crumble a small amount over the tops of the pies.
Pop these beauties into the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, making sure the crust gets that nice golden color.
As soon as you take them out, place one leaf in each pie and voila! This was a great idea and I honestly think people at more "pie" when they could just pop one at a time in their mouth instead of sitting down to a big dessert. No left-over pie this year....