Muffin Tin Caramel Apple Pies are special because of their size – like a mini apple crumble pie, really. This recipe uses two major shortcuts, refrigerated pie crust and a jar of store-bought caramel sauce. From there, it’s just sauteed apples and an incredibly delicious crumble topping – these are heavenly served warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Muffin Tin Caramel Apple Pies
There is nothing in the entire world that says fall and home and holidays like apple pie.
I mean, it’s practically mandatory to serve apple pie in some form, so here’s a fun take to add to your repertoire.
Here’s the deal:
- We’re making little apple crumble pies into an extremely cute and fun individual serving size using a large size muffin tin like this.
- We’re using two shortcut ingredients (refrigerated pie crust and store bought caramel sauce) because we can.
- These little pies are always a huge hit with friends and family, and they are pretty easy to make.
Key Ingredients You’ll Need
Here’s a bonus, we’re using two big shortcut ingredients for these succulent little pies.
Refrigerated pie crust: One roll is all we need, and they’re generally sold in a box of two, so save one for a Bacon and Cheese Quiche.
Store-bought Caramel Sauce: See the tips below for my favorite, or make your own Easy Caramel Sauce if you’re up to it.
Apples: The Golden Delicious variety works best in these little pies, cut into small chunks so they fit easily in the muffin tin.
Crumb topping: This is essential and comes together easily and will make more than you need, but keeps beautifully for up to 6 months in the freezer. I use it on the regular for those spontaneous fruit crisp moments in my life 🙂
How to Make Muffin Tin Caramel Apple Pies
- Cut some parchment paper into rough 5″ squares, this doesn’t need to be exact, and go for a rounded edge if you can.
- Use a little non-stick cooking spray on the bottom of each tin, then place the parchment paper on top of that so the paper will stick to the pan.
- Here’s the deal–you MUST spray the INSIDE of the parchment paper too, otherwise the pie crust will stick to the parchment paper, and that would just be sad.
- Roll one refrigerated pie crust out to an approximate 12″ x 12″ rectangle, then cut into 6 pieces. Fold the pointy edges down and press the seams together to make a sort-of rounded edge.
- Spoon the cooled sauteed apples in the middle of each crust, followed by a generous tablespoon of the crumb topping.
- Gather the little pies into a purse, starting with the edges and using both hands to keep the pie together before carefully transferring to the lined and sprayed muffin tin.
Remind yourself that they don’t need to look perfect, because they’ll look rustic and fabulous and taste absolutely delicious when we’re done.
Not even kidding on this part 🙂
See what I mean about making the pies into a little purse?
It’s not a Prada, but the taste is totally first-class 🙂
You can totally make this as one big rustic Caramel Apple Pie too.
Just line a glass pie plate using the parchment paper technique, modify the suggested tips and steps to make as one pie, and increase the baking time to about 40-45 minutes. Drizzle with warmed caramel sauce before cutting into slices and serving.
Serving Ideas for Muffin Tin Caramel Apple Pies
These pies are perfect for casual dinner parties in the fall or during the holidays.
Vanilla ice cream (or my favorite – almond milk ice cream) is practically mandatory for all apple desserts in the world, but you already know that.
A little creamer or pitcher of warm caramel sauce is nice to serve alongside, let everyone pour some on themselves!
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Muffin Tin Caramel Apple Pies
- 6 Golden Delicious Apples peeled and cut into 1/2 chunks
- 2 tbsp Butter
- 1/8 tsp Salt
- 1/2 cup Water
- 1/2 cup Sugar
- 1 tsp Cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp Nutmeg
- 1 tsp Lemon Juice, freshly squeezed
- 1 tsp Vanilla extract
- 1 stick (1/2 cup) Butter, cut into cubes
- 1 cup flour
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tbsp Caramel Sauce store bought in a jar, see tips for recommendation
- 1 Refrigerated Pie Crust You'll need one rolled pie crust for a 9" pie (usually sold in a box of two, save one for later)
- Non stick cooking spray Spray the inside of the parchment paper before adding the pie crust or it'll stick!
- MAKE THE APPLES
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Melt the butter in a large non-stick skillet (saute) pan over medium high heat, then add the peeled, sliced and 1/2" cubed pieces of apple
- Stir to coat the apples with the butter using a wooden spoon, increase the heat to medium high and cook for a few minutes until the apples begin to sizzle
- Add the salt, water, sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg to the pan, stir until combined and continue to cook until the apples are fork tender and the liquid has mostly absorbed, leaving a bit of syrup on the bottom of the pan, about 20 minutes total. See TIPS for more on this step below.
- Add the lemon juice and the vanilla extract, stirring the apple mixture to combine
- Cool the apple mixture while you make the crumb topping and assembling the pies
- MAKE THE CRUMB TOPPING
- Add the butter, flour, both sugars, salt and cinnamon to a food processor and pulse until the ingredients are combined and come together to form a crumble that stays together when you gently squeeze the mixture together with your fingers. Alternatively, you can use two knives or a pastry cutter to make the mixture. Note: This makes more crumb topping than you'll need, and what's leftover can be frozen in a well sealed bag or container for up to 6 months.
- MAKE THE PIES
- Roll out one of the slightly cooled pie discs with a rolling pin to approximately 12" x 12" size, shaping it slightly rectangular in size
- Cut the pie crust into 6 even pieces, then fold the pointed ends as best you can to make circles. This does not need to be perfect!
- Spray the inside of the parchment lined muffin tray with non-stick baking spray
- Spoon the apple mixture onto the top of each pie crust piece, dividing it as equally as you can for about a 1/3 cup of apples on each crust
- Add a generous tablespoon of the crumb topping to each pie, then gather each pie together into a bundle like purse and carefully transfer to each the sprayed parchment paper muffin tin liners
- Place the muffin tin with the pies on a large baking sheet and 30-35 minutes, until the edges are lightly brown
- Remove from oven, cool for at least 20 minutes and serve with a tablespoon of warmed caramel sauce and a scoop of ice cream, if desired
- When cooking the apples, use medium high heat until the water evaporates from the pan and the apples are golden and fork tender. The length of time will vary depending on the ripeness of your apples, but about 20 minutes total. If the water evaporates and the apples aren't fully cooked, just add more water 1/2 cup at a time until they are soft.
- Taste the apples to for sweetness, and feel free to add a bit more sugar if needed, but note the crumb topping and caramel sauce will add sweetness too, so shoot for a slightly sweet outcome on the apple step.
- If you don't have a fresh lemon or find it too obnoxious to cut one for a teaspoon of juice, skip the lemon juice entirely, but it does add a nice balance to the sweetness of the pies.
- Use pure vanilla extract, and Trader Joe's Pure Bourbon Vanilla Extract is one of my favorites.
- Make sure to cool the apples completely before assembling the pies, if they are too warm the pie crusts will melt a bit and be harder to work with.
- I love and use Trader Joe's Fleur de Sel Salted Caramel Sauce. Scoop from the jar into a microwave safe bowl and heat for a few seconds until spoonable
- Super important to read the whole recipe before you begin
- Pay attention to the ingredient list and photos for the recipe
- If possible, prep your ingredients a little before you start
- Always use a sharp knife for safety
- Use the size of pan called for in the recipe
- For savory recipes, taste and season as you go
- Buy fresh, organic ingredients, locally sourced whenever possible