"The people who give you their food give you their heart" - Cesar Chavez

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Mini Apple Butter Pies

On a recent trip visiting my friend's family down south, we visited his grandparents, Libby and Robert, who make an award winning apple butter! Every fall, the local community gathers to make cases of this apple butter. For decades they have peeled, cut and churned the apple butter by hand. This is the first year that they have purchased a new electric mixer and there are some sore feelings about this as it is not producing the same great taste of past years. When we went to visit Libby and Robert, they were at the local volunteer fire station with the other elders of the community peeling apples. We got a little tour of the process and a handful of jars to bring back! Fortunatley, we were able to get some of the last jars from the 2008 batch which were made the old fashioned way.  Here is a picture of Libby and Robert peeling the apples.

I have never had apple butter before but when I tried it for the first time, on a scoop of vanilla ice cream, it was delicious. Ironically, apple butter doesn't actually have butter in it. In fact it is quite similar to apple sauce except that it is much more appely and with a lot more cinnamon and cloves. Apple butter tastes great over ice cream, spread on a bagel or a biscuit. I'm sure there are many other uses for apple butter and luckily I have a huge jar so I will get to experiment a lot. I had some left over pie dough and I remember as a child, using the scraps of  my mom's pie dough to make mini jam pies. I decided to make mini apple butter pies and add in some nuts for extra crunch. These were superb with vanilla ice cream!

Mini Apple Butter Pies

1 store bought pie crust
Apple butter
A bit of egg whites

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Roll the pie crust into a ball and roll it out on a floured surface until you have a nice thin sheet. Using a circular cookie cutter (I don't have one and used a chickpea can which worked just fine) cut out small rounds and place them on a baking sheet.  Gather the dough scraps and roll out and cut again until you have used all the dough.
3. Finely chop up the walnuts and mix them in a small bowl with a bit of apple butter.
4. Place very small dollops on the dough rounds and gently fold one edge of the rounds over the apple mixture and press down to seal close on the other side. You should have a nice half moon shape.

5. Brush a bit of egg white over the mini pies and sprinkle a dash of cinnamon on each one. Bake in the oven for about 7 minutes until it is slightly golden around the edges.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Oh my God! They look sooo good!