Just more reasons why I love autumn and this time of year, is for all of the wonderful holidays the next three months bring! Halloween parties and “Trick or Treaters” all dressed up in imaginative costumes, the Thanksgiving feast, and, of course, Christmas!
But unlike the local retail stores, I’m not going to jump ahead and play leap frog over the first two! Every holiday deserves it’s own spotlight, and I happen to love Halloween!
I so much enjoy seeing the excitement in the kids eyes, and the huge smiles on their faces as they run as fast as their little legs can carry them, scurrying from house to house, gathering candies and goodies like little squirrels packing away for a long, cold winter!
The only thing that makes me sad, is that, the candy companies plotted and planned and took over for mere profit and we aren’t allowed to hand out anything homemade anymore. Can you believe that not a single child has ever been harmed by tainted candy they received from Trick or Treating?! Yep, truth.
A few kids were harmed by the hands of their own relatives, but nothing has ever once happened from going door-to-door. No razor blades. No pins or needles. No drugs. Nada. Nada darn thing. I wish this would be exposed and we could treat kids to healthier homemade treats again like popcorn balls and brownies, cupcakes and cookies make from scratch!
Maybe someday things will get straightened out. So for now, we are forced to purchase candy. But there’s no reason we still can’t make and enjoy delicious, homemade treats for our own families, neighbors and friends! If the “Halloween Candy Police” come banging on my door, I’ll just have to smack them with my broom and shoo them off my porch. 😉
Apples are very inexpensive this time of year and large bags and bushels can be purchased, and even picked yourself with the family on a fall outing with the kiddos, for just a couple of bucks!
Add a few simple ingredients and you’ve just saved a small FORTUNE. These pretty little apple pie tarts are easy to make and literally cost fractions of pennies apiece! Especially if you make your own pie crust.
But since this is basically just for the bottoms anyways, if you need a little helping hand with that, there’s no reason to feel guilty and go ahead and buy a couple of the pre-made pie pastry sheets. They do very well in a pinch and are a breeze to use! Though I love my homemade pie crust, I’ve used these handy pastry sheets plenty of times myself. 😉
I like to use Granny Smiths for these, but you can use a mixture of almost any apples your heart desires. Some can get a wee bit mushy when cooked, so stick to ones that do a it bit better like (Granny Smiths), Jonathons, Golden Delicious, Gala, Cortland, Honeycrisp, Melrose and Rome Beauties. And the bigger the variety, the better the taste! But even if you only use one single kind, they’ll be absolutely delicious and VERY easy and simple to make!
Just peel, slice/core the apples, cook in a little butter, sugar and spices and you’re almost done! Cut circles of pastry with a cookie cutter or glass, press lightly into muffin tins, fill and bake! You can use the scraps for cut-outs or mini lattice tops to complete them and make them so, so cute! A drizzle of caramel and a pinch of sea salt would also be lovely, but definitely not necessary. Nature does a pretty good job all on it’s own to make things taste wonderful! 😉
So if you’re looking for an easy, simple, yet delicious treat for an upcoming Halloween Party, football Sunday get-together , or school bake sale, then you’ve just found it! Toss the mega bags of expensive candy back into the silo-sized money pit and grab a nice, healthy, bag of apples instead. 😉 They’ll be so much more appreciated! 🙂 Have a wonderful fall day all! 🙂
MINI PARTY APPLE PIE TARTS
Makes 16-18 tarts
4 large Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, sliced thin, then cut in half, (*I use my 8-slice apple corer/slicer, then cut each wedge in half lengthwise, thirds for the bigger ones, then slice in half crossways)
1 Tbl. butter
1 1/2 Tbl. lemon juice, fresh or concentrate
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup dark brown sugar, can sub light brown or white
3-4 Tbl. cornstarch, 3 for slightly juicy and 4 for thick
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/16 tsp. salt, just a tiny pinch
1 cup apple juice or apple cider, heated to very hot
2 pre-prepared pie crust sheets (thawed), or enough homemade pie pastry for a double-crust pie
In large saucepan, add butter and apples. Sprinkle lemon juice and vanilla over them and lightly toss.
In small bowl, combine sugars, cornstarch, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt well. Add to apples in pan. Toss to coat.
In glass measuring pitcher, microwave apple juice or cider to very hot. About 2-3 minutes. Pour into saucepan with apple mixture and stir, cooking over medium low heat, until thickened and apples are tender, stirring gently. Remove from heat and set aside.
Set oven rack to lower third of oven and preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Cut 16 to 18 – 4″ circles from sheets of thawed pie pastry and press into bottoms and partway up sides of regular-sized ungreased muffin tins. Fill pastry shells with pie filling, and use extra pie pastry for cut-outs and lattice tops if desired. Sprinkle tops with cinnamon-sugar mix if desired.
Bake in preheated oven for 18-20 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Remove pan and set on wire rack to cool completely, about 30 minutes.
Loosen edges of tarts with sharp knife and carefully pop little pies out of muffin tins. Can be drizzled with caramel sauce and sprinkled with sea salt, and even served with mini scoops of ice cream, but eaten as is, is pretty darned good, too. 😉