Pie-Ception: Apple Pie Cups

Pie-Ception: Apple Pie Cups

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I’ll admit, I was slightly daunted by the concept of this recipe – an apple pie, baked inside an apple? These apple pie cups sound complicated, but they’re actually simpler than a real pie, since you don’t have to deal with the crust, and it tastes just as good. Presentation-wise, these weren’t so photogenic, but if I made another batch I could probably make them prettier. Anyway, no one really notices because it’s an apple pie, baked inside an apple pie! You don’t see that every day.


Apple Pie Cups

(adapted from Just Putzing Around the Kitchen)

Ingredients (yields 4 pie cups) :

Pie cup and filling

4 gala apples

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

2 tablespoons lemon juice

2 tablespoons cinnamon (use less if you’re not a cinnamon lover)

1/4 teaspoon cornstarch

Crumb topping

4 tablespoons flour

2 tablespoons butter, chilled and cut into pieces

3 tablespoons light brown sugar

1 dash cinnamon

4 teaspoons cream


First, prepare your apples. I used fuji apples, but any apple that has a strong flavor, like a gala or a granny smith, makes good pie filling. Slice off about three quarters of an inch off the top of the apple. I didn’t cut quite enough off the top of my apples, and I ended up having to trim them down later.


Using a melon scooper, remove the insides of the apple, leaving about a quarter-inch layer around the outside. If you don’t have a melon scooper, you can also use a small knife or a spoon, though you have to be careful. Keep the inside of the fruit (except the core and the seeds) in a separate bowl.


Remove the pieces of fruit from the apple and chop them up into smaller pieces. Add the sugar, lemon juice and cinnamon, and mix until coated evenly.


Transfer the filling into a medium saucepan and cook on medium heat for five to seven minutes, stirring continuously, until the juice is bubbling and the apples are lightly browned. Add a quarter teaspoon of cornstarch dissolved in water for a thicker consistency.


After the filling is done cooking, leave it on the counter to cool. Meanwhile, start on the crumble topping. Mix the cream, flour, cinnamon and brown sugar in a separate bowl.


If you don’t have cream, you can substitute it with a mixture of 1 tbsp. melted butter, 3 tbsp. warmed milk, and ¼ tbsp. flour. Add the butter slowly to the milk while whisking continuously to prevent the butter from re-solidfying. Mix the cream substitute, and take out four teaspoons to use in the crumble topping.


Cut the butter into the crumble mixture. This means taking chilled butter, cutting it into wedges and then using a fork to break the butter into the flour mixture, creating pea-sized pieces. The butter should be incorporated throughout, but not completely blended (my butter was slightly thawed, so it got a little mushy).


Fill each apple cup with one fourth of the apple pie filling. My apple cups were too tall, and the filling didn’t completely fill it, so I just pared off the top of the apple cups with a knife to get the right height..


Press one fourth of the crumble topping onto each apple pie cup.


Place the pie cups on a tray and bake them for 25 minutes at 375 degrees. For some reason, baking the apples made them turn from red to the color of a golden delicious, which was strange, but other than that, I’m quite proud of how these turned out. Just drizzle with a little caramel topping, if you want, and enjoy your delectable apple-ception.


~ Hafsa