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Remember those Hostess pies they used to sell in the school cafeteria? Apple, Lemon, Berry, Chocolate… with the sugary glaze?  I passed by a display in the grocery store this weekend that stoked up a craving for those old-time favorites and while the price was right, the ingredient list was not. I grabbed a few tart apples and a box of pie crusts instead and ended up with a smaller, more flavorful (and much cuter!) version of the classic lunch box pie.

While these are truly delicious little treats,  the real winner here is the filling.  Easily prepared on the stove top;  use it in this mini-pie recipe,  stir it into your morning bowl of oatmeal,  or heap it in a bowl with a scoop of French vanilla ice cream and top with caramel sauce – the aroma of simmering apples and cinnamon is sublime, and the possibilities are nearly endless!

You will need:

  • Pie crust dough, store bought or homemade and rolled to 1/8″ thickness
  • 1 egg white
  • Sugar
  • Flour
  • Cookie cutters
  • Parchment paper
  • Rolling pin

Stove Top Apple Pie Filling:

  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 3 cups peeled and diced Granny Smith apples
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 3 Tablespoons  sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • A pinch of ginger and a pinch of ground cloves (optional)
  • 1 Tablespoon cornstarch

Cookie cutter sizes vary,  so will the number of pies yielded by this recipe.

1.  Peel and dice apples.   Melt butter in a saucepan and stir in apple pieces.  Add water, sugar and cinnamon and cover and  simmer over low heat (stirring occasionally)  for about 15 minutes, or until apples are tender.   Sprinkle in cornstarch and stir for 1-2 minutes, until liquid thickens and lumps are dissolved.

2.  Remove from heat and let the filling cool.

3.  Let pie crust dough warm to room temperature.  Preheat oven to 425° F and roll out dough.  Dip cookie cutter in flour and cut out shapes,  two for each mini-pie.

4.  Carefully transfer bottom crusts to parchment-lined baking sheet.  Place a small spoonful of filling in the center of  each mini-crust and place a second crust on top.

5.  Crimp the edges of crusts together with fork tongs.   With pastry brush or fingertips, wash the top of each pie with egg white and coat liberally with sugar.  With a sharp knife, pierce decorative vents in the top of each pie.

6.  Bake at 425° F in the middle rack of oven for 10 minutes, or until tops and edges are golden brown.

Serve warm,  chilled,  or store in the refrigerator in an air-tight container for up to three days.  Enjoy!


  • Fill pies with any fruit filling and use your favorite seasonal cookie-cutters.
  • Fill pies with pudding,  I’m trying chocolate next!