Before we get started, let’s make one thing clear. It’s pronounced “CUP. PIES.” Not “cuppeez.” (Actually this makes absolutely no difference, but cuppeez doesn’t really capture the seriousness of these sumptuous treats.)
So I came up with this idea. It was a really good idea, guys. Totally original. Definitely a winning flavor combination. I was so proud to think it up that I googled it just to make sure I was the only one smart enough to come up with it.
SURPRISE! It turns out original ideas are hard to come by. Especially when the world has 7 billion people on it, and a couple billion of those people have Internet access. So it seems I wasn’t the first person to think of this, but nobody eating them complained, and I did make up the recipe all by myself. These snacks have a great combination of sweet and savory flavors. They do take a while to come together, but the effort is worth it!
Here’s the crust recipe I modified: http://smittenkitchen.com/blog/2008/11/pie-crust-102-all-butter-really-flaky-pie-dough/
I don’t have an electric mixer, so when I added the butter, I just cut it up into small pieces while it was cold and then folded them into the flour and pinched them between my fingers so that it was crumbly but not completely blended. I also added about 1/2 tsp of ground cinnamon to the crust recipe to spice it up a bit. Finally, I added about 3/4 C of liquid, which included 4 tbsp of bourbon and the rest ice-cold water. I’m sure this could be done with water alone, but why would you do that, you Puritan? I recommend refrigerating the crust overnight before using it.
The apple filling
6 slices bacon (optional)
1 tbsp REAL maple syrup
4 medium sized Honey Crisp apples
1 medium to large Granny Smith apple**
1/2 C unpacked light brown sugar
2 tbsp flour
1 tsp ground cinnamon
dash of salt
6 oz cheddar cheese, diced into small pieces
1/2 C flour for dusting
1) Make the pie crust as specified in the recipe with above modifications. Then put it in the fridge and wait a day.
2) This is the most important, easiest, and longest step. Sprinkle your CLEAN working surface pretty generously with flour—I would say I used about 1/2 cup for this entire step. Working with 1/4 of the dough at a time, roll out to about 1/2-inch thick. Using a big glass, cut circles in the dough about 3 inches in diameter. Save extra dough; throw back in the fridge to roll out with the next batch. Working with each circle of dough one at a time, roll out really thin—like, crepe thickness if possible—until about 6 inches in diameter. This will make for a delicious container with enough room to stuff a lot of ingredients in. As soon as you roll out each piece, throw it on a plate in the fridge. Don’t worry, they won’t stick together. The recipe I used made 22 cuppies, so anywhere between 20 and 24 can be expected.
3) As always, “Make the bacon.” In fact, even if you don’t need bacon for your recipe, I recommend this step, because bacon is delicious. If you do not eat bacon, then you should skip this step. Bacon is not required for this recipe, but if you don’t add it, put a couple drops of maple syrup on each of the tarts before you throw them in the oven to add that wonderful flavor. If you do use the bacon, fry it to fairly crisp with the maple syrup drizzled in. If you can’t resist eating a couple slices, make extra.
4) Peel and core the apples and diced them up into pretty small chunks so you can stuff as much as possible into each cuppie. **If you prefer a sweeter dessert, use all Honey Crisp apples. Put the apples in a bowl and sprinkle the lemon juice over to keep from browning.
5) Add the brown sugar, flour, salt, and cinnamon, and mix it all up. Now dice your cheese into pretty small chunks so they mix in nicely. Finally, slice up the bacon into small pieces, and mix all the filling ingredients together.
6) Assemble! Using paper muffin liners, line your muffin tins with the pie crust dough pieces. There should be a lot of overlapping dough. Stuff as much of the apple mixture as possible into each cup until they’re overflowing (the apples and cheese will cook down during baking). Once stuffed, crimp the crusts so they are rolled around the edges of the tins. This will create a nice handle for you to life them out by once they’re baked. And it looks fancy. Everybody wins.
7) Make! Bake at 350F for about 35 minutes—when the crust is slightly browned, they’re ready to come out.
As usual, comments are welcome unless they include unusually poor spelling and grammar. I suspect this recipe could be used as a framework for something between mini quiches and an entire pie-sized quiche. Just a thought…
Now go to the store and buy bacon so you can make cuppies!