Simply Sweet Home

Recipes, Decor, Crafts, Product Reviews, Giveaways and more.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Apple Chai Recipe and Mini Pies Book Review and Giveaway

Photo: Spiced Cranberry Pear

The fall and holiday seasons are such great times for baking!  And there's nothing like freshly baked pies to satisfy your guests' sweet tooth (err...teeth) and make them feel right at home.

By the way, come join Love the Pie with TidyMom sponsored by Cherokee USALe CreusetWiltonBags by Bloom and  Harvard Common Press.

New from Ulysses Press, Mini Pies is a cute full-color guide to creating America’s hottest new dessert—cupcake-sized mini pies

Offering step-by-step recipes along with tips, tricks, and techniques for mini pie success, this book teaches how to make flaky crusts and luscious fillings that will combine into mouth-watering petite pies. Readers learn how to capture all the delicious flavor of a traditional pie while gaining the adorable look and eat-out-of-your-hand convenience of a cupcake. From beloved favorites like pumpkin, apple, and pecan, to more creative flavors such as Raspberry Rhubarb Whiskey, Chocolate Chipotle, and Cranberry Almond Pistachio, Mini Pies presents recipes to please any palate. Also included are savory recipes for quick snacks and appetizers like mini veggie pot pies, plus vegan and gluten-free recipes to ensure that everyone can enjoy these delightful delicacies.

My Review:  I think this is an excellent book! I love pies and I love cupcakes, so the idea of a mini, cupcake-sized pie is right up my alley.  And I was impressed by the variety of recipes included.  The book has everything from my favorite Chocolate Cream to my dad's favorite Custard, and my mom's favorite Lemon Meringue!

It also has the classic holiday favorites that everyone loves: apple, pecan, pumpkin, and cherry!

And along with the pies themselves, you'll also find great recipes for pie crusts and pie toppings, as well as a great tutorial for making Pies in Jars!

And all the color photos are so beautiful and inspiring!  They will definitely make you crave the pies!

Before we get to the giveaway, I've got a sneak peak at one of the recipes from the book!  It's Apple Chai! Hope you enjoy!

Recipe for Apple Chai

"An apple chai a day keeps the doctor away." 

2 apples peeled, cored, and diced into ¼-inch pieces (we like Granny Smith for this pie) 
¼ cup brown sugar 
¼ cup granulated sugar, plus extra for sprinkling 
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon 
⅛ teaspoon ground cardamom 
¼ teaspoon ground allspice 
1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
1 tablespoon lemon juice 
Perfect Pie Crust (recipe in book)
 ¼ cup soy milk 

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Generously grease a 12-cup muffin tin with butter or cooking spray. 

2. Combine the apples, brown sugar, granulated sugar, cinnamon, cardamom, allspice, vanilla, and lemon juice in a large bowl. Let sit for 10 minutes to allow the flavors to blend. 

3. On a thoroughly floured surface, roll out the pie crust to a thickness of 3∕16 inch. Using a 4-inchdiameter round cutter, cut 12 crusts. Re-form and re-roll the dough as necessary, keeping plenty of flour on your work surface. 

4. Using the mini cookie cutter of your choice and leftover pie crust, cut out 12 shapes to use as pie toppers. (We like stars for Apple Chai pies.) 

5. Carefully shape the crusts into the wells of the muffin tin, crimping the edges with your fingers. 

6. Fill each mini pie with 1½ tablespoons of the apple mixture. The filling will settle while baking, so it’s best to fill the pies higher than the top of the muffin tin. Top each mini pie with a pie topper. 

7. With a pastry brush, lightly brush the pie crusts with soy milk, then sprinkle with sugar. 

8. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the crusts are golden brown. Allow to cool for a few minutes in the muffin tin, then carefully remove the pies from the tin and place on a wire rack to finish cooling. To remove, first try to spin the pies in the muffin wells. If they need a little extra help, run a butter knife along the edge of the crusts to pop them out of the tin. 

9. Serve, or store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days. Sweet tips : Be sure to dice the apples to a fine ¼-inch dice to minimize settling during baking.

Photo:  Aunt Jimma's Chocolate Cream 

Buy it! Check out Ulysses Press to find out how to order the book online.

Win it! One Simply Sweet Home reader will win a copy of Mini Pies.

To enter, just use the Rafflecopter form below. Giveaway will be open through Nov 27.


I'm linking up at the Love the Pie Party at Tidy Mom and these  parties.

Disclosure: I received a copy of Mini Pies for review.  The opinions are my own.

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