makes ~24 mini hearts
for graham cracker crust:
- 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
- 1/2 tspn ground cinnamon
- 1/3 cup melted butter
- Combine graham cracker crumbs and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Mix in butter.
- Press the crumb mixture into (sprayed and lined) the bottoms of the pans, about 1 Tbspn per heart. Use something like the side of a small rolling pin to press the crumb mixture into the bottom of the pan and a little bit up the sides.
- Put the crust in the freezer while making the filling.
- 2 14oz. cans condensed milk
- 8 large egg yolks (save those whites for meringues/macarons!)
- 2-3 Tbspn key lime zest
- 1 cup key lime juice (~25 key limes… have fun!)
- green food coloring
- Preheat oven to 165 degrees C.
- Combine milk, yolks, zest, and juice in a bowl. Whisk until smooth. Whisk in one to two drops of food coloring for a light green color.
- Pour mixture into the crumb-prepared pans, filling about to about two-thirds full. Bake for 13-15 minutes until the center looks set but moves like jello when you give the pan a bit of a gentle shake.
- Remove from oven and let cool completely. Keep the pies in the pans until you are ready to serve.
Crust (You can also use store-bought refrigerated pie crust):
- 1 ¼ cups Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 4 tablespoon butter
- 3 tablespoon vegetable shortening
- 3 tablespoon ice cold water
- flour for dusting
- 1 cup brown sugar
- ¾ cup Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
- ¾ cup oatmeal (quick or old-fashioned)
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ cup butter, cut into chunks
- 1 1/2 cups canned apple pie filling* roughly chopped
- powdered sugar for garnish (optional)
- Preheat oven to 190°C.
- Prepare pie crust: In a medium bowl, mix flour and salt. Cut 4 T butter into flour until it looks like coarse meal, and then cut in vegetable shortening until well blended. Add ice cold water and stir with fork. Then use your hands to gently work the dough into a ball.
- Flour a square sheet of wax paper, place dough ball in the middle, flour the ball, and cover with another square sheet of wax paper. Roll dough out to a thickness of about 1/8”. Using a 2” round circle cutter, cut out as many circles as you can. Carefully place circles on a wax-paper-lined cookie sheet and place in the freezer until needed. Collect dough scraps and roll and cut more circles that you will add to the pan in the freezer.
- Prepare topping: In a large bowl, mix all of the dry topping ingredients with a fork. Add butter chunks and mix with your fingers until all the butter is incorporated and it begins to form crumbles. Set aside ½ cup of this crumb mixture.
- Stir chopped apple pie filling into remaining crumble mixture, just until mixed.
- On a parchment-lined baking sheet, evenly place 12 of the frozen dough circles. Place a scant tablespoon of apple mixture onto the middle of each circle. With your finger, flatten the top of the apple mixture a little bit. Using a fork, place about ½ teaspoon of the reserved crumble mixture on top of each cookie.
- Bake at 190°C for 14-15 minutes, or until bottoms are lightly browned. Remove from oven and then transfer cookies to a cooling rack to cool completely. Shake a little powdered sugar over cookies to make them look pretty.
Makes about 3 dozen cookies. Recipe is easily doubled.
If you want to go completely homemade, here’s the recipe for apple pie filling, which I think tastes the best, and most like the dutch apple pie taste I was trying to replicate in a cookie:
Apple Pie “Filling”
- 4 medium granny smith apples, peeled, cored, and diced into 1/4 inch cubes
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 3/4 cup white sugar
- 3 T cornstarch
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 pinch nutmeg
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1 cup apple juice (fresh apple cider is better)
- 1 cup water (you can use just 2 cups water, but the apple juice/cider is better)
- In a large bowl, toss diced apple with lemon juice and set aside. Pour apple juice and water into a high-rimmed sauté pan over medium heat. Combine sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, salt, & nutmeg. Add to liquid in pan, stir well, and bring to a boil. Boil for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
- Add apples and return to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until apples are tender, about 5-6 minutes. Cool for 30 minutes.
- Ladle into plastic containers to refrigerate or freeze. Cool at room temperature no longer than 1 1/2 hours.
WARNING: THIS RECIPE CALLS FOR RAW, UNCOOKED EGGS!
Cookie (You can skip this part and just use the cookie parts of Oreos):
- 1 cup salted butter
- 1 1/2 cups Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/3 cup cream
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar + 2 tablespoons cocoa powder (for dusting)
French Silk Pie Ingredients:
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter, cool, but not hard
- 1/3 cup white sugar
- Dark Chocolate pieces (about 5 ounces)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3 large eggs, cold
- Stabilized whipped cream* (recipe below) or 1 cup heavy cream whipped with 1/4 cup powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons chocolate sprinkles or shaved dark chocolate
- Mix flour, cocoa powder, salt, and baking powder in a medium bowl. Cut 1 cup of the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in the cream and form the dough into a ball. Divide dough into thirds, flatten into a rough disk about 1/2 inch thick, and wrap dough in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour. (The original recipe calls for the cutting in of the butter.)
- Dust a cutting board with the sugar/cocoa mixture. (I like to roll my dough between two sheets of wax paper and dust that with the sugar/cocoa.) Roll dough out 1/8-inch thick and cut with a 2 ” circle or flower cutter for three-bite pies, or 1 1/2” circle or flower cutter for tiny pies. Place circles/flowers on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Prick cookies three times with a fork.
- Bake at 190°C for 10 minutes. Cool on pan for 5- 10 minutes before removing carefully to a wire rack to cool completely.
- In a double boiler, melt chocolate about 2/3 of the way. Remove top of double boiler and continue to stir until chocolate is completely melted. Set aside to cool further. I recommend cooling until the chocolate starts to thicken slightly so that it won’t melt the butter.
- In a large bowl or in the bowl of a stand mixer with the wire whip attachment, cream butter. Gradually add sugar, creaming well. Blend in melted and cooled chocolate and vanilla. Add eggs, one at a time, beating 4 minutes after each addition with mixer on medium speed.
- Transfer filling either to a pastry bag fitted with an open star tip or a large zip top bag that you will later cut 1/2 inch off the corner. If the filling seems a bit loose and you don’t trust that it will hold its shape and stay on the base, then refrigerate for about 10-15 minutes, or until you can pipe it and have it hold its shape. If the filling seems firm, start piping onto cookie bases. Refrigerate until firm, at least 30 minutes.
- Top with whipped cream squeezed out of another pastry bag with open star tip or zip-top bag. Top with sprinkles or shaved chocolate, if desired. Refrigerate until ready to serve
- Makes about 70 three-bite pies, OR about 120 one-bite pies
Stabilized Whipped Cream Frosting
- 1/2 tsp unflavored gelatin powder
- 2 tbsp cold water
- 1 cup whipping cream
- pinch salt
- 2 tbsp confectioner’s sugar
- Sprinkle gelatin over cold water in small bowl to soften.
- Scald 2 tablespoon of the cream; pour over gelatin, stirring till dissolved.
- Refrigerate until consistency of unbeaten egg white. (This takes about 10-15 minutes.) Then, with a whisk, beat until smooth.
- In a stand mixer with a whip attachment, or with a hand beater, whip remaining cream and sugar just until soft peaks form; whip in the smoothed gelatin mixture, stopping to scrape the bowl twice. You will probably only need to whip it another 10-20 seconds before it’s done.
*A note about the stabilized whipped cream: this is really the way to go if you plan for these to last more than one day.