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YAY!! We made it to Friday!!!

Caramelized Condensed Milk Mini Apple Pies | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

And Friday means it’s time for PIE!

Oh heck yeah, I am more than ready!

So I feel like each and every post this week has been a million and one words long. I think since it’s Friday, I will keep it short and spare you guys all my mindless rambling and jump right into the pies.

The pies NEED to be chatted about. This is apple pie, but apple pie on a whole new level. I don’t know if you guys know this or not, but I think sweetened condensed milk is a magical little ingredient, it makes everything… perfection.

I always say, when in doubt, drizzle on some sweetened condensed milk. It will save any sweet recipe, I swear by it.

Caramelized Condensed Milk Mini Apple Pies | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

Believe it or not, I have had these mini apple pies in the back of my head for months now. Originally I was thinking about posting them in September, but they just seemed so perfect for Thanksgiving that I decided to wait. I know, craziness, but they really are the perfect Thanksgiving dessert. These cute little pies are hand-held, making them EASY for snacking on – before, during or after the big meal. Which we all know that come Thanksgiving Day, snacking is a huge must. It’s the one day of the year when you can get away with eating everything presented to you… bring on the stretchy pants… right?!?!

AND not only did I make these little pies with sweetened condensed milk, but I also went a step farther and covered them in cinnamon sugar

Ya, I went there. It may seem like a lot of sweet for an apple pie, but I promise it’s all good.

Although, apparently everyone in the family has cavities at the moment….ooops. My younger brother actually just had a root canal on Wednesday. I promise though, it had nothing to do with sugar bugs on his teeth. Apparently he broke his front tooth when he was a kid and the tooth is now infected. His whole face has been killing him for the last week. He finally called our family dentist (and my dad’s college roommate) back in Ohio, who told himย that he thought heย needed a root canal. Long story short, Kai went to see a dentist in LA (cause that’s where her goes to school). The dentist then confirmed that he did indeed need a root canal. Kai was in so much pain that he did the procedure the same day. It was also the same day my dad was getting his cavities filled and my mom had hers done on Monday!

Man. I don’t know what’s going on here, but the Gerard’s are having teeth issues and I’m up next. Luckily I am all good on the cavity front, but if you remember, my wisdom teeth NEED to come out ASAP. Soooo, I have that to look forward to in the new year.

yay? ๐Ÿ™

Caramelized Condensed Milk Mini Apple Pies | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

Caramelized Condensed Milk Mini Apple Pies | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

But ahh anyway, these cute little pies!

They may not be awesome for your teeth, but they will surely make you the happiest person around… and that I know from personal experience. Here’s the deal, these pies are pretty basic and simple. Think apple pies, but moister, sweeter and just well…better. It’s hard to explain, but the caramelized condensed milk adds the most awesome, buttery, sweet, caramel flavor. I pretty much just adore it.

The first step is to slowly start caramelizing the condensed milk. This does take some time and patience, but it’s easy. You just pour the condensed milk into a saucepan and simmer over low heat, stirring often until it’s light golden in color. See, simple, just takes a little time, but while that’s happening, you should be caramelizing the apples on the stove. Why cook them before baking?

While for one, since these are mini pies, the baking time is much less than if it were a traditional apple pie. Two, the apple release juices as they cook and we want to cook those out before we bake the pies so that the pies don’t turn out all soggy.

Once you have those two steps done, just make my favorite pie dough, assemble the pies, chill the pies and then bake. If you wanted to make things easier, you can absolutely use store-bought pie dough OR pie pastry. If you decide to go the store-bought route, I personally would go with puff pastry. It’s kind of my favorite and it’s EVERYTHING when paired with apple pie. Just saying.

Caramelized Condensed Milk Mini Apple Pies | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

Once the pies come out of the oven, you brush them with just a little butter and a generous sprinkle of cinnamon sugar…wow, that excites me just typing the words!

YUM.

Obviously, I like these bestest (my word) warm and straight out of the oven. I mean, it really doesn’t get better. All you need is a scoop of ice cream and a cold glass of milk. OR, maybe a boozy creamy drink? Like a Bailey’s spiked coffee or a hot chocolate!? Ohh, I bet that would be good, you should maybe try that.

Remember, it’s Thanksgiving.

Anything goes!

Caramelized Condensed Milk Mini Apple Pies | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

Caramelized Condensed Milk Mini Apple Pies.

Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 2 hours
Servings: 10 Pies
Calories Per Serving: 405 kcal

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

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Ingredients

  • 1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 teaspoons vanilla bean seeds removed OR 2 vanilla
  • 4 honeycrisp or granny smith apples chopped
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon bourbon optional
  • 2 tablespoons butter melted
  • 1/2 cup cinnamon sugar 1/2 cup sugar + 2 teaspoons cinnamon

Crust (OR 2 store bought crusts)

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour plus more for rolling
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup chilled unsalted butter cut into pieces, 2 sticks
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1/3 cup cold buttermilk plus more if needed

Instructions

  • Pour the sweetened condensed milk into a non-sick sauce pot. Simmer the sweetened condensed milk over low heat for 20-30 minutes, stirring often to ensure the sauce is not burning. Once the sauce turns a very light shade of caramel stir in 1 teaspoon vanilla and remove from the heat.* Set aside to cool. The condensed milk will thicken as it cools.
  • Add the butter to a large skillet and set over medium heat. Add the apples and cinnamon, stirring to combine. Cook until the apples are soft, about 8 minutes. Remove from the stove and stir in the melted butter. Allow the apples to cool completely before assembling your pies.
  • To make the crust. Place the all-purpose flour and the salt in a large bowl. Add butter and use your fingers to break the butter into the flour until mixture resembles small peas. Whisk the egg yolk with 1/4 cup cold buttermilk in a small bowl and then add the egg mixture to the flour mixture. Mix with a wooden spoon, drizzling in more buttermilk as needed (no more than 1 tablespoon at a time), until dough just comes together (a few dry spots are ok). Gently knead dough on a lightly floured surface until no dry spots remain, about 1 minute. Divide dough in half. Shape each piece into a circular disk.
  • Roll out 1 disk of dough onto a lightly floured surface to a 16-inch round. Using a three inch circle cookie cutter, cut out as many circles from the dough as you can. Repeat with the remaining piece of dough. I was able to get 16 rounds (for a total of 8 pies).
  • Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • Once everything is cool, begin assembling your pies. Spread a round tablespoon of the caramelized sweetened condensed milk on one half of the pie crust rounds, leaving a 1-inch boarder around the edge. Add a round tablespoon of the apples atop the condensed milk.
  • Place the remaining rounds of pie crust over the apples, stretching the dough just slightly if needed to fit. Use a fork to crimp around all the edges. Place the pie on the prepared baking sheet. Cover the pies with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 45 minutes or up to 2 days.
  • After 45 minutes, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Remove the pies from the fridge and brush with the beaten egg. Cut 4 small slits in the top of each pie. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the pies are golden brown. Some of the pies may be oozing a little when you take them out. This is fine.
  • Brush the warm pies with melted butter and sprinkle each generously will cinnamon sugar. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Notes

*If desired, you can continue to cook the sweetened condensed milk until it reaches a deep caramel color. This will take about and hour over low heat. Essentially, this is called Dulce de Leche. It will become very thick.

Caramelized Condensed Milk Mini Apple Pies | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

Hooray for mini pies… and thank God for November. ๐Ÿ™‚

PS. I just realized I said I was going to keep this post short….sorry, that was so not short. I guess I just can’t help myself, I like to ramble.

Caramelized Condensed Milk Mini Apple Pies | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

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Comments

  1. Could I freeze these before or after baking, if so which would you suggest? I was going to gift some to my Grandma but she won’t go through them that quickly.

    Excited to try this recipe!!

    1. Hey Sarah,
      I would freeze these before baking. I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! Happy Holidays! xTieghan

  2. 5 stars
    Made these last week. They were perfect for a social distanced Thanksgiving. They taste like they were made in a bakery! These also freeze and reheat very well. So fun, thank you!

  3. Hi! Love HBH and canโ€™t wait to make these tonight! I tried searching for it but didnโ€™t see it anywhere… do the apples need to be peeled? Thanks so much!

    1. Hi Nellie! No, the apples do not need to be peeled! I hope you love this recipe and please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

  4. hi! I made the pie and its in the fridge right now, waiting to be baked! I have so much apple and condensed milk filling left over.. am I supposed to have this much left over? Did I do something wrong?

    1. Hi Erika,
      You shouldn’t have that much leftover, but you can always make more! I hope you love the recipe! Please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

  5. Hello!! Is there a way to make this recipe as one big pie instead?
    This recipe looks amazing and I canโ€™t wait to try it out, Thank you!

    1. Hey Brittney! I would bake everything together in a 9-inch pie plate. I bet that will be awesome. Great idea! Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you love this recipe! Thank you! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!! xTieghan

  6. Looks amazing! Canโ€™t wait to make these. I have so many apples and want to keep some of these in the freezer? Would that work?

    1. Hi Alyssa! Yes, freeze the pies works so well! Perfect for an easy dessert at any time! Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you love this recipe! Thank you! xTieghan

    1. Hi there! You need 1 (14 ounce) can of condensed milk. Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you love this recipe! Thank you! xTieghan

    1. Yes, you can! Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you love this recipe. Thanks so much and happy Thanksgiving! xTieghan

  7. I made these on Thanksgiving day and they looked the same, but all of the caramelized condensed milk oozed out, and I was really left with just the apple pies with no filling. Not sure what happened but I was so disappointed.

    1. Oh no! So sorry the filling leaked out. Did you seal the pies well? that is all I can think that might have happened. So sorry for the trouble. Please let me know if you have other questions. Hope I can help. Thanks! ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. Hi! I was really excited to try this recipe, but when I simmered my condensed milk, at first it thinned out, but then it started getting really thick and by the time it cooled it was like a hard candy… I am not really sure where I got wrong, could you help? (But the rest turned out fine!!)

  9. Hi! I was really excited to try this recipe, but when I simmered my condensed milk, at first it thinned out, but then it started getting really thick and by the time it cooled it was like a hard candy… I am not really sure where I got wrong, could you help? (But the rest turned out fine!!)

    1. HI! I am sorry for the trouble. It sounds like you just simmered the milk a little too long. Try cooking the milk for less time next time. Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving! Please let me know if you have other questions. Thanks! ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. 5 stars
    Hi!! These look so LOVELY. I tried to make them, & they were almost perfect but they were a little dry. Do you have any idea why that is? I think I was nervous about rolling my dough to thin, so maybe the crust to filling ratio was off/not enough filling. Cant wait to try again as practice makes perfect

    1. HI! So glad you enjoyed this recipe! It is hard to say why they might have been dry without knowing exactly how you made them. Maybe try rolling the dough a little thinner so you bake them in the oven for less time. Please let me know if you have any other questions. Happy Thanksgiving! ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. I made the hand pies today but it was not actually a success. I ended up with way more apple than I needed, and I wish you would have written down in what size you chop the apples because mine were apparently too big. The dough had barely any stretch so it kept on tearing whenever I tried to put the top part on the pies. I hope that for the next recipe you can include the thickness of the dough because as a European reader I do not own a 16 inch round and even though I used a ruler to measure everything I have lots of dough left. I have them in the oven now but I am scared they are not going to be good ๐Ÿ™

    1. Hi Hannah, I am so sorry for the trouble!! the dough should be about 1/4 inch thick and the apples diced. Please let me know if there is any other way I can help and I do hope they turned out for you. Please let me know. Thank so much! Tieghan

    1. HI! I have not made these with puff pastry so I can’t say for sure, but I think around 4 sheets. Let me know if you have more questions. Hope you love these! Thanks!

  12. I baked these according to the recipe and they were great, plus are pretty darned cute. I took them to a group of young guys at work and they were a big, big hit. Thanks for the recipe – you earned me points with my co-workers. I will keep this one in my permanent collection.

  13. I often put condensed milk in the crock pot to make caramel. This recipe doesn’t cook it quite as far it seems. I know it will be tasty! I’ve never added and egg to my pie crust. Will it make it sturdier? Will it still be flaky? Do you add and egg for large pies or just these minis? My first time on the site thanks to buzzfeed. Looks great! Thanks for sharing!

  14. Love your site, made the braised short ribs over the weekend, they were amazing! I am planning on making these pies for Thanksgiving with puff pastry. Can I prepare Wednesday night and once assembled keep them in the fridge and bake on Thursday?

    1. Hey Danielle!

      Yes, you can do that. It works great! Let me know if you have any other questions. Happy Thanksgiving!

  15. The pictures are absolutely stunning and I was planning on making mini pies for holiday parties (easier for take-home leftovers) Definitely have inspired me to get working on some (and I’ll absolutely be trying these)
    Thanks!

  16. These look so good. Can’t wait to see how your buttermilk pie dough turns out. I will use Roasted Saigon Cinnamon in the cinnamon-sugar topping since that doesn’t get cooked. I’m craving them already!

  17. These are too cute! I can just imagine how gooey and delicious the condensed milk gets after they are cooked. Such a great idea!

    1. Let me amend that…. “psudo art philosophers” sounded harsh, and I don’t mean to come off that way, but in talking to a lot of buyers, I find people who are looking to break into the “art trends” and buys that are investments… and in doing so, are following a trend similar to the financial market. It is so contrary to what I am trying to project as an artist, that I find myself rebelling. Sure, I want to “make it”, but I don’t want to “sell out”. Ugh. So I strap on blinders and get down to work.

    2. This seems to be the same debate that has raged for decades taken to a new battleground. PR vs. marketing.Both sides think that their methods are better in any given situation. The problem is that PR and marketing professionals both think they “know” what the other side does. Most of the time neither really understands the other because they see business through very different paradigms.

  18. I can’t count how many cavities I have had – let’s just say there has been a-lot. Probably because of my deep love for sweets. These apple pies are making me so excited!

  19. Wowza! Absolutely gorgeous dear! I’m with Sharon on this one … mini definitely means you can eat more!! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  20. Lord, these look so good! I’ll be sure to make them for my family on Thanksgiving. Though nobody has dental issues in my household, two people do have diabetes… Oops.

  21. Okay, Tieghan, I have to take you to task on the word “bestest”. ? Because I’m pretty sure I have patent pending on that word. I thought I invented that word when I was a preteen and I’ve been using it ever since, for like the past 12 years. But we can share rights. ?

  22. This looks divine! I have been brainstorming if Sweetened Condensed Milk would work with Apple pie, since regular caramel gets SO chewy when refrigerated. Yum, so excited to try this!!

  23. Hey! This looks fantastic. What about that method I’ve read about where you boil the can of condensed milk in water until it caramelizes? Would that work and save some steps/effort in this recipe? I’ve never done it, but I’ve read about it…

  24. These look incredible Tieghan! I love the idea of hand pies but have never ventured to make them! Can’t wait to try this recipe!

  25. That caramel condensed milk is just PERFECT Teighan! Love the sound of the mini apple pies (especially when there is no pastry tin-lining required haha!), and anything mini is just automatically cuter and prettier. Good luck for getting your wisdom teeth out – I’m sure you will have the best mushy food post-op diet of anyone around! X

  26. Aw…these are super cute ๐Ÿ™‚ . What a lovely addition of the condensed milk, yum !!!
    Definitely making these ! Have a great weekend ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Haha. Pies squared then. My secret to avoiding cavities and has worked all 36 years of my life….is to brush your teeth after every single meal. Even after eating the smallest thing, like a piece of candy, I brush my teeth. It works! Never get a cavity.

      Anyone, I”m off to Wegmans to get some sweetened condensed milk. I never buy the stuff! Should I just dump it in every recipe or what? It’s that’s powerful, Huh.

  27. when i got my wisdom teeth out, i lived off of mango smoothies and soup and yogurt for a week, and i missed crunchy/crispy/chewy/etc textures sooo much. i was kind of miserable, but most of my friends were fine and eating fried chicken within a couple of days (i hope it’s like that for you, too!).