Recipe: Nearly-Instant Apple Cinnamon Mini-Tarts

Do you have any pie dough left from Thanksgiving's pie frenzy? Maybe a ball of scraps in the back of the fridge, wrapped in plastic? Wouldn't you like to do something productive with that dough? Here's our method for using up every last scrap of pie dough easily and quickly.

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You don't need to make a filling or roll out a crust. All you need to do is pat out a few small circles of dough, or roll it out and cut with biscuit cutters. Use a mandoline to cut apples (no need to peel!) very thin. Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar, bake, and ta-da! Tiny cinnamon apple pies.

The apples nearly dissolve; they are like apple jelly or gooey filling. The little pies are simple and warm; they are so easy and delicious.

Here are the specific instructions:

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Nearly-Instant Apple Cinnamon Mini-Tarts

yield varies

Small lump of pie dough, well-chilled
1/4 small, sweet apple
1/2 tablespoon butter
Brown sugar
Freshly ground cinnamon

Heat the oven to 425°F. Roll out the pie dough and cut into small rounds or other shapes with biscuit or cookie cutters. Core the apple quarter and shave into very thin slices with a mandoline or chef's knife. Top each pie dough round with several slices of apple, overlapping slightly. Shave a tiny thumbnail of butter off and top each pie round with a bit of butter, a sprinkle of brown sugar and a dusting of cinnamon.

Bake at 425°F for about 15 minutes, or until apples are slightly reduced and pastry is firm and golden.

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Related: How To Make a Pie Crust from Scratch

(Images: Faith Durand)