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Apple Pie in the Apple: A Fresh Take on Classic Apple Pie

By brooklynsupper |

At our house, we’re easily swayed by the charms of a cute dessert. So, needless to say, these apple pies cooked in the apple didn’t last very long after the picture was taken. They’re just too adorable to last very long in this world.

But maybe you’re not like us, maybe your heart is hardened to the sweet and adorable things of this world. You just want a dessert that’s delicious and simple and possibly a little bit healthy. Well, these have you covered on all counts. They’re deceptively simple to make, they have an intense apple pie flavor, and with a tiny crust, just a smidge of honey in the filling, and pleasantly crisp apples, they’re not too bad for you as far as dessert goes.

Word of warning, you have to watch these carefully as they get near the end. It’s a fine line between cooked perfectly and browned, and collapsed and oozing all over your cookie sheet. Keep a close eye.

Crisp apples are a key to the recipe, so look for firm, fresh apples. I used a combination of Honey Crisps and Cortlands straight from the Saturday farmers market. Also note that I used tangerine zest and juice–I love the fragrant sweetness they lend. Oranges will sub in perfectly, though.

Apple Pie in the Apple

for the dough
1/2 recipe pie dough or store-bought puff pastry

for the filling
6 apples, hollowed out, plus 1 – 2 more, cored
3 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon allspice
2 tablespoon lemon zest and juice
2 tablespoon tangerine zest and juice

for the crust
1 egg white
1 tablespoon water

Prepare the dough according to recipe. Wrap the dough disc with plastic, and chill for at least a half hour.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment and set aside.

Set out 8 clean apples. Carefully cut of the tops (roughly 1/4″ of the way down). Next, use a sharp paring knife to remove the core. Scrape out the center so that the wall of the apple bowl is about 1/2″ thick. Reserve the apple innards. Sprinkle the inside of each apple bowl with a few squeezes of lemon. Rough chop the apple tops, innards, and the 2 additional apples. Set in a medium bowl and toss with the honey, flour, salt, spices, zests, and juices, and set aside.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out the first dough round into a rough 8 x 12″ rectangle. Using a cookie or biscuit cutter (or a wide-mouth canning rim), cut out six 4″ circles. With a sharp paring knife, cut 3 small teardrops into each round. Place atop the prepared apples. No need to press the dough into place. Whisk together the egg white and water, and quickly brush onto the crust. Sprinkle the top with a bit of sugar.

Bake the apples for 15 – 20 minutes, just until the dough has turned golden brown. Remove from oven, cool for 20 minutes, and serve.


For more fun and portable recipes, try out Babble’s Best 15 Desserts in a Jar!

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About brooklynsupper



Elizabeth Stark and Brian Campbell write the blog Brooklyn Supper, dedicated to seasonal ingredients and wholesome home cooking. Read bio and latest posts → Read Elizabeth's latest posts →

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4 thoughts on “Apple Pie in the Apple: A Fresh Take on Classic Apple Pie

  1. MaeveCooks says:

    Ah fabulous! This is so fun! I love the tiny crust idea. now to go see if I can find any ROMA Beauty apples! I see a new Fall Festival desert in my future and one for Sunday Dinner too!

    Easy to switch around spices OR even add some dried cranberries to the stuffing. LOTS Of good ideas here

    THANK YOU for a delicious and versatile recipe :)

  2. Tiffany says:

    Do you think they could be baked in a cupcake or muffin pan to help protect against collapse? So excited to try these!

  3. brooklynsupper says:

    @MaeveCooks, Love all the variations! Please let us know how they work out.
    @Tiffany, I have seen some versions using a muffin tin, but I think it actually might facilitate collapse since it would trap more heat around the apple. The secret is to not pierce the apple walls in any way, keep the walls thick, and not to overcook. I like my filling with a little bite, but pre-cooking the filling could also be an option that would lessen bake time.

  4. Andrea says:

    I love this idea! Thanks

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