Mini Walnut Apple Pies, an easy recipe for mini apple pies loaded with crunchy walnuts that is perfect for Thanksgiving dessert and holiday parties. These mini muffin tin apple pies are also great to make ahead and freeze!
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Thanksgiving is coming up soon, are you ready? I’ve got the perfect bite-size dessert for you, Mini Walnut Apple Pies! These little muffin tin apple pies are loaded with crunchy walnuts and sweet fall apples. A great addition to any meal.
So excited to be teaming up with California Walnuts again (remember my Walnut Cheesecake French Toast Sticks?) for these fun Thanksgiving pies. We are big walnut fans here in our house as I’ve mentioned before, and always keep a large bag of walnuts in our freezer.
I always love walnuts for a quick and easy snack, but I also love California walnuts this time of year for fall and holiday baking. Perfect!
All About Walnuts
As I mentioned, we always have a big bag of walnuts in our freezer at all times. Seriously, all times! A one-ounce serving of walnuts is full of nutrients including Omega-3 ALA (2.5g/oz), protein (4g/oz), and fiber (2g/oz). They also contain 44mg of magnesium and 98mg of phosphorus per ounce. Love that they fill me up!
If you like walnuts as much as I do, be sure to store them in the fridge or freezer. If you’re going to use the walnuts soon, you can store them in the refrigerator, away from strong flavors and smells (things like fish…).
However, if you want to keep the walnuts over a month, keep them in their original package or airtight container and stick them in the freezer.
I love snacking on walnuts on a regular basis, but California Walnuts are also great to add to salads, baked goods, chicken and turkey dishes, and anything else you can think of.
Walnuts were a great addition to these mini apple pies for a little crunch and more flavor!
These bite-size desserts are really a cross between a cookie (think tassies), pecan pie, and apple pie. Kind of the best of all of them. The pie crust is almost cookie-like, the filling has brown sugar and eggs like pecan pie, and the pies are stuffed with lots of apples and walnuts like apple pie.
How to Make Mini Walnut Apple Pies
To get started on these Mini Walnut Apple Pies, you’ll first need a mini muffin pan. Mini muffin pans can vary slightly in size so you may need to adjust the recipe a little as you go along. But they are all roughly the same size, so don’t worry, no major changes needed.
First, get started on the pie crust by mixing the cream cheese in a mixing bowl with an electric mixer, then mix in the butter. Make sure the cream cheese and butter are both at room temperature and soft. Otherwise, you may end up with some lumps in your crust.
Then beat in the granulated sugar and salt, followed by the flour. The dough will be fairly soft. Cover the dough and place the dough in the refrigerator for about 20-30 minutes until the dough is chilled, but not too hard.
You can make the dough a day ahead of time but let it come to room temperature a bit before proceeding.
Lightly grease your mini muffin pan, then divide your chilled dough evenly between the 24 cups. A kitchen scale works great for this if you have one, but don’t worry if you don’t! You can just “eye-it” and divide the dough as best you can.
Next, you’ll want to form the dough into little pie crusts by using your fingers to press the dough up the sides of each cup. You can also use the handle of a wooden spoon, or I personally like to use these little wooden tools to help form the crust for these mini apple pies.
My mini muffin pan is slightly on the larger side of others, so the crust was a bit on the thin side which is fine. If your muffin pan is on the smaller size you may have a slightly thicker crust than what it looks like in the photos. Don’t worry, the crust is fairly forgiving.
Place the pan with the crust back in the refrigerator for a little bit while you preheat your oven and make the pie filling.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. While your oven is preheating start on the pie filling.
Any type of baking apple would work well in these pies. I used Granny Smith apples but use your favorite. Peel, core, and finely chop the apple. You’ll probably need about 1-2 apples depending on how big they are.
Finely chop your walnuts, and set them aside.
Be sure your apples and nuts are finely chopped so that you can get a lot of filling into each pie. If your apples and walnuts are too large, you’ll have a hard time getting the filling to fit into each individual pie.
In a large mixing bowl, mix together the brown sugar, eggs, melted butter, vanilla, cinnamon, and salt. Instead of ground cinnamon, you could use apple pie spice or your favorite spice mixture.
Mix in your chopped apple and walnuts until well combined.
Then remove the pie crust from the refrigerator and spoon the filling into each pie. You can fill them fairly close to the top of each pie crust.
Bake the Mini Walnut Apple Pies for about 25-30 minutes or until the crust is golden brown around the edges and the filling is slightly puffed.
Let the pies cool about 5-10 minutes in the pan, then if needed, run a sharp knife between the sides of pie crust and pan to loosen them from the pan. They should pop right out at that point, but depends on your pan.
Cool the pies on a cooling rack for a little while before serving. Or cool them completely for room temperature pie. You can serve the pies either way.
How Long Does Apple Pie Last
These Mini Walnut Apple Pies will last in a covered container about 2-3 days at room temperature. However, if it’s really hot in your home or summer, the pies will probably last on the shorter side.
If you’d like the pies to last a little longer, you can also refrigerate them. If you refrigerate the pies, they’ll last about 4-5 days but the texture may be slightly different. I personally like cold pie, but not everyone does. haha!
How to Freeze Apple Pie
If you’d like to keep these Mini Walnut Apple Pies even longer, you can freeze them.
To freeze, place the pies in a single layer in a resealable bag. Depending on how well they’re wrapped, they could last in the freezer for 3-6 months or longer.
You can wrap each pie individually in aluminum foil for them to last on the longer side. The more air you can get out of the bag or container, the better!
How to Reheat Apple Pie
If you decide to refrigerate or freeze the pies, you may want to reheat them if you like your pie warm.
I personally like to reheat the pies in the oven or toaster oven at about 350 degrees or so for a few minutes. If the pies are frozen, I’d suggest defrosting them in the refrigerator first before heating.
You can heat the pies in the microwave, but the crust may not be as flaky. They will still be delicious though!
How to Serve These Mini Walnut Apple Pies
These pies are great as-is with the sweet apple and crunchy walnuts!
However, if you’re looking to take them up a notch, they are also great topped with whipped cream, ice cream, and/or caramel sauce.
Sprinkle a few extra walnuts on top as well!
These bite-size treats are not only perfect for Thanksgiving, but also the best for holiday parties and potlucks! Great to also keep some on hand in your freezer for last-minute treats or drop-in guests.
Hope you enjoy these cute Mini Walnut Apple Pies with California Walnuts as much as we all did! If you like walnuts, you may also enjoy my homemade walnut butter.
Mini Walnut Apple Pies
- Place cream cheese in a large mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer just for a few seconds until smooth. Beat in the 1/2 cup softened butter until smooth then beat in the granulated sugar and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Then beat in the flour.
- Cover the dough and refrigerate for about 20-30 minutes or until chilled.
- Divide the dough between 24 cups of a lightly greased mini muffin pan. Using your fingers, pastry tool, or handle of a wooden spoon spread the dough up the sides of each cup to form a thin crust. Place back in the refrigerator while you prepare the filling.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- In a large mixing bowl, mix together the brown sugar, eggs, melted butter, vanilla, cinnamon, and salt until well combined. Stir in the chopped walnuts and apple.
- Remove the crusts from the refrigerator, and spoon the filling into each cup of over the crust.
- Bake the pies at 350 degrees F for about 25-30 minutes or until golden brown around the edges. Cool about 5-10 minutes then run a sharp knife around edges of crust to remove. Cool pies slightly on wire cooling rack before serving.