It's taken me many years to admit that I love apple pie. It's not that I have a personal vendetta against it. It's just that I always rejected apple pie in favor of sweeter options, like my grandma's peanut butter pie.
Until I discovered this shameless trick: When no one is looking, I scrape out the crust, and leave all of the apple goop behind. The crust absorbs the apple flavor, but I don't have to, you know, eat the apples.
Then I found something even better: apple crumb. Instead of the traditional latticework of pie, apple crumb has a brown sugar/butter topping that is crispy, amazing...and also kind of difficult to separate from the apple filling. Which means I'm forced to eat an entire slice of pie, fruit and all.
I tried it, and liked it.
Well, actually, I loved it.
Two years ago, I attempted to make him an actual apple pie, but I dumped the whole thing in the oven. Needless to say, I don't consider pie-making one of my favorite hobbies.
But my boss loves apple pie.
This is my (delicious) compromise.
The recipe called for a caramel drizzle on top. But I decided to use the icing that came with the cinnamon rolls instead.
The effect was pretty outstanding. In the words of my office's resident foodie, "This is your best creation yet. I love apple pie, but man, this is above and beyond." I call that success.
Apple Pie Cinnamon Roll Cupcakes
From Inspired Taste
What you need
4 Tbsp unsalted butter
2 large Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and diced into ¼" cubes
½ tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp salt
1 ½ Tbsp lemon juice
¼ cup flour
¼ + 2 Tbsp brown sugar, packed
¼ cup chopped walnuts
1 can (12.4 oz) refrigerated cinnamon rolls
Put it all together
- Preheat the oven to 400°F. Lightly coat 8 regular-size muffin cups with cooking spray.
- In a large skillet, melt butter over high heat. Add the apples, and cook for 5 minutes, or until softened. Make sure to stir them occasionally so they don't burn. Sprinkle with 2 Tbsp brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Cook for 5 more minutes, then add lemon juice.
- Combine butter, flour, ¼ cup brown sugar, and walnuts with a fork until crumbly. Set aside.
- Separate the cinnamon rolls, and flatten each one into a 4" round. Press them into the muffin cup, essentially creating cinnamon roll bowls. Divide apple filling evenly among the 8 cups, then sprinkle the brown sugar/walnut mixture over each. (Hint: Press into small clumps, rather than leaving it loose.)
- Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until bubbly and slightly browned. Cool 5 to 10 minutes before removing from cups onto a cooling rack. Serve while hot, drizzling cinnamon roll icing over each.
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