Fall into apple season: Welcome autumn with my recipe for individual apple pies
Core and peel the apples, and cut into slices 1/4-inch (6-mm) thick.
In a skillet over medium-high heat, melt 4 tablespoons of the butter. Add the apples and sprinkle with the sugar. Cook, stirring frequently, until the sugar caramelizes slightly but the apples remain slightly crisp, 2 to 3 minutes. Very carefully pour the Calvados or cognac over the apples, and let the alcohol cook off for a few seconds. Remove from the heat and set aside.
Preheat the oven to 350 F (175 C).
On a lightly floured surface, use a rolling pin to roll out the puff pastry to a 1/8-inch (3-mm) thickness. With a 4-inch (10-cm) cookie cutter, cut out 8 circles, gathering and rerolling the scraps if necessary. With the tip of a small, sharp knife, score a design in the centers of the puff pastry circles, taking care not to cut all the way through. Refrigerate until needed.
Divide the cooled cooked apples among the tart shells. Divide the remaining butter among the centers of the tarts. Top with puff pastry circles, leaving the sides unsealed. Brush the top of each pie with a bit of egg wash before putting the pies in the oven.
Bake in the preheated oven until the pastry is golden brown, 40 to 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and leave at room temperature for about 10 minutes before serving.
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With a spatula, transfer each pie to an individual serving plate. Remove the tins or rings, if necessary using the tip of a small, sharp knife to separate the pastry. Place a scoop of ice cream on the side. Serve immediately.
Makes about 1 1/2 pounds (750 g)
2 1/3 cups (585 mL) cake flour or pastry flour