Basically: I saw this recipe floating around Tumblr, I had an apple languishing in the crisper, and I still had some leftover pie dough. So I thought I might as well take a stab at it. Unfortunately it turned out kind of a mess. Apparently Golden Delicious apples, while a fine variety to use in pie interiors, are not the sort whose outer walls will hold up particularly well for this application. You want to use a firmer apple, like a Granny Smith or Braeburn or Winesap.
It is also possible that my problem came from scooping the walls too thin. I used a grapefruit spoon to carve out the inside, which on the whole was kind of a pain in the ass. I put the apple in the oven and kept an eye on it as it baked. Good thing, too, because at the 25-minute mark the entire thing slumped down and fell over. I attempted to rescue and prop it back up with an aluminum foil snake for the rest of the baking time, but the damage was done. The pie crust got mangled (I tried to hide the worst of it at the back of the photos).
This wasn’t a total failure. I will try it again with a different apple variety. It definitely tasted good. I’m sure I can make it turn out prettier.
1 firm-fleshed apple (ie. NOT A GOLDEN DELICIOUS, LEARN FROM MY MISTAKE)
1 Tbsp sugar
1/2 Tbsp AP flour
1/4 tsp cinnamon
dash of salt
enough pie dough to make a 3-inch round at 1/4-inch thick
powdered sugar (optional)
Heat oven to 370. Cut off the top of the apple. With a grapefruit spoon or melon baller or really, really carefully with a knife and spoon, scoop out the interior of the apple. Try not to pierce the skin. Discard the core and dice the rest. Peel the top bit you cut off and dice that flesh as well. Mix diced apple with a few drops of lemon juice, sugar, flour, cinnamon, and salt.
Place apple shells on a lipped baking pan lined with parchment. (If you are making a lot of these—like 12—I read a suggestion to nestle them in a muffin tin, which would totally counteract the slumping problem I had. Don’t cram them in there, just use the wells to sort of cradle their bottoms.) Fill the apple shell with the chopped apple mixture.
Roll out your pie dough to 1/4-inch thick. Cut out a circle (or use some kind of fun cookie cutter) and poke some holes in it with a straw (steam holes!). Place the dough lid on top of the apple. Don’t mold it down, just place it on top.
Bake for 40 minutes. The dough should be nicely golden on top. Sprinkle top with powdered sugar (optional).