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These Mini Apple Tarts are loaded with all the flavors of fall. Flaky, buttery puff pastry cups are baked in the oven and filled with an easy-to-make warmly spiced apple pie filling.Pin this recipe for later!
Table of Contents
Why I Love This Recipe
- The Garnish – Apple pie filling baked in puff pasty will always be tasty. Sprinkle the puff pastry apple tarts with chopped pecans, a drizzle of caramel sauce, and a dollop of whipped cream; you’ve got an impressive & ultra-decadent bite-sized dessert!
- Flavors of Fall – I have a serious sweet tooth, especially when the weather starts to cool off. Making these mini apple tarts is a delicious way to enjoy those flavors.
- Easy to Make – Using store-bought puff pastry means there’s no mixer, no rolling pin, and no complicated fluting. Simply unwrap, cut, and bake them with a muffin tin to create a perfectly buttery, flaky, and decadent dessert cup ready for filling.
- Perfectly Portioned – Rather than being saddled with a huge slice of pie at the end of a meal, these mini apple pies are the perfect size for satisfying your sweet craving without sending you into a food coma.
How To Make Mini Apple Tarts
See recipe card below for ingredient quantities and full instructions.
Par-Bake Puff Pastry Pie Crusts. Cut the puff pastry sheets into squares and press the dough into muffin tin cups. Poke holes into the bottoms with a fork then bake at 375℉ for 7 minutes.
Make Apple Pie Filling. Sauté apples, butter, sugar, spices, and salt in a saucepan until apples are fork tender. Make cornstarch slurry and add half of it to the apples to thicken, adding more as needed. Set aside to cool and thicken.
Fill Pastry Cups. Remove the puff pastry from the oven and press down gently with a teaspoon to make a well for the filling. Fill each cup with apple mixture. Bake for an additional 10-12 minutes.
Cool & Garnish with chopped pecans, caramel sauce, and whipped cream, if using. Serve warm, or at room temperature.
I’m a big fan of mixing and matching tart Granny Smith with sweet Honeycrisp for a balanced, not-too-sweet filling. Other good apple varieties for baking include any apple with firm flesh, such as Braeburn, Cortland, and Pink Lady.
The trick is to par-bake the pastry before adding the heavy, wet filling. Prick the bottom of the pastry with a fork to allow the steam to escape (to help make the base more crusty), then bake for a minimum of 7 minutes before adding your filling.
For these mini puff pastry apple tarts, YES! Since they are so small and cook so quickly, we want to make sure that the apples get a jump start on softening before they ever hit the oven. That said, there are many apple pie recipes that do not require this step.
How To Serve
As far as I’m concerned, there’s no more American of a dessert than apple pie, and that’s basically what these mini tarts taste like. That means these tasty treats are equally at home on your 4th of July cookout spread as they are on winter holiday tables.
Add the toppings yourself and serve as a dessert for a dinner party, or set up a platter of the mini apple pie tarts with small bowls of toppings to everyone can create their own unique dessert.
Toppings – Caramel sauce, chopped pecans or peanuts, whipped cream, or vanilla ice cream.
Refrigerate Leftovers – These mini apple tart bites are best if eaten within a few hours. Any leftovers can be stored at room temperature for about a day and enjoyed at room temperature.
Make Ahead – You can make the apple pie filling a few days in advance and keep it refrigerated in an airtight container. The puff pastry should be baked an hour or so before you need to serve them. Keep in mind that making the filling several days in advance lessens the time the finished dessert leftovers will be considered safe to eat.
Freezing – You can freeze the finished apple tarts; in fact they freeze really well! Cool them completely and before garnishing, arrange them on a baking sheet and flash freeze for 1-2 hours. Once they are solid, you can transfer them to a freezer bag and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw completely and warm in the oven to serve.
- It is helpful to use two muffin pans if you have them so you don’t have to work in batches. This is the mini muffin pan I used.
- Keep the puff pastry cool, but thawed. If it becomes warm while you are working with it, put it in the freezer for 3-5 minutes until it’s cool to the touch again. This will help preserve the integrity of the lamination (that’s fancy baking speak for “flaky layers”).
- An apple peeler tool can be used to peel, core, and slice the apples quickly. A decent apple machine can be purchased for about $20-30, and it’s an excellent tool to have in your kitchen, especially during the fall!
- To enhance the flavors of the filling, add a teaspoon of lemon juice or vanilla extract.
Apple Desserts to Try Next
- Easy Microwave Apple Crisp in a Mug
- Apple Blackberry Crumble
- Easy Crockpot Apple Butter
- Slow Cooker Apple Cider (From Scratch!)
- Apple Cinnamon Muffins
Mini Apple Tarts Recipe
- 17.3 ounce package Puff pastry sheets thawed but cold
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 2 Granny Smith apples peeled finely diced
- 3 large Honeycrisp apples peeled finely diced
- ¾ cup light brown sugar packed
- 1 ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- Pinch nutmeg
- Pinch salt
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 tablespoon cold water
- ¼ cup chopped pecans
- Caramel sauce
- Whipped cream
- Preheat oven to 375℉. Lightly spray a mini muffin tin with non stick cooking spray. *It is helpful to use two mini muffin pans if you have them*
- Unfold the puff pastry sheets and cut each sheet into 9 equal size squares, follow the fold lines to cut it into thirds, then cut each of those rectangles into thirds to make 9 squares. Press each square into mini muffin tin cups and press in to mold them to the cups. Poke a few holes (dock) into the bottom of the pastry with a fork. Bake for 7 minutes.
- While the puff pastry bakes: Saute apples, butter, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt in a large non-stick saute pan over medium heat, stirring frequently, until apples are fork tender, about 5-8 minutes.
- Make a cornstarch slurry by whisking the cornstarch and cold water together in a small bowl.
- Once the apple are tender, stir in half of the conrstarch slurry to thicken. Stir constantly for 1-2 minutes. If more thickening is needed, add more of the slurry until you are happy with the consistency. Remove from heat and allow it to cool. It will continue to thicken as it cools.
- Remove the puff pastry from the oven, it will have puffed up. Press the pastry down gently into tins with a teaspoon to deflate/ make a well for the filling.
- Fill each puff pastry cup with 1 heaping teaspoon of filling. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until golden brown.
- Cool in pan 3-5 minutes, remove to cooling rack to cool completely. Once cooled, garnish with chopped pecans, caramel sauce, and whipped cream if using. Serve warm, or at room temperature.
- Keep the puff pastry cool, but thawed. If it becomes warm while you are working with it, put it in the freezer for 3-5 minutes until it’s cool to the touch again.
- You can make the apple pie filling a few days in advance and hold it cold in the fridge in an airtight container. The puff pastry should be baked an hour or so before you need to serve them.