Mini Mason Jar Apple Pies
How to make apple pie in a mason jar – with sweet apple pie filling inside, and a comforting mini pie crust baked on top! These mini mason jar apple pies are quicker to bake than a full pie, they’re perfectly portion-sized, and they’re a tasty lightened-up option with less pie crust overall. An adorable single-serving dessert idea for a holiday party or gathering!
What is apple pie in a jar?
On the one hand, there are home-canning recipes for apple pie filling in a jar—which is essentially sliced apples stored in a spiced sugar syrup, ready to bake in a pie crust. But this is a baked apple pie in a mason jar, complete with a cooked apple pie filling and a pie crust on top. Unlike some “health-ified” apple trifles or apple crisp recipes that use granola instead of pie crust, this is a real-deal apple pie—made miniature!
Classic vs. Mason Jar Apple Pie
- Similar but Simplified Recipe. The procedure for these mini mason jar pies is similar to a classic pie recipe, but they’re much easier to make. You still need to cook the apples for the filling, but there’s less pie crust to worry about, and using premade refrigerated pie dough keeps things extra simple!
- No Blind Baking or Soggy Pie Crust. The pie crust is usually the trickiest part of making a full-sized apple pie. Do you need to blind bake the crust? Should you poke holes in the bottom? And why does your pie still turn out soggy & watery anyway?? These mini mason jar apple pies remove all that confusion because there’s no crust on the bottom—just a perfectly crisp mini pie crust on top!
- Lightened-Up Option. This recipe uses less added sugar than traditional pies, there’s no cornstarch in the filling, and each mini apple pie is individually portion sized. Plus, since there’s only crust on top, there’s less pie crust per serving. Instead of trying to “health-ify” apple pie by nixing the crust altogether, I still get to enjoy my favorite part of the classic dessert—the pie crust—but in a lightened-up form. When I’m hosting over the holidays, it’s nice to have lighter options that leave room for me to try other tasty treats!
Can you bake in mini mason jars in the oven?
Although mini mason jar pies are adorable, it’s important to note that most mason jars are technically not oven-safe. Popular brands like Ball and Kerr mason jars are sturdy enough for the dishwasher, but the glass isn’t tempered. That means they’re not designed to withstand the heat in an oven, and there’s a risk they might shatter. That said, I personally did bake my mini apple pies in mason jars, and they turned out great. For the safest option, invest in some oven-safe glass jars for baking, or bake your mini apple pies in small ramekins.
Mason Jar Apple Pie Ingredients
- Apples. Most apple pie recipes use Granny Smith apples, but I used Honeycrisp apples since they’re naturally sweeter—which allowed me to use less added sugar overall. You can use either variety, or both! Just be sure to chop your apples into small pieces, since they’re going into a jar rather than a large pie dish.
- Dates. Chopped dates add natural sweetness, and they become nice and caramelized after baking. Feel free to omit them, or substitute with raisins or chopped prunes.
- Lemon Juice. Just a squeeze of citrus helps keep the apples fresh & prevents browning!
- All-Purpose Flour. Instead of using cornstarch to thicken the apple pie filling, I made this lightened-up version with flour instead. I think it works just as well, and thickening the filling isn’t as important when it’s going straight into a jar.
- Sugar. With the natural sweetness from Honeycrisp apples & dates, I only needed around ½ Tbsp sugar in each of these mason jar apple pies. Of course, always sweeten to taste. (Or, feel free to use your favorite apple pie filling recipe instead of my lightened-up version!)
- Spices. I kept things simple with cinnamon & salt, but you could use apple pie spice, pumpkin pie spice, or any warm spices you enjoy.
Butter. Cooking the filling in butter adds so much richness & comfort to my apple pie jars! If needed, use coconut oil or your preferred cooking oil instead.
- Pie Dough. I used 1 sheet of Pillsbury refrigerated pie dough, which I cut into mini circles to fit my mason jars. Or, if there’s a recipe for homemade pie dough that you like, you can use that instead!
Mini Pie Crust Options
The simplest way to make apple pie in a mason jar is to cover just the top of each jar with pie dough. This option lightens up the recipe, and it has the best crust-to-filling ratio—so you get some pie crust, but not too much relative to the apple filling. If you want more crust than this, you could also line the bottom and/or sides of each jar with pie dough. This option will just require more work, and I think there ends up being too much crust for such a small portion. Option 1 is easier, Option 2 gives you more pie crust to enjoy—choose the option that feels right for you!
How to Make Apple Pie in a Mason Jar
- Prep Filling Mixture. First, peel and chop the apples into small pieces, then toss together with chopped dates and lemon juice. Separately, whisk together flour, sugar, and spices. Then, add the dry mixture into the apple mixture and toss to coat.
- Cook Apple Pie Filling. Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat, then add the apple filling mixture and stir well. Cover and cook over medium-low to low heat for 10-15 minutes until the apples soften, stirring occasionally.
- Cut Out Mini Pie Crusts. Remove your refrigerated pie dough from the package and unroll it on a flat surface. Using a 3 to 3½-inch round cookie cutter, cut out circles of dough to fit the top of your mini pie jars. (For me, 1 refrigerated Pillsbury pie dough yielded 8 mini pie crusts.)
- Assemble Mason Jar Pies. Fill mini mason jars (4oz) with apple pie filling. (I had enough to fill 4 mini jars.) Then, place a mini pie crust on top of each jar and press around the edges, crimping with a fork to seal them. Chill the jars in the fridge for around 5 minutes.
- Brush Crust with Egg Wash. To finish your mini apple pie crusts, brush the top of the pie dough with whisked egg to help it brown in the oven. Then, cut vents in the top of each crust with a knife and add a sprinkle of demerara sugar for a caramelized finish (or use regular sugar).
- Bake Mini Mason Jar Apple Pies. Transfer mason jars to a baking sheet and bake at 375°F (190°C) for 20-25 minutes, until the crusts are golden brown.
You can see my step-by-step process for making these mini mason jar pies in my Holiday Finger Food Desserts video!
Mason Jar Apple Pie Recipe
Apple Pie Filling
- 2 Honeycrisp apples, (or Granny Smith)
- ½ cup pitted dates, finely chopped
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- 1½ Tbsp all-purpose flour
- 2 Tbsp sugar
- ¾ tsp cinnamon
- ⅛ tsp salt
- 1 Tbsp butter
- splash of water, if needed
- 1 refrigerated pie crust, (rolled sheet of dough—not frozen in a pie tin)
- 1 egg, whisked
- 1-2 tsp demerara sugar, or turbinado sugar
- round cookie cutter (~3¼-inch size)
Apple Pie Filling
- Peel apples and chop into small, bite-sized pieces. (Smaller is better for mason jar pies.)
- Add chopped apples to a large bowl with chopped dates and toss with lemon juice.
- Separately, whisk together flour, sugar, cinnamon, and salt.
- Add dry ingredient mixture into apple mixture and toss to coat.
- Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add apple mixture and stir to coat.
- Cover pan and cook 10-15 minutes over medium-low to low heat, stirring occasionally, until apples have softened. (Add a splash of water as needed if it gets sticky.)
- Remove pan from heat and allow to cool slightly before adding filling into jars.
Mini Pie Crusts & Assembly
- Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C).
- Unroll refrigerated pie crust dough on a flat surface. Use around cookie cutter to cut circles of dough, around 3-3½ inches in diameter. (My 7-oz pie dough yielded 8 mini pie crusts.)
- Fill small 4-oz mason jars with apple pie filling mixture. (Yields enough to fill 4 mini jars.)
- Cover filled mason jars with mini pie crusts, pressing around the edges with your hands and crimping with a fork to seal.
- Transfer assembled jars to the fridge and chill 5 minutes.
- Whisk an egg and brush on top of pie dough. Cut vents in the top of each mini crust with a knife. Finish with a sprinkle of demerara sugar.
- Place jars on a baking sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown.
- Yields 4 mini mason jar apple pies.