By peoplestaff225
Updated November 25, 2013 12:02 PM

Proof that good things come in small packages: At the Southern Girl Desserts shop in L.A., apple pie is baked in mini mason jars, creating scrumptious single servings.

Food Network’s Cupcake Wars winners Catarah Hampshire and Shoneji Robison use a traditional southern recipe—no turmeric or fennel flavorings here!—and named it after a beloved family member; in this case, Robison’s Aunt Johnnie Mae.

The dessert, with a cinnamon-spiced filling and buttery crust, is a top seller at the store, which is dedicated to replicating sweets popular in the south. The reason the petite pies are so popular? “Not only do they taste great but who doesn’t love anything in a mason jar—it doesn’t get more southern than that!” says Robison.

Pop them in the oven as everyone is sitting down to dinner, and you’ll have warm, flaky apple pie just in time for dessert.

Aunt Johnnie’s Mae Apple Pie in the Jar
Makes 4-12 pies (depending on the size jar used)

Apple Pie Filling
4 cups of sliced and peeled apples (we use a combination of red and green apples)
½ cup sugar
1 tbsp. butter
¼ tsp. cinnamon
1 tbsp. flour (add more for thicker consistency)

Pie Crust
1½ cups all-purpose flour
½ tsp. salt
½ cup cold unsalted butter
2 tbsp. ice cold water
Melted butter
Wide-mouth Mason jar (any size)

Apple pie filling directions
1. Combine all ingredients in a saucepan on high heat and cook until they begin to simmer. Do not allow them to boil.

2. Once the ingredients begin to simmer, turn heat to low and allow them to cook until the apples are soft enough to cut in half with a spoon. Then allow to cool and thicken. Filling should stick to the back of a spoon.

Crust and Baking Directions
1. While the apples are simmering, start on your crust. (As an alternative, you can use premade dough from the refrigerated section at your local grocery.) In a electric mixing bowl, add the flour and salt. Next add cold butter in pieces a little bit at time with a fork and begin to mix until incorporated. Lastly, add the water.

2. Once all the ingredients have been added, knead into a ball with your hands, wrap in clear plastic wrap and allow the dough to rest for a minimum of 30 minutes.

3. After the dough has rested, roll it out on a clean flat table. You may use flour on the table to keep the dough from sticking.

4. Use the lid of a Mason jar to cut out circles and place one in each jar bottom.

5. Cut out the pieces you need to cover the sides of the inside of each jar. Place enough inside so that the dough hangs over the sides of the jar, which allows for shrinkage while baking. Pour in your cooled apple pie filling to approximately a ¼-inch from the top of the jar.

6. Cover the tops of the jars with the remaining dough, brush the tops with melted butter and bake on a cookie sheet at 350F for 30 minutes or until crust is golden brown. Remove and allow to cool.

—Nancy Mattia