Apple Biscuit Pinwheels
I’ve seen several posts on Pinterest for mini apple pie “pinwheels recently using pie dough and thin apple slices and swirling them together. I often have leftover pie dough laying around, so I tried making my own a few weeks ago. I found that I wanted something fluffier, not so dense, as a handheld treat it just didn’t work for me. I started thinking about a way to make it work with biscuit dough and also put apple butter in the filling to enhance the apple flavor. These pinwheels are flaky and beautiful and not too sweet.
Let’s get to it!
My go to biscuit recipe is from a cookbook called Ratio. It’s all about breaking recipes down into ratios. This biscuit recipe is the 3-2-1 recipe, in other words, 3 parts flour/2 parts fat/1 part liquid. I’ll be honest, this biscuit recipe is the only one I’ve used out of the book but they turn out flaky and lovely every single time! I also like the idea of giving recipes in ratios so you can mix things up. It would be interesting to try these biscuits but substitute part of the fat for lard or coconut oil to create a new flavor. If this sounds interesting to you, it is totally worth checking the book out.
One thing about this biscuit dough is that you’ll need to start on it several hours before you’re ready to actually bake the pinwheels. There are multiple iterations of rolling out the dough and chilling. It’s not much more work and makes for a really flaky biscuit, just warning you. I’ll often make the dough the day before I will be using it, breaking the task up like that makes everything seem like less of a hassle.
To make the dough, mix together the flour, salt, sugar and baking powder in a bowl. Then cut in the butter until it’s in pieces no larger than a pea. In this respect, this dough comes together very similar to pie dough.
Now pour in the milk and stir until the dough comes together. I recommend 2% or whole milk for this, to add a nice richness.
Pat the dough into a rectangle and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill it in the fridge for at least an hour.
Take the dough out of the fridge and roll out on a floured surface to about 3 times its length. Then fold it into thirds (like a brochure) and wrap up plastic wrap again. Chill for another hour.
Now it’s pinwheel time! First you’ll slice your apples. Cut your apples in half, take out the core and seeds, and then slice them into thin half moons. We have a mandoline so I used that to get my slices nice and uniform. For this recipe you’ll want to use a crunchy and tart apple like a granny smith, Gala or Macintosh. These apples best because they don’t get too mushy in the oven and add a really great flavor.
Next you’ll mix together the brown sugar and apple butter. I had some apple butter I canned last fall, but you should also be able to find it at the grocery store. It’ll be in the jam/jelly/peanut butter aisle, since it’s kind of like an apple jam. The first time I tried making these I used apple butter and water and it was too thin, so it all seeped out the bottom. Now we’re making a paste with the sugar and apple butter to prevent that. Set that aside and get your biscuit dough out of the fridge. We’re almost these, so coat a muffin tin with cooking spray.
You’re going to repeat the brochure roll-up once more, so roll the dough out to 3 times its size again, fold it up like a brochure and then roll it into a 15″ by 8″ rectangle.
Then cut the dough on the shorter side into 12 equally sized strips.
Take one of the strips and stretch it slightly and brush one side with the apple butter and sugar mixture.
Now place apples on the strip, overlapping them. Then tightly roll the strip into a pinwheel and put it in the muffin tin.
Repeat with all the strips.
Now you’ll chill the pinwheels in the fridge for 30 minutes. This will help the dough stay flaky and will also help with the seepage problem I mentioned before. About 5 minutes before taking your pinwheels out of the fridge, preheat your oven and melt your butter. Brush the tops of the pinwheels with the butter and sprinkle generously with sugar.
Bake 20-24 minutes or until they are browned on the top and the dough is cooked through. Let them cool in the muffin tin about 10 minutes before devouring.
These pinwheels are so delicious! They are flaky, crispy, buttery and sweet without being cloying.
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- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 4 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 4 teaspoons sugar
- 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into cubes
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- 2 tablespoons apple butter
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 2 large or 3 small gala, granny smith or macintosh apples
- 1 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- Mix together the flour, salt, sugar and baking powder in a bowl. Cut in the butter until it's in pieces no larger than a pea.
- Pour in the milk and stir until the dough comes together.
- Pat the dough into a rectangle and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill for at least an hour.
- Roll the dough out on a floured surface to about 3 times its length. Fold it into thirds (like a brochure) and wrap up plastic wrap again. Chill for 1-24 hours.
- Cut apples in half, take out the core and seeds, and slice into thin half moons.
- Mix together the brown sugar and apple butter and set that aside.
- Coat a muffin tin with cooking spray.
- Repeat the brochure roll-up once more, so roll the dough out to 3 times its size again, fold it up like a brochure and then roll it into a 15" by 8" rectangle.
- Cut into 12 strips.
- Take a strip and stretch it slightly and brush one side with the apple butter and sugar mixture.
- Place apples on the strip, overlapping them.
- Roll the strip tightly into a pinwheel and put it in the muffin tin. Repeat with all the strips.
- Chill the pinwheels in the fridge for 30 minutes.
- About 5 minutes before taking pinwheels out of the fridge, preheat the oven to 400 degrees and melt butter.
- Brush the tops of the pinwheels with the butter and sprinkle generously with sugar.
- Bake 20-24 minutes or until they are browned on the top and the dough is cooked through.
- Let cool 10 minutes before removing from the muffin tins.