1 cup mascarpone cheese
1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened and divided
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup finely chopped walnuts
1/4 teaspoon plus 1 pinch salt, divided
5 cups peeled, chopped green apple
1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Cinnamon Crumble (see Download for recipe)
• Preheat oven to 350°. Lightly grease 2 (24-cup) mini muffin pans, and set aside.
• In a large bowl and using an electric mixer at medium-high speed, combine mascarpone and 1/2 cup butter. Beat until well blended. Add flour, walnuts, and 1 pinch salt. Beat until dough just comes together. Roll dough into 32 (1-inch) balls, and press into bottoms and up sides of prepared muffin pans. Set aside.
• In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine apple, brown sugar, remaining 3 tablespoons butter, and cinnamon. Cook until apple is soft, about 6 minutes. Using a potato masher, mash apple mixture until mixture is the consistency of chunky applesauce. Remove from heat, and cool for 15 minutes. Add egg, vanilla extract, and remaining 1⁄4 teaspoon salt.
• Spoon apple mixture evenly into prepared dough cups, and sprinkle tops evenly with Cinnamon Crumble.
• Bake for 15 minutes, or until crusts and tops are golden. Let cool completely in pans set on a wire rack.