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Photo by Richard Rudisill.

Mini apple pies with Nutella sauce

Posted: Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2012

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Chef Troy Gagliardo

Chef Troy Gagliardo is a self-taught chef that has parlayed his years of kitchen experience into many other culinary ventures. Including designing and developing his all-grilled restaurant concepts, a proprietary spice line, cook books, commercials, food styling, cooking/restaurant columns, endorsements, cooking classes, and live appearances. Troy has been voted as one of the Charlotte’s Top Five Chefs two years in a row by Creative Loafing readers and competed in the Iron Fork competition both years. Chef Troy has appeared in two national commercials with NASCAR legend Dale Earnhardt Jr. and joined him for a media tour day just days before Dale Jr. won his second Daytona 500 to start the 2014 NASCAR season.For the past seven years, Chef Troy has appeared each week on Charlotte's morning show WCCB News Rising, cooking his way through "Troy’s Everyday Eats". Filmed live each week at the WCCB Charlotte studios, Chef Troy teaches his unique style of food with a simple approach directed toward the home-cook/viewer.His feature on Rising began in August of 2007, and since has become the most anticipated part of the show. During that time Troy has prepare over one thousand of his creative original recipes live on-air and has made several cooking appearances on the night time show, WCCB News Edge. Chef Troy teamed up with The Fresh Market as a sponsor for “Troy’s Everyday Eats" in April of 2011. Troy shops each week at The Fresh Market for the ingredients used on the show, he says, "The Fresh Market sponsorship is something I have pursued for a long time. I love shopping at their markets because everything is always so fresh. They have a large variety of organic and sustainable food options. As a consumer and chef, I couldn't ask for anything more". Warren publishing recently signed Chef Troy to publish his new cookbook entitled Pseudo Southern-a playful twist on the art of southern cooking, which has been endorsed by Top Chef Alum and best-selling author Fabio Viviani and also star of “A Chef’s Life” Vivian Howard. Fabio said of Pseudo Southern, "Southern food is my second home. It's as close to my heart like Italy is, and that is why I love Troy's recipes so much. They remind me of the childhood I would have had if I was born in the south”. Vivian had this to say, “Troy’s take on southern food is just left of center, fun, and refreshing. His recipes are approachable that even the most jaded cook will be intrigued to try.” Chef Troy is also a free-lance food writer for the Charlotte Observer and and lives in Mooresville, NC with his wife Tracy, of twenty-three years, and their two daughters, Ally and Isabella. He can be seen every Tuesday morning from 7-9 am on WCCB News Rising.

I always try and come with something a bit different for sweet treats around the holidays other than the classic cookie. Don’t get me wrong, I love cookies and love receiving them during the holiday season.

However, it is always a bit awkward when exchanging homemade gift for homemade gift and you end up with a similar cookie than the one you just gave away. Here is something a little bit different that you can use for holiday parties or to “one up” in the giving department.

These little pies are the perfect excuse to get the family in kitchen with Christmas tunes playing to have some fun putting together this perfect little homemade gift. These mini apple pies are kicked up using almond extract, cinnamon and a touch of ginger. The Nutella sauce is perfect dipping, is super simple to make and takes these mini’s to a whole new level.

So before you consider buying store bought holiday cookies and dressing them up in a gift box, make a mini apple pie test batch. You and the family are sure to want share with all those cookie givers on your list.


• 2 Each-Refrigerated Pie Crust Dough
• 2 Each-Granny Smith Apples
• 1 Each-Lemon-juice of
• 2 Tablespoons-Unsalted Butter
• 1/4 Teaspoon-Almond Extract-or vanilla extract
• 2 Tablespoons-Brown sugar
• 1 Tablespoons-Fresh Ginger-grated
• Pinch-Ground Cinnamon
• 2 Tablespoons-All Purpose Flour
• 1 Each-Egg Yolk
• 1 Tablespoon-Heavy Cream


• ½ Cup-Nutella

• 3 Tablespoons heavy cream


1. Preheat oven 425 degrees
2. Peel apples, remove from core, cut into small cubes and place in a mixing bowl.
3. Add lemon juice and mix to combine.
4. Melt butter in a large non stick pan over medium heat until starting to foam.
5. Add apples/lemon juice, almond extract, sugar, ginger, cinnamon and stir to combine.
6. Cook stirring frequently to soften apples, about 5 minutes.
7. Add flour, stir to incorporate and cook until liquid in pan begins to thicken, about 5 to 7 minutes.
8. Remove and let cool to room temperature, about 10 to 15 minutes.
9. Remove pie dough from package, flour both sides and gently roll dough out to about a 14” diameter.
10. Butter a sheet tray and set aside.
11. On one of the pie dough mound cooled apple filling in 8 piles.
12. Lay second dough on top and form over mounds.
13. Using a cutter larger than the mounds cut out each mini pie.
14. Fold edges of dough over, pleating each fold all the way around filling to seal.
15. Place each on sheet tray.
16. Whisk egg yolk and milk together and brush top of each pie.
17. Poke three small holes in the center of each.
18. Place in preheated oven and cook until golden brown, about 15-20 minutes.
19. Remove from oven and let cool slightly and serve with Nutella sauce to dip.

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