Total time: 1½ hours, plus cooling time for the pies
Note: To rehydrate the raisins, place them in a small saucepan and cover with rum, another liqueur or juice, and warm over gentle heat until the raisins are softened and plump. Remove from heat and drain before using.
4 tablespoons (½ stick) butter
6 large tart apples, such as Granny Smith, peeled, cored and cut into ½-inch pieces
3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Scant ½ teaspoon salt
1/2 cup raisins, rehydrated in rum, another liqueur or juice
12 unbaked mini pie crusts, with 12 unbaked top crusts
Prepared egg wash (1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water)
Coarse sugar for dusting, if desired
1. Make the filling: In a large skillet over medium heat, melt the butter. Stir in the diced apple, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt, and cook, stirring frequently, just until the apple starts to soften, 4 to 5 minutes (the pieces should still be crisp). Remove from heat and stir in the raisins. Spread the apple mixture onto a baking sheet and allow the apples to cool quickly, then cover and refrigerate until needed. The filling can be made up to 2 days in advance.
2. Heat the oven to 375 degrees.
3. Fill the pie shells: Brush the edges of each bottom crust with the prepared egg wash and fill with the apple filling, a generous one-fourth cup filling for each shell, carefully packing it in the shell so there are no gaps and mounding the filling slightly in the center. Top the filling with the top crusts (use a knife to cut vent holes in the top crusts if they are not already vented), and brush the top crusts with egg wash. Gently roll the outer edges of each bottom crust inward over the top crust to seal the pies and crimp as desired. Brush with a little more egg wash and dust if desired with a sprinkling of coarse sugar.
4. Bake the mini pies, one tin at a time, in the center of the oven until the filling is set and the crust is puffed and golden brown, about 35 minutes.
5. Cool the pies, still in the tins, to room temperature, twisting them gently every few minutes so they do not stick to the pan.