Apple Hand Pies

I may have found the remedy to my baked fruit aversion. Tuck it into a tiny little pie. Then smother it with whipped cream or ice cream. Suddenly, what once was only somewhat tolerable turns into something I’ll downright eat the crap out of. I totally get the whole “a la mode” deal now.

With 8 pounds of apples left after my Apple Braid, and some apple pie spice I found hanging out in the back of the spice cabinet, I decided to get some use out of my new toy and give hand pies another shot.

I found this contraption at Target for about $5. You just roll out your pie crust, open the press up and use the back (non-textured) side to cut out your rounds. Place the round on the textured side, fill with pie filling, then fold over and press to crimp them shut! (Rub a little water around the edge of one side before you fold to help seal.) It seriously cut my pie making time in half! So incredibly easy!

And so incredibly tasty too. Warm from the oven and smothered with the can of whipped cream I’ve had hanging out in the back of my fridge-- oh man. I never thought I’d say that about an apple pie, but seriously. This won me over. The recipe only made 8, and I’m not ashamed to say I ate 2 of them myself, and contemplated eating the two I saved for pictures that I promised to give to Boyfriend, since he seemed to like them a lot. After snagging one in the car from the container of still-warm-from-the-oven pies I was taking to my parents while I went back inside to grab something, he declared them to be “pretty kick-@$$”.

My only warning—don’t overfill your pies. I learned this after my one casualty sort of exploded in the oven. But it still tasted amazing.

My other word of advice—check the expiration dates on things in your pantry every now and then. When I pulled my apple cider vinegar out, I noticed there were some gross random floaties in it. Then I realized it had expired about a year ago. Oops. (Also, feel free to substitute regular vinegar instead, so you don’t end up going to the store to buy 1 thing and walk out with $70 worth of groceries you probably didn’t really need.. Not that I’d know anything about that. And don’t forget to take the water you have chilling out of the freezer if you go to the store, because you’ll come home to an ice cube rather than ice water.. But I wouldn’t know that either.)

Apple Hand Pies
Adapted from Joy the Baker and My Kitchen Addiction
Makes 8 pies (or up to 2 dozen depending on size of cutter)

2 ½ cups all purpose flour
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
¾ teaspoon salt
¾ cup (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter, chilled, cut into small cubes
¼ cup (4 tablespoons) shortening, cut into small cubes
5 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons ice water
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

3 apples, peeled, cored, and finely diced (about 3 cups)
¼ cup dark brown sugar, lightly packed
1 teaspoon apple pie spice*
½ teaspoon lemon juice

1 to 2 tablespoons half and half or heavy cream
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

*Note: If you don’t have apple pie spice, simply use ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon, ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg, 1/8 teaspoon allspice, and if you have it, 1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom.

1. Make crust: In a large bowl, whisk together flour, salt, and sugar. Using a pastry cutter, add shortening and chilled butter and cut into flour mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs. (Some will look like oatmeal flakes, others will be the size of peas.) Stir together ice water and vinegar. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture, and add liquid, stirring until dough comes together and holds together when squeezed. If mixture is too dry, add additional water, a teaspoon at a time, until it reaches the right consistency.
2. Divide dough in half and create a disk out of each. Wrap each disk in plastic wrap and refrigerate until cold, at least 1 hour. Let sit out for about 2 minutes to warm up slightly before rolling out.
3. Make filling: In a medium bowl, stir together apples, brown sugar, apple pie spice, and lemon juice to coat evenly.
4. Assemble: Preheat oven to 375F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Roll out pie dough to ¼-inch thick. Cut out circles with a pocket pie press or a circular cutter (anywhere from 3 to 6 inches wide, depending on how big you want your pies to be.), gathering scraps and rerolling (try to do no more than 2 to 3 times, otherwise your dough will be tough.).
5. Spoon filling into center of dough round (2 teaspoons to 2 tablespoons, depending on the size of your round), and brush the edges with a little bit of water. Fold dough in half to create a half circle and press to seal. Place on prepared baking sheets. Cut a small slit in the tops of each pie to create a vent.
6. In a small bowl, mix together cinnamon and sugar for the topping. Lightly brush the tops of the pies with half and half and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar mixture. Bake, rotating pans halfway through, until tops are golden, about 16 to 18 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool slightly before serving with ice cream or whipped cream.
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Kiesha said...

Now you must try my Whiskey Apple Pie (easily convertible to hand pies).

Dorothy @ Crazy for Crust said...

Mmmm...I love apple pie. Your hand pies are so cute! It's like portion control. :)

The Mrs said...

Exploding pies are just as yummy I'm sure. I just saw said contraption the other day and passed. I see now that was a mistake.

Samantha said...

I need to get that contraption from target ASAP! I would have been happy to eat the exploded pie!

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