Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Apple Hand Pies

One of my best/oldest friends is getting married next fall and I am making the desserts for her wedding. I couldn't be happier for her! This past Sunday I had her and her fiance over to taste-test their options.

There were mini cheesecakes, macarons, apple hand pies and vegan/gluten free cake and frosting. Yes people, a cake exists that is both vegan and gluten free. It is a thing. And is actually not half bad.

Full disclosure, last week tested me. It was a busy one. But I remedied all that Sunday evening when I ate one of these hand pies, chugged some coffee and went on a long run. Pretty much any situation can be improved with that combination.

These pies are (1) cute, (2) portable and (3) filled with a buttery, well spiced apple mixture. Win win win.

Apple Hand Pies
makes 6

1 1/4 c AP flour
1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
1/3 c shortening
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cold water

apple filling
1 c apple pieces (I used one large apple, diced into 1/4" pieces)
1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
pinch nutmeg
pinch cloves
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

demerara sugar
heavy cream

1. Make crust by combining flour, salt, sugar and shortening in a medium bowl; use your hands to break up the shortening and work together until mixture resembles coarse sand
2. Add cold water incrementally (I do it by the tablespoon), working dough with your hands until it comes together and is elastic but not sticky (you may need a little more water, just go by how it feels/looks)
3. Shape dough into a round, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate while you assemble your pie filling
4. In a pan, cook apples with butter, sugar, vanilla and spices until they soften slightly, the liquid will reduce and begins to caramelize (about 10 minutes); remove from heat and cool completely
5. Pre-heat oven to 425F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper
6. Roll chilled dough out onto a floured surface
7. Cut into 12- 3" circles, re-rolling dough as necessary (I used a biscuit cutter but the rim of a small glass works too!)
8. Place 6 of the dough rounds onto the prepared baking sheet and scoop a heaping Tablespoon of cooled filling into the center of each one
9. Top each with another round of dough, lining up the edges; then using the tines of a fork, press to seal all sides of the mini pies
10. Brush the tops of the pies with cream and then use a sharp knife to poke 2-3 small vents into the tops of each pie
11. Sprinkle the pies with demerara sugar and bake at 425F for 20-25 minutes (the crust should be golden)
12. Cool before enjoying!

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