Apple Hand Pies to keep you warm and cozy in this chilly weather… who could resist?
I know I’m quite late to the fall party, but I just wasn’t feeling it. The weather here was a raging 33 ºC all of last week (though that’s not how raging it can get, we’re talking 45 ºC in summer!). So, I played it cool (pun intended), and decided to wait it out. What’s that they say? Eat seasonal. 😛
But I’m grateful, for over the past few days, there’s a nip in the air. A light chill, flicking the tip of my nose. A graceful flutter of crisp, refreshing breeze caressing my skin ever so lightly. The fuzzy slippers are out and I bought my first sweater of the season three evenings ago! I’m excited, I love winter and layering up and Christmas (ahhh CHRISTMAS!!) and holiday baking. I love how the kitchen is nice and toasty this time of year, just perfect for cooking up warm comfort food and baking rich, buttery goodies!
Speaking of rich buttery goodies, we’re making these adorable Apple Hand Pies today!
This recipe makes 16-18 hand pies. Here’s what you need:
For the Pastry:
- All Purpose Flour – 2 and 1/2 cups (375 g)
- Sugar – 2 tbsp
- Unsalted Butter – 2 sticks (226 g), cold and cubed
- Ice Water – 1/4 cup
- Salt – 1/2 tsp
For the Apple Pie Filling:
- Green Apple – 1, large, cut into bite-sized pieces
- Red Apple – 1, small, cut into bite-sized pieces
- Ground Cinnamon – 1 tsp
- Brown Sugar – 3 tbsp + extra for sprinkling
- Lemon Juice – 2 tbsp
- All Purpose Flour – 1 tbsp
- Egg – 1, lightly beaten for egg wash
Here’s how you make these marvelous Apple Hand Pies:
- Make the pastry: Combine flour and sugar in the food processor/mixer grinder and whiz. Add in cold butter and pulse until the mixture turns clumpy and crumbly. Then pour in ice water and blend until dough is still crumbly but holds together when pressed between fingers. Turn the dough out on to plastic wrap and form into a disc. Wrap it tightly and refrigerate for an hour.
- Make the filling: In a bowl, mix together chopped red and green apples, cinnamon, brown sugar, lemon juice and flour until it comes together; set aside.
- Shape the pastry: Preheat the oven to 190 ºC/ 374 ºF. On a lightly floured surface, roll out half the pie pastry evenly – lifting and turning at short intervals to ensure it doesn’t stick – until it is about 1/2 cm thick. Using a round 2.75 inch diameter cookie cutter, cut out pastry circles, lift them and place them on a lined cookie sheet. Lift off the remaining pastry scraps, press together and repeat the rolling and cutting process. Using a small star cookie cutter, hollow out the centers of some of the pastry circles. Alternatively, you can cut the rolled pastry into thin strips for a lattice pattern.
- Assemble the pies: Spoon 1/2 tablespoon of filling onto a whole pastry circle, wet the sides with water, then place a star-hollowed pastry circle on top. Pinch the edges tightly together, then press down the edges with the tines of a fork to create a pattern. You could also create a lattice with strips of pastry dough over the filling and pinch and secure the edges. Watch this easy pie lattice tutorial by King Arthur Flour.
- Bake the Pies: Brush the tops of the Apple Hand Pies with egg wash and sprinkle with some brown sugar. Place the assembled pies in the fridge for 10 minutes, then bake for 25 minutes – turning the cookie sheet halfway through – or until the pie crust is golden and the apples are cooked through.
- Serve: You may serve these Apple Hand Pies warm just as is or with a scoop of ice cream; or refrigerate them once completely cooled. Then serve chilled and crispy.
I love Apple Pie and I’m willing to reimagine it into as many forms as possible. Be it an Apple Pie Mug Cake, a Caramel Apple Slab Pie or these super cute Apple Hand Pies. One thing is clear, the concept of Apple Pie requires no selling, for it is a classic and with good reason. Nevertheless, I do believe these Apple Hand Pies are just the slightest bit more special and here is why…
How good are they to look at?
A slab pie, if not made pretty with cookie cutters, hollows, braids, lattices et al, can be quite an eyesore! These Apple Hand Pies on the other hand are such delights to look at. So dainty and charming! Just looking at them makes my heart sing. They are enticing and easy on the eyes, and before you know it, you’re reaching out to take one! 😉
That pastry, gurrrl!
Once I’ve found/developed a perfect recipe for a staple like pie crust, shortbread, galette, etc, I hardly ever mess with it. And such is this recipe, my go-to pie crust! It works perfectly every. single. time! The pastry is easy to make and easier still to handle. It is not in the least temperamental, rolls out easily and lifts right off a well floured surface with no drama. Of course, if your kitchen is way too hot, it may throw a tantrum or two, but I’ve found that there’s nothing chucking it back in the refrigerator for 15 minutes can’t fix. When baked, it’s the right amount of sweet and salty, rich and buttery; and turns out flaky and golden; a crisp and crackle that’s to-die-for!
Owing to how little filling goes in between two rounds of pastry in these Apple Hand Pies, I knew that if these pies were to taste good, they would need a filling packed with flavour. So I chopped up green apples that gave tang and red apples that brought sweetness. I added in brown sugar for that lovely caramelised oomph; cinnamon, because what is apple pie without this warm, earthy spice; a sprinkle of lemon juice for punch; and salt to elevate it all and extract those lovely flavours. And what we get once baked is a genuine flavour bomb, bursting with the goodness of crunchy apple pie filling that will leave you swooning!
Don’t we all love handcrafted presents? And don’t we all appreciate how someone can create beautiful, art, sculpture, craft with their nimble fingers?What makes these Apple Hand Pies stand out is that handmade feel to them. Pinched, pulled and fashioned into mini confections that are just so charming, they’ll take your breathe away. Which ultimately makes them perfect for homemade/handmade edible gifting! Also, those little stars cut out from the tops of the pies are giving me holiday feels. Put two and two together and you’ve got a special, heartfelt holiday gifting trick up your sleeve!
Baby, it’s cold outside, the holidays are comin’ knockin’, and we’ve got these Apple Hand Pies to keep us warm! Make these, NOW! What better way to ring in the holiday season? ❤
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