Hello again! Since the start of this blog, I have been perusing recipes all over the place. I have created a to-do list of mouthwatering breakfasts, lunches, dinners, pastries, cakes, cupcakes....and the list continues. Tonight, I was dying to try these apple hand pies. Well, since I made mexican for dinner, I will call them apple "empanadas". I found a tasty looking recipe here and got it on my one-track mind that I had to make them ASAP. Not having a pastry blender couldn't even stop me! Sad, I know.
I ended up following the recipe pretty closely except for a few things. Instead of the pastry blender, I tried using a potato smasher, knives, hand mixer, and a fork. Since the butter was chilled in the freezer beforehand, I had the most success with the fork. Next time I will definitely go to pick up $10 pastry blender beforehand. Oops! I also didn't have circular cookie cutter. I just eyeballed it and made the circles in the dough with a knife. It ended up working pretty well. Other than that, the recipe was the same. Enjoy!
Apple Hand Pies (from Brown-Eyed Baker)
-2 1/2 cups flour
-1/2 teaspoon salt
-16 tablespoons (2 sticks) of unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
-1/2 cup sour cream
-4 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
-1/2 cup ice water
-2 apples, peeled, cored, and diced small
-1/3 cup sugar
Egg Wash Ingredients:
-1 egg yolk, beaten
-2 tablespoon water
-Coarse sugar for decoration
1. To make the pastry, in a bowl, combine the flour and salt. Place the butter in another bowl.
2. Place both bowls in the freezer for 1 hour. Remove the bowls from the freezer and make a well in the center of the flour. Add the butter to the well and, using a pastry blender, cut it in until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Make another well in the center. In a small bowl, whisk together the sour cream, lemon juice and water and add half of this mixture to the well. With your fingertips, mix in the liquid until large lumps form. Remove the large lumps and repeat with the remaining liquid and flour-butter mixture. Pat the lumps into a ball; do not overwork the dough. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour. If preparing ahead of time, the dough can be stored at this point for up to one month in the freezer.
2. Divide the refrigerated dough in half. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out one half of the dough to 1/8-inch thickness. Using a 4 1/2-inch-round biscuit cutter, cut seven circles out of the rolled dough. Transfer the circles to a parchment-lined baking sheet, and place in the refrigerator to chill for about 30 minutes. Repeat the rolling, cutting, and chilling process with the remaining half of dough.
3. Mix the diced apple with the sugar, and cook over low heat for 8-10 minutes, until the apples are tender. Set aside. Prior to preparing the pies, drain any accumulated liquid from the apples.
4. Remove the chilled dough from the refrigerator, and let stand at room temperature until just pliable, 2 to 3 minutes. Spoon about 1 to 2 tablespoons filling (use the smaller amount for a 4-inch circle) onto one half of each circle of dough. Quickly brush a little cold water around the circumference of the dough, and fold it in half so the other side comes down over the filling, creating a semicircle. Seal the hand pie, and make a decorative edge by pressing the edges of the dough together with the back of a fork. Repeat process with remaining dough. Place the hand pies back on the parchment-lined baking sheet, and return to the refrigerator to chill for another 30 minutes.
5. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Remove the chilled hand pies from the refrigerator, cut a small slit in each and lightly brush with the egg yolk wash. Sprinkle sanding sugar generously over the pies, and place pies in the oven to bake. Bake until the hand pies are golden brown and just slightly cracked, anywhere from 20 to 40 minutes, depending on how thick you rolled the dough. Remove the pies from the oven, and let stand to cool slightly before serving.
They just came out of the oven! Not only does my apartment smell fabulous right now but they also taste EPIC! Seriously, insanely good. Way more portable than regular apple pies and there are no dishes to clean after eating them!
*Next time I might try and add cinnamon to apple/sugar mixture, just a thought!