Spiced Apple Hand Pies

My daughter wanted to make apple hand pies, and after I saw this post I knew exactly what recipe I was going to use for the crust.  It’s basically a short-cut puff pastry, and it’s flaky and fun to work with.

We used these cutters for the star.  The trick to using these, is to push the cutter by the base into the dough (like a cookie cutter), then push the plunger down and lift out.  Next, you can push the plunger and out pops the dough shape.

Pie Dough Adapted from this post

2 cups flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 cup cold butter, divided and cut into 16 pieces

1/2 cup cold sour cream, full fat

In a food processor, place the flour, salt, and baking powder and pulse until combined.  Next, add 1/2 cup (which is 1 stick or, 8 pieces) of butter and pulse until crumbly.  Then add the remaining stick of butter (cut into chunks) and pulse for just a few seconds.

*You want big chunks of butter in the dough so that when you fold it you create layers of butter that puff up really nicely in the oven.

Pour mixture into a bowl and add the sour cream.  Stir until the dough starts to form a ball, and then roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface.  Fold the bottom up,  then the top down, and turn it so the fold is on your left, and roll it again, repeating the folding.

Cover with plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator for an hour, or overnight.

When you’re ready to roll out the dough, place it on a lightly floured surface and roll to about 1/4 inch thick.  Then cut it into rectangles (a pizza cutter works well for this).

Next, scoop some filling in the center of one pastry, and place a star cut-out pastry on top and then crimp the edges with a fork, and brush with egg wash (1 egg whisked with 1 Tablespoon water).

Next, place the star cut-outs on the egg washed pastry and press gently to adhere, then coat the star accent with egg wash.  Bake in the oven at 425 degrees for 18 minutes.

Coat with glaze (see recipe below) while still hot.

Enjoy!

Apple Filling

3 Granny Smith Apples, peeled and cut into chunks

2 Tablespoons cinnamon

pinch of salt

3/4 cup sugar

1/4 cup cornstarch

1 Tablespoon lemon juice

Toss the apples into a bowl with the cornstarch, sugar, and cinnamon and stir to coat.  Next, add the salt and lemon juice and continue to mix until the apples are completely coated.  Set aside.

In a medium saucepan, melt 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter over medium heat, and pour in the apple mixture.  Cook until the apple mixture thickens, about 5 to 8 minutes.  If it becomes too thick, add water a Tablespoon at a time until it loosens.

Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.  Take off the heat and set aside to fill pastries.

*The apples shouldn’t be completely cooked down, since they’ll continue to cook when the pastry is baked.

Glaze Adapted from this post

1 cup powdered sugar

1/4 teaspoon cornstarch

1 Tablespoon milk

Whisk together until there are no lumps.  Add more milk as necessary.  Brush onto hot pastries to create that beautiful shine.

Linking to Jam Hands, Lil’ Luna

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