August 5, 2011

Apple Hand Pies

I never thought I would be excited about a few old apples. That is until I decided to make apple hand pies. We came home from vacation and my mom was getting ready to replace our apple stash and before tossing the old apples out she asked if I could use them for baking. I suddenly remembered a recipe for hand pies that I had been anxiously waiting to try! I didn't have to long to make this dessert which I didn't think would be a problem. After reading through a few recipes, I realized all the recipes required lots of extra time for chilling the dough. That is, time that I didn't have. So in my desire to make the hand pies anyways, I expedited the process. I am here to tell you, these quick hand pies were easily the best thing I have ever baked! The crust was somewhat flaky, yet thick, moist, buttery, and delicious! I highly recommend this to any pie lover, and the only thing that would have made these better was some vanilla ice cream on the side. So don't worry about messing up on these pies because anything with buttery crust and sugar coated apples is hard to turn into a total disaster!

2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
16 tbsp. butter
1/2 cup sour cream
4 tsp. lemon juice (I had no lemons, so I used fresh squeezed juice from an orange)
1/2 cup ice water

3 cups chopped apples
1/2 cup sugar
3 tsp. lemon or orange juice
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tbsp. flour

Combine the flour and salt. Chop the cold butter up into small pieces and refrigerate for 15 minutes. Use a pastry blender or fork to combine the butter and flour to try and achieve a mix with pea-sized crumbs. 

Mix the sour cream, lemon juice, and ice water. Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir with a wooden spoon. Form the dough into a ball and cover to refrigerate until you are done preparing the apple filling.

Chop the apples and add the sugar, lemon juice, nutmeg, salt, cinnamon, and flour. Stir well making sure to cover all the apples. Place the apples in the refrigerator. 

Working with 1/2 the dough at a time, roll the dough out onto a lightly floured surface until it is 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick. Use a round cookie cutter that is about 5" in diameter to cut out rounds of dough. Place the rounds onto a parchment lined cookie sheet. 

Take a tablespoon of apple filling and place it in each pie crust round. Press the edges of the crust together and use a fork to press a decorative design around the edge. 

Bake the completed hand pies for about 20-22 minutes at 375 degrees or until golden brown. Before the hand pies are cooled sprinkle with granulated sugar.

The pie crust recipe comes from the Smitten Kitchen's Bourbon Peach Hand Pies.

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