Apple hand pies

Sunday, January 10, 2016

"To satisfy the sharp desire I had
Of tasting those fair apples, I resolv'd
Not to defer; hunger and thirst at once
Powerful persuaders, quicken'd at the scent
Of that alluring fruit, urge me so keen."

- from "Paradise Lost" by John Milton

Tempted by apples? You wouldn't be first.

Fruit desserts have always been the sweets I love most. And although she's generally grateful for what I serve, my youngest daughter reminds me from to time that it's chocolate she likes. That "fruit" doesn't really make a dessert.

She said the same thing a couple of weeks ago, but added a postscript I'd never heard before. "Except apples," she said. "I'll eat anything with apples in it."

I wasn't going to waste time wondering why I'd never heard this message before. I was on a hunt for an apple dessert recipe that would put chocolate out of everyone's minds. I found such a recipe in a cookbook Andrew gave me for Christmas, Montreal Cooks. This collection of recipes, by the top chefs of Montreal, currently bears about a dozen bookmarks showing the recipes I want to try next. But it was the Apple Pies by chef Josie Weitzenbauer of Leche Desserts that most captivated me. And they didn't disappoint. The pastry was, quite simply, the best I've ever made. And my family swooned over the filling so much, I know I won't defer before making them again.

Apple Hand Pies

I make some changes to the quantities in the recipe to avoid having more apple filling than I needed.
These amounts gave me 9 pies and a mini-galette.
Adapted from Montreal Cooks, by Jonathan Cheung and Tays Spencer

Pie crust
1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut in small dice
1/2 cup shortening, cut in small pieces
1 large egg (first amount)
1 cup water (first amount)
1 tsp cider vinegar
5 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 cup water (second amount)
2 eggs (second amount)
1 large egg yolk

Apple filling
6 cups diced peeled apples (I used Gala and Cortland)
3/8 cup white sugar
1 1/2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

Place the butter and shortening in a bowl and refrigerate until chilled, about 20 minutes.

In a small bowl, whisk together one egg, 1 cup of water and the vinegar, and refrigerate.

In a large bowl, combine the flour and salt until well mixed. Add the cold butter and shortening, using your hands to press it into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Make a well in the centre of the flour mixture and add the egg mixture. Using your hands, mix until the dough is just combined. Do not overwork the dough or it will become tough. Form it into a ball, wrap it in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Place the apples in a medium pot, add the sugar, flour and cinnamon, and mix until the apples are coated. Cook over medium heat for 15 minutes, or until the flour is well-absorbed and begins to thicken. Transfer the filling to an airtight container and refrigerate until cool.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a small bowl, whisk together 2 eggs, the egg yolk, and the 1/4 cup of water to make an egg wash. Set aside.

Lightly dust a clean work surface with flour. Unwrap the chilled dough, set it on the work surface, and roll it into a circle 1/8 inch thick. Using a bowl with a 6-inch diameter, cut out rounds.

Use a pastry brush to brush half of each round with the egg wash. Place a scoop of apple compote on top of the egg wash, leaving 1/4 inch between the filling and the edge of the pastry. Fold the unfilled half of the pastry over the filling, matching up the edges and pressing them together. Using a fork, crimp the edges to seal them. Repeat until all the pies have been filled and sealed.

Use a sharp knife to pierce a steam hole in the tops, set the pies on the baking sheet, and bake for 30 minutes.


Julie said...

Those are beautiful!!! I bet they were delicious!

Bonnie said...

Oh how I love apple pie. I am going to have to try these! Happy New Year!

That Girl said...

I'm a fan of apples on their own, but baked goods with apples are another level!

That Girl said...

I'm a fan of apples on their own, but baked goods with apples are another level!

We Are Not Martha said...

Mmm I would love one of these right about now :)


handmade by amalia said...

Weather permitting, we are going on a picnic this weekend and I've been trying to think of something nice to bring. These would be perfect if I make them in the morning (I'm an early riser, no problem there). Thanks so much for sharing the recipe and the idea, Beth.

Angie's Recipes said...

How did you know that I just bought a 5kg-bag of apples? These hand pies look droolworthy!

Unknown said...

Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm yummmmmmmy ! Awesome blog ! Thank you for sharing, visit me whenever you have time at !! Kisses, Dominica S.

grace said...

i'm the kind of person who prefers fruit desserts over chocolate options, so i'm all about these. the filling looks perfect and so does your crust--excellent work!

Gloria Baker said...

What lovely and delicious apple pies Beth !!
I love all with apples ! Happy New Year!!

Unknown said...

I absolutely love apple hand pies. Yours look amazing! I'm glad apple desserts are approved in your house :)

Tricia Buice said...

Wow - now I'm craving apple hand pies! These are gorgeous and sound amazing. What a terrific recipe!

Jemi Fraser said...

I can smell them bubbling away now! Those are going in the Gotta Try it List! :)

Liz That Skinny Chick Can Bake said...

Apple desserts are some of my favorites! I just made an apple/pear crisp this weekend. Your hand pies would be a hit, too!

amy (fearless homemaker) said...

Oh, these look wonderful! Apple desserts are also some of my favorites and these little hand pies look delightful. YUM!

Monica said...

It's wonderful to find a recipe the whole family swoons over. I was all about chocolate growing up and while I'm still a lot that way, I'm definitely open to fruit desserts now. I just wish I had an apply hand pie right now for afternoon tea.

Pam said...

It is indeed an alluring fruit and you baked it up perfectly, Beth! Yours pies have to be delicious!

DMS said...

Those apple hand pies look soooooo good! I love that you went with the fruit opening your daughter gave you. Sounds like everyone was happy! Yeah! Thanks for sharing. :)

Kitchen Riffs said...

Love hand pies -- so cute. Apple are the best. We haven't baked apple anything in ages -- shame on us! But we will. :-)

Marcela said...

oh! these are my favorites!

Cheri Savory Spoon said...

Hi Beth, there is nothing better than a hand pie, your's look delicious. Also I love that sweet little plate, Happy New Year!

Inger @ Art of Natural Living said...

I have a freezer full of local fruit that I froze from summer into fall--this looks like a great idea on how to use some up!

Marcelle said...

I've been craving an apple pie lately! I definitely have to make these. Love me some hand pies and these look so good :)

Andrea_TheKitchenLioness said...

Beth, I am a serious apple dessert lover too and your hand pies look like a treat I would adore!

Katerina said...

I love, love apple pies and these little bites are even more delicious!

Unknown said...

I love that they're called hand pies, we call them turnovers over here!

lisa is cooking said...

I wish I could grab one of these from the screen! I love fruit desserts too, and these little pies look delightful.

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