This past Tuesday Little Miss I and her Granny Janny went to a bakery to buy bagels (I did not make bagels last week… and if you read my previous post you’ll find out why). While they were there she saw a tray with apple hand pies, which caught her eye. Instead of asking for one, she immediately said: “I’m going to ask my mom to make those with me!”
Last week was my little one’s birthday, and we gave her as a present a veggie and fruit cutting set from Curious Chef. She was very eager to help me do all the preparations to do the pies, as it includes a scrubber, knife, peeler and an apple slicer too. So, for cooking class we got all the fixings for the apple hand pies and got to work.
I found a few ideas for the dough and put that together on my own. Then I had Little Miss I and our friend Mr. E to help me with the filling. Little Miss I tried with the peeler from the set, but ended up getting a nick on her finger (nothing bad and it barely bled, but she got a nick). The apple slicer was also hard to use, as it requires quite a bit of force to be able to cut through the apple. The knife, on the other hand, was very easy for her to use, and she help me dice the apple until she got bored. The serrated plastic blade cuts fruits easily, but it’s best used for coarse jobs. She had previously used it to put together a fruit salad all on her own, which made her feel incredibly proud of herself. I think the gift set is very cute, but at 6 I think she’s still not strong enough to be able to use all the gadgets yet. We yet have to try the melon baller, though…
Once the filling was ready, I called my little chefs back to fill in the pies. They put the filling, folded the dough, pressed the sides and sealed everything with the fork. They did a hand pie each and off they went again to play while I finished the other 8 pies.
After dinner we all had the pies for dessert, and they were very yummy! The pastry shell is light and flaky, with just a touch of sweetness. I loved the dough as it has flexible and easy to handle, without becoming tough because of all the handling. The filling is the same one I use for the regular apple pie — I use Golden Delicious apples as they retain their shape instead of turning into mush, like the Granny Smiths. All in all, this recipe became an instant favorite around our house! I’m sure we’ll be making these again very soon…
- 2 1/2 c. all purpose flour
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 c. unsalted butter, chilled
- 1/2 c. plus 2 TBS buttermilk, cold
- 1/2 c. ice water
- 4 Golden Delicious apples
- 1/2 c. sugar (a little more if the apples are too tart)
- 1 TBSP lemon juice
- 1 TBSP flour
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
- In a big bowl, put the flour, salt and sugar and combine.
- Make a well in the center of the flour and cut the chilled butter in little squares. Add to the center of the well and cut into the flour with a pastry knife until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
- Make a well in the center again, and then add the cold buttermilk and ice water a little at the time, mixing with your fingers or a spatula until the mixture is just combined... but making sure not to knead it. If the dough feels too sticky, add a little more flour until it holds together.
- Divide the dough into two flat circles, wrap in plastic film and chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour, while you make the filling.
- Peel, core and dice the apples.
- Place the cut apples in a bowl and sprinkle with the sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and the lemon. Let them macerate for at least 20 minutes.
- Turn oven on at 375º F with the rack in the middle rung.
- Take out one of the rounds of dough and roll out on a lightly floured surface with a rolling pin until it is about 1/4 inch thick. Using a 4 inch cookie cutter, or a knife, cut either rounds or squares for making the pies.
- Put about 2 TBS of filling on one side of the cut pieces and fold in half. Seal all the sides well and use a fork to press them down.
- Place the hand pie on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or a silpat mat.
- Continue until all the dough and all the filling is used, placing hand pies in the cookie sheet at least 1 inch apart.
- Cut vents in each pie and drizzle with clear sugar sprinkles on top. You can also use an egg yolk wash if you want your pies to be shinny, or melted butter, if you want them to be even softer.
- Place in the oven for 30-40 minutes, until the filling is bubbly and the outside golden.
- Cool of on a wire rack and serve. Enjoy!