Hand-Held Apple Pies
by May 7, 2017,
Photo Credit: Diana Rattray
These individual apple pies are super easy to make with fresh apples and brown sugar. The pastry is a simple butter and cream pastry. I used buttermilk in the pastry for the pictured pies and topped them with coarse vanilla sugar.
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
- Combine the brown sugar and cornstarch in a large saucepanh; blend well. Add the apples and lemon juice and mix well. Stir in the 1 teaspoon of vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, and a dash of salt. Add the 2 tablespoons of butter.
- Place the saucepan over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook the apple mixture for about 8 to 10 minutes, until the diced apples are tender and the mixture is thick. Stir freqently. Remove from the heat. Refrigerate until thoroughly chilled.
Assemble and Bake
- In a large bowl, combine the flour, 2 tablespoons of sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Blend well. Add the cold butter in pieces and cut in with a pastry blender or with fingers. Alternatively, use a food processor for this step, mixing with short bursts. The mixture should look like coarse crumbs with some pea-sized pieces of butter.
- Combine 4 tablespoons of cream (or buttermilk) with 1 teaspoon of vanilla. Add to the flour mixture and toss with your hands until the dough begins to form clumps. Add more cream, in very small amounts, until large clumps begin to form.
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Bring the dough together, moistening hands if necessary. You want it to hold together but not be too moist. Shape the dough into two flat disks and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 375 F.
- Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Roll each disk out on a lightly floured surface. Using a 4 1/2 or 5-inch cutter, cut out circles. If you don't have a large cutter, invert a 5-inch bowl on the dough and cut the circles out with a sharp knife
- Put about 1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons of filling in the center of each circle. With a finger, dab some milk or cream all around the edge. Fold the circle over to encase the filling, press the edge all around to seal, and then crimp with a fork. Repeat with the remaining circles. Gather up the dough scraps and repeat until all of the dough is used. Arrange the filled pies on the prepared baking sheets.
- Whisk the egg yolk with 1 tablespoon of milk or cream. Lightly brush each little pie and then sprinkle with coarse sugar, if desired. With a sharp knife, cut a small slit in the top of each pie.
- Bake the pies for 23 to 26 minutes, or until they're golden brown and the filling is hot and bubbling.
- Remove the pies from the oven and let them cool in the pan on a rack.
- Makes about 2 dozen, depending on size of the circles.
- Store the pies at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 3 days or wrap and freeze the pies for up to 3 months.
- Thaw and reheat in a 350 F oven until warm, or about 20 minutes.
Makes 24 Servings
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