Saturday, October 18, 2008

Apple Pie Goes Mini

So in the quest to finish off all of the million and one apples that have taken up residence in our kitchen, I have decided to spread my wings and test my boundaries. Thus, when Annie and Chelley posted recipes in their blogs for mini hand pies I was intrigued, especially by Chelley's apple pies. I was also slightly frightened, as I have never made a pie dough in my life. I'm not sure why that is, but I've never had the desire to try to best Pillsbury. But I recently decided to try to test myself in the kitchen and this seemed like a great way to do it. So last night while Doug was at work I set about the task of preparing the dough (with Chelley having told me it would be ok over night). I was actually really surprised at how easy this was. It takes a while, but most of that is just chill time for the dough and I never once felt frazzled. I was so excited when it was all ready and it "looked like a dough!" as I told anyone who would listen.

Today I attempted rolling out the dough, which is something I do not have a lot of experience with. And let me tell you, I definitely need some practice! I had a heck of a time rolling my dough out to the same thickness each time, but I finally got it to work. I broke open my 101 cookie cutter box for the first time to use the circular cutter to make the pies, which worked perfectly. I actually had fun filling these with the apple sugar mixture and sealing them up. I felt like Alton Brown making the decorative edges, using the egg wash and adding sanding sugar to the top.

These are absolutely awesome and I totally recommend making these. They take a while but they are totally worth it.

Chelley did a great job of describing the process of making these, so check out her blog.

Apple Hand Pies

I got it from Brown Eyed Baker

She adapted from Smitten Kitchen

For the pastry:

2½ cups all-purpose flour

½ teaspoon salt

16 tablespoons (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into pieces

½ cup sour cream4 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

½ cup ice water
For the Filling:

2 apples, peeled, cored and diced small

1/3 cup sugar
One egg yolk beaten with 2 tablespoons water (for egg wash)

Coarse sanding sugar, for decoration

1. To make the pastry, in a bowl, combine the flour and salt. Place the butter in another bowl. Place both bowls in the freezer for 1 hour. Remove the bowls from the freezer and make a well in the center of the flour. Add the butter to the well and, using a pastry blender, cut it in until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Make another well in the center. In a small bowl, whisk together the sour cream, lemon juice and water and add half of this mixture to the well. With your fingertips, mix in the liquid until large lumps form. Remove the large lumps and repeat with the remaining liquid and flour-butter mixture. Pat the lumps into a ball; do not overwork the dough. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour. If preparing ahead of time, the dough can be stored at this point for up to one month in the freezer.
2. Divide the refrigerated dough in half. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out one half of the dough to 1/8-inch thickness. Using a 4 1/2-inch-round biscuit cutter, cut seven circles out of the rolled dough. Transfer the circles to a parchment-lined baking sheet, and place in the refrigerator to chill for about 30 minutes. Repeat the rolling, cutting, and chilling process with the remaining half of dough. (I used a 4-inch cutter-if you can call a “cutter” the tin edge of the container that holds my smaller round cutters-and managed to get 12 from each dough half, after rerolling the scraps.)
3. Mix the diced apple with the sugar, and cook over low heat for 8-10 minutes, until the apples are tender. Set aside. Prior to preparing the pies, drain any accumulated liquid from the apples.
4. Remove the chilled dough from the refrigerator, and let stand at room temperature until just pliable, 2 to 3 minutes. Spoon about 1 to 2 tablespoons filling (use the smaller amount for a 4-inch circle) onto one half of each circle of dough. Quickly brush a little cold water around the circumference of the dough, and fold it in half so the other side comes down over the filling, creating a semicircle. Seal the hand pie, and make a decorative edge by pressing the edges of the dough together with the back of a fork. Repeat process with remaining dough. Place the hand pies back on the parchment-lined baking sheet, and return to the refrigerator to chill for another 30 minutes.
5. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Remove the chilled hand pies from the refrigerator, cut a small slit in each and lightly brush with the egg yolk wash. Sprinkle sanding sugar generously over the pies, and place pies in the oven to bake. Bake until the hand pies are golden brown and just slightly cracked, anywhere from 20 to 40 minutes, depending on how thick you rolled the dough. Remove the pies from the oven, and let stand to cool slightly before serving.


Katie said...

Wow! Those look AMAZING!

Chelle said...

Awesome job!! It definitely took me awhile to get used to working with homemade pie crust, and yours looks amazing! I'm so glad you enjoyed these :)

Melody said...

These look heavenly. I will definitely be trying these. Thanks!