Apple Hand Pies

7 pies
1 hr 25 min

When I was younger, I always thought pie dough was extremely hard to work with. In fact, I was always afraid of making any kind of pie dough as I’ve heard too many stories of it being soggy, shrinking, not flaky etc. I steered clear of pie dough for many many years for this reason and always opted for the easy press in kind when I absolutely needed it. The past year, I’ve started getting over the fear and started making pie after pie, galette after galette until I felt confident in working with this type of dough. It really paid off because I just can’t imagine my life being the same without this pastry in my life. I hope you try this dough recipe and find it as easy to work with as I do. The fillings are endless but I tend to steer towards fruit. My all-time favorite is sour cherry filling but since it’s winter where I live, apple is just as nice and more seasonal this time of year.

Recipe details

  • 7  pies
  • Prep time: 45 Minutes Cook time: 40 Minutes Total time: 1 hr 25 min
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Ingredients

Pie dough

  • 315g all-purpose flour
  • 15g granulated sugar
  • 5g fine sea salt
  • 225g unsalted butter
  • 1/2-3/4 cup ice water
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar

Apple filling

  • 1 large Granny Smith apple, small diced
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp granulated sugar

Instructions

Make the dough

I like to make the dough in a big bowl with my hands. I find it’s easier than having to wash my food processor but do whatever works for you.
Cut your butter into cubes and keep refrigerated until you’re ready to use it.
In a large mixing bowl, add in the flour, sugar, salt and mix until combined.
In a measuring cup, mix together the ice cold water and the apple cider vinegar. Set aside.
Remove the butter from the fridge, add it to the flour mixture and toss to combine with your hands. Using your hands, smoosh the butter into flat pieces until all of the cubes are flattened. Continue working with the butter until the flattened pieces are smaller and the mixture is a bit cohesive.
Add in 1/2 cup ice cold water to the flour and butter mixture and work it with your hands. The dough will most likely still feel dry. If so, continue to add the water a tablespoon at a time until the dough comes together. Give your dough a few kneads to pull it together.
Cover the ball of dough with plastic wrap and flatten to a disk shape. I like to form it into a square to make it easier to roll out. Refrigerate the dough for a few hours until firm.

Apple filling

When the dough has finished chilling and you are ready to make your hand pies, then it’s time to prepare your filling.
Peel and core the Granny Smith apple and cut into small dice. Add it to a small bowl along with the cinnamon and sugar. Stir to combine.

Making the hand pies

Preheat your oven to 400F.
Remove the dough from the fridge and roll out on a floured work surface. I like to roll the dough into a rectangular shape as I find it easier to cut the dough with a knife later.
Roll out to about 1/4” thickness and cut into your desired shape. I prefer to cut into squares or rectangles to avoid having to re roll the dough too much.
Take one piece of your dough and add in about a tablespoon or two of the apple filling. You want the mixture to be full but not overfilling. Top with another piece of dough. Seal all of the sides by pressing a fork into the dough. Using a sharp knife, cut a few slits on the top to let the steam escape. Transfer to a sheet pan.
Once your sheet pan is full, pop it into the oven and cook for about 40 minutes for large hand pies. Mine are about the size of my hand. Reduce the time if you are making smaller pies.
Check on your pies at the 40 minute mark to see if you like the color on them. I like them to be golden brown rather than pale. Since the dough is naked and not brushed with an egg wash, you have the freedom to let them bake longer to achieve a super flaky crust.
When done, remove from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, remove from the sheet pan to a wire rack to cool further.
They can be eaten warm or at room temperature.

Tips

  • I don’t use an egg wash on my pies as I like to have the freedom of letting them bake longer and get darker to achieve the flakiness. Egg wash has a tendency to burn.
  • The unbaked pies freeze beautifully and bake up very well frozen with a few extra minutes added to the baking time.

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