Happy New Years everyone! Last night we celebrated new years eve with a few friends and I decided to make some apple hand pies for everyone as a dessert. They’re definitely more convenient to eat than slicing an entire pie and it’s already portioned for everyone!
They’re surprisingly easy to make but it does require a bit of prep time. It’s also a bit tricky working with the pie crust because it needs to consistently be cold or it will be hard to work with.
Let’s begin by talking about how to make the pie crust. We followed a recipe by Alton Brown as we were looking for one that required the use of lard since we had some lying around. I cut up my butter and lard into small pieces and placed them in the freezer for 15 minutes to ensure that they’re super cold. In the meantime, I also prepared a bit of ice water in preparation of putting together the dough.
When the time was ready, I threw all the dough ingredients into a food processor. Yes a pastry cutter would’ve sufficed but this was easier. I pulsed the lard with the flour and salt first until it broke down into smaller pieces. I then added the cold butter and pulsed it until the mixture looked lumpy. I added the cold water in a little at a time and continued to pulse while ensuring I don’t overmix it. The end result should be something that looks like coarse meal.
You’ll know when your crust is ready when you try to squeeze the mixture into a ball and everything holds together. Once it holds together, you can stop and shape the dough into a disc and saran wrap it to chill in the fridge for approx 30 mins.
After your dough has chilled, take it out of the fridge and start ripping small pieces of the dough and shaping it into a ball. On a floured surface, flatten the ball into a disc and roll it out to approximately 5 inches in diameter. We didn’t have a round cookie cutter so I improvised and used a small bowl to trace around with a knife. .
Then, I filled it up with approximately 1/2 tbsp of apples. Fold the dough over and press it close with your fingers to lock in the apple mixture. Finish it off by pressing the edges with a fork to get that crimped design. Set aside on a baking sheet for now until you’re done with all of them. When ready, you can brush each of them with the egg wash to help them brown during the cooking process. Slice a few small slits into the hand pies to help the apples steam better and place it in a preheated oven at 400F for approximately 45 mins. When they’re golden brown, you know they’re ready!