I love these Double Apple Hand Pies. The buttery flaky crust is perfect with the tart apple filling. The filling is a combination of dried apples cooked in orange juice and spices and fresh apples roasted in the oven with spices and butter to bring out their natural sweetness
How to Make the Apple Pie Filling
This pie filling consists of dried apples and fresh apples. The dried apples are cooked in orange juice with a cinnamon stick. The idea to cook the dried apples in orange juice came from Shirley Corriher's recipe for fried apple hand pies. The orange juice adds a nice tart taste to the apples. The orange juice and dried apples take about 30 minutes to cook down. In the end, the bottom of the pan will be coated with a thick, delicious orange and apple syrup. Don't walk away or like me, you will end up with a burnt combination of orange juice and dried apples.
The fresh apples are chopped and roasted on high heat with cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, sugar, and butter. Roasting the fruit brings out the natural sweetness of the apples and creates a delicious sugary syrup that coats the apples.
Combine the two apple fillings together and refrigerate the filling to cool it. When making the hand pies make sure the filling is at least room temperature or even better chilled. This will help ensure that the dough does not get too warm while assembling the pies.
I made the filling three times to come up with the right combination of flavors and the right amount of filling. After my first batch, I decided that there wasn't enough apple filling, so I increased the amount of filling by 50 percent. I received good feedback on my first pie dough but to me, it seemed dry and just meh. I decided to go back to the same dough I used for my Roasted Peach Hand Pies.
How to Make a Flaky Pie Crust
This pie crust is intensely butter and flaky. When you bite into the baked pie the crust also tastes light. The pie dough is almost equal amounts of flour and butter. The butter is cut into small cubes and tossed with the flour mixture. The butter is smashed into quarter-sized pieces. Once all the dough pieces are flattened, the water is added and mixed in with a spatula. Once all the water is added, use your knuckles to smear the dough up the sides of the bowl.
The final dough will weigh one kilogram or 2.2 pounds. Divide the dough in half, wrap each one in plastic and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
How to Assemble the Apple Hand Pies
An apple hand pie is basically an apple pie in individual serving size. When assembling the pies make sure all your ingredients are prepped and ready to go and use a 12 x 12 board to chill the hand pies in the refrigerator. Refrigerate them for at least 30 minutes and then move them to a half baking sheet for baking.
Divide each half of the dough into 6 equal pieces weighing about 80 grams each, then roll each piece into a circle slightly larger than 6 inches. Use a pastry cutter to cut the dough into a precise 6-inch circle. I use the Ateco 6-inch Round Pastry Cutter for my larger hand pies. If you don't have a large pastry cutter you can eyeball it and use a pastry wheel or sharp knife to cut the circle down to 6-inches.
Place about 1/4 cup of the apple filling in the middle of the dough circle. Brush the top edge of the dough circle with egg wash and fold the dough over pressing the edges together. Use the tines of a fork to seal the edges. Chill the pies for 30 minutes. When you're ready to bake the pies, line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place 6 pies on the sheet, brush them with the egg wash, cut 3 slits in the top of the pies and sprinkle with the brown sugar mixture. Make sure you cut the slits after the egg wash. If you add the egg wash the egg wash will close the slits. Bake the pies for about 30 minutes.
These hand pies are perfect while still warm but are still delicious if eaten a day or two later. Eat them plain or with your favorite ice cream. I hope you enjoy them.
Double Apple Hand Pies
Flaky Pie Dough
- 2-3/4 cups (400 grams) all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 2 cups (454 grams) unsalted butter, cold
- 1/2 cup ice cold water
- 1-1/2 cups (116 grams) dried apples
- 1-1/2 cups orange juice
- 1/2 cinnamon sticks
- 3 medium apples
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 cup (96 grams) dark brown sugar, packed
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1-1/2 teaspoons orange zest
- 1/2 teaspoon cardamom
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 (50 grams) large egg
- 1 tablespoon whole milk or cream
- 1/2 cup raw sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Make the Pie Dough
- The pie dough can be made 2 days in advance and refrigerated.
- Place the flour and the salt in a large stainless steel or glass bowl and whisk to combine. Cut the butter into small chunks and with your fingers toss the butter with the flour to coat the butter. With your fingers, smush the butter into flat pieces. Continue smushing the until all the butter is flattened but none of the pieces are larger than a quarter. The flour will look like course cornmeal.
- Add half the water and quickly fold it into the flour/butter mixture with a wooden spoon to distribute the moisture. If the dough appears dry stir in the water 2 tablespoons at a time until the appears shaggy. Use your knuckles or your palm to smear the dough up the sides of the bowl.
- Once you’ve gone all the around the bowl, fold the dough a few times to pick up dry bits. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and roll to an 8 x 10 rectangle. Fold the dough into letter fold and roll the dough again to an 8 x 10 rectangle. Repeat two more times. The last time fold the dough using a letter fold. Pat it into a rectangle and cut it into two pieces.
- Chill the dough for at least 30 minutes. The dough can be refrigerated up to 1 week and frozen for up to 1 month.
Make the Apple Filling
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F
- Combine he dried apples, orange juice and cinnamon stick in a 3-quart sauce pan. Bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce to o a simmer. Cook until the orange juice educes to thick syrup, about 30 minutes. There should just be a little syrup coating the bottom of the pan. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.
- Line a half sheet pan and line with parchment paper.
- While the dried apples cook, peel the apples and cut into a small dice. You should have 4 cups of chopped apples. Combine sugar, salt, cinnamon, cardamom, orange zest and whisk to combine. Add the apples and toss to coat the apples. Spread the apples into a single layer. Cut the butter into about 8 pieces and dot the apples. Bake for 20 minutes and stir the apples. Stir the apples every 10 minutes until the sugar mixture has turned syrup, about 40 minutes.
- Scrape the apples into a large bowl, add the cooked dried apples and stir to combine. Cool the picture until room temperature. The mixture can also be made ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator for 1 week.
Assemble the Hand Pies
- Make the egg wash by combining the egg and milk and whisking together with a fork. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and allow to sit at room temperature for 15 minutes.
- Divide the dough into 6 pieces about 80 grams each. Roll out each piece into a rough circle slightly larger than 6 inches and then use a 6-inch pastry cutter to cut out a circle. Place about 1/4 cup of filling in the center. Brush the edges with the egg wash. Fold the dough in half. Seal the edges with a fork or crimp the edges. Chill the hand pies for 30 minutes. Repeat with the other dough half.
- While the hand pies are chilling preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a half baking sheet with parchment paper. In a small bowl combine the raw sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg.
- Remove 6 pies from the refrigerator. Place them on the baking sheet, brush with egg wash and cut three slits across the top of the pies. Sprinkle the sugar-cinnamon mixture on top.
- Bake the pies for 30-35 minutes until the top of the hand pies are golden brown. Remove from the oven and cool on a cooling rack. Serve the pies warm or at room temperature.