Apple Hand Pies

I had a great weekend at home spending time with my parents, and on my return, I’ve discovered there are lots of new kitties in the area.  Tesla and Nymeria are not quite sure what to make of their newfound kitty friends that come to visit at the window, but we sure are having fun with it!  Tonight, I opened the door a crack to pet one very friendly free-range kitty (as we’re calling them, since our kitties don’t go outside), and she tried her very hardest to get past my arms and into the apartment to play with our kitties.  It took all of my willpower to drag myself away from the window so the kitty would finally go back to its actual home!

Enough about kitties, though.  I have a pretty tasty recipe to share with you today!  Last weekend, I spent all day in the kitchen, and I listened to Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone on audiobook while I baked these hand pies.  It felt so fitting, as they often talk about pasties at feasts, which is just what these are!  Of a sweeter variety than often mentioned in the books, of course.

I like to have a lot of filling in my apple pie, so I made a good bit of apple filling.  I then cut out the dough into 3-inch rounds, and rolled them out slightly more to make them larger, which resulted in a more free-form hand pie (since I am incapable of rolling things into perfect circles).  This meant I could have a whole lot more filling, with just slightly thinner pastry.  I’m including the amount of filling I used below, but you can easily halve it for smaller (and thicker) hand pies.

These have a nice and buttery crust, even though I used a combination of butter and coconut oil.  I always freeze my butter before incorporating it to make sure it’s extra cold.  Instead of water this time around to pull the dough together, I opted for greek yogurt!  Extra moisture, flavor, and a bit of protein. Win-win-win!  We don’t even need to talk about how wonderful cinnamon and apples go together.. especially with this cooler weather we’ve had in Buffalo lately!  It’s definitely starting to feel like fall.

What is your favorite kind of pie?

Apple Hand Pies

yields about 12 3-inch (or slightly larger, free-form) round hand pies

Apple Hand Pies

    For the crust:
  • 2 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp coconut sugar (or brown sugar)
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, cold, cut into pieces
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil, cold, cut into pieces
  • 1/2 cup plain greek yogurt (my favorite is Chobani)
  • For the filling (divide in half if making 3-inch round pies):
  • 5 medium apples, diced
  • 2 tsp lemon juice, freshly squeezed
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar (or brown sugar)
  • To assemble and bake:
  • chilled dough
  • apple filling
  • 1 egg + 2 Tbsp water (egg wash)
For the crust:

Place the cut pieces of butter and coconut oil on a plate, and put in the freezer for about 15 minutes, until solid.

Stir the flour, salt, and sugar together in a large bowl or bowl of a food processor. Incorporate the frozen butter and coconut oil using a pastry blender or by pulsing in a food processor until pebbly. Add the greek yogurt, stirring or pulsing until a slightly crumbly dough comes together. Pat the dough into a disk and cover with plastic wrap. Place in the fridge for about 20 minutes, until firm.

For the filling:

In a large bowl, toss the diced apples with the lemon juice. Stir in the cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and coconut sugar, until evenly coated. Set aside.

To assemble and bake:

Preheat the oven to 425ºF, and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

Once the dough is chilled, roll it out onto a lightly floured surface to about 1/4 inch thick. Cut 3-inch circles using a cookie/biscuit cutter or wide-mouth mason jar lid (slightly larger than 3-inch). Re-roll scraps, and continue cutting circles until you run out (and have an even number of circles).

At this point, if you’d like to have slightly larger hand pies with more filling, roll each circle out slightly larger (they do not have to be a perfect shape).

Place 6 of the 3-inch or free-form circles onto one of the prepared baking sheets. Spoon a small amount of filling onto each circle so that there is a border around the apples. Place a second circle on top, and seal the edges by folding the bottom over the top and pinching closed. Repeat with the other hand pies on the second baking sheet.

Whisk the egg and 2 tablespoons of water together, and brush lightly over each hand pie. Cut two small slits into the top of each crust for vents with a sharp knife.

Bake at 425ºF for 12-15 minutes, until golden brown. Allow to cool on the pan for about 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool.

Store leftovers in an airtight container. These can be frozen, tightly wrapped, for up to 2 months.