Apple hand pies, aka a copycat of McDonald’s apple pie. In my quest to master regular pies, I accidentally developed a copycat version of McDonald’s apple pie. Have you had their apple pie? They’re delicious and definitely a guilty pleasure in my book. Like, I get them only a handful of times in a year. Don’t judge.
Anyway, with or without McDonald’s apple pie as a reference, these hand pies are soooo yummy! The crust is flaky and buttery and the apple pie filling is the perfect combination of tart, sweet, and cinnamony goodness. Instead of brushing with the traditional egg wash, I opted to use the juice leftover from macerating the apples to amplify the apple flavor. Then, I sprinkled it with turbinado sugar (aka Sugar in the Raw) before baking to get that extra crunch and textural delight! Oh my goodness, they’re soooo good. We finished them over the weekend, otherwise I’d take a break to heat one up right now!
Because they are hand pies and therefore in portable form, they qualify as a multi-category menu item. Think, after-your-holiday-dinner, during-the-football-game-dessert. Or, an afternoon snack. Or, an on-the-go breakfast. No plates and forks to mess with. Just grab and go!
These pies are a labor of love because everything is made from scratch, but what delicious pie isn’t? You will reap what you sow with this recipe.
You’ll make the crust using only COLD shortening and butter. I used butter directly from the refrigerator, but placed my shortening in the freezer for about 20 minutes. Then, use ice water as the liquid agent to bring everything together. Then, divide the dough in half, wrap with plastic wrap and let the gluten relax in the refrigerator. If you don’t let the gluten relax, it will freak out in the oven and shrink!
While the dough is chilling, you can prepare the apple filling. It’s a combination of Granny Smith and Jonagold apples. I peeled and diced them to get the perfect bite-sized pieces. Then, add a sugar and spice combination and set it aside while waiting for the pie dough to finish relaxing. The sugar draws out the juices from the apples for a great “wash” for the crust.
When the dough is done chilling, take it out of the refrigerator and let it sit on the counter to lose a little bit of it’s chill for easier handling. Meanwhile, strain the apples over a bowl to collect all the juice.
Then, roll out the dough and cut a rectangle, measuring about 8 inches by 3 inches. Spoon a pile of the apple filling onto one side, leaving a 1 inch rim. Aim for a tall pile, as opposed to a wide pile. Fold the non-filled side of the crust over, pinch the sides to seal, fold the sides over onto itself, and finish the edge with the tines of a fork.
Cut 4 slits on the crust to let steam escape.
Brush on some of the residual juices from the strained apples, sprinkle on some cinnamon, and finish it off with a sprinkling of turbinado sugar.
Collect the dough scraps and repeat until all the dough has been used. Because there was a chance that you might have overworked the dough during this process, give the pies a chance to relax again in the refrigerator before popping them in the oven.
Finally, bake and enjoy warm!
P.S. We even chopped some up and sprinkled it over some yogurt to make a parfait.
P.P.S. How about sprinkling some over ice cream? YUM!
Apple Hand Pie
Yields 5 Pies
Printer friendly version
1 ¼ cups (6 ¼ ounces) all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
3 tablespoons vegetable shortening, chilled and cut into cubes.
5 tablespoons salted butter, chilled and cut into cubes
4-6 tablespoons ice water
- In a food processor, pulse together the flour and sugar until combined.
- Sprinkle the shortening over the flour and pulse until it resembles cornmeal.
- Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
- Transfer into a large bowl and add 4 tablespoons of water. Mix with a rubber spatula until the dough comes together but is not sticky. If the dough does not hold together, add up to 2 more tablespoons of water.
- Divide the dough in half and wrap each half in plastic wrap. Chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
1 Granny Smith apple, peeled and diced into cubes
1 Jonagold apple, peeled and diced into cubes
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
¼ cup granulated sugar
⅛ cup light brown sugar
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon and extra for sprinkling
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon lemon juice
Turbinado sugar for sprinkling
- In a large bowl, stir all the ingredients together. Set aside.
- Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or silpat.
- Remove the crust from the refrigerator and place on the counter for 20 minutes. Place the apple filling into a sieve over a bowl to collect the juices.
- Roll out the dough to about ¼-inch thick and cut a rectangle, measuring about 8-inches by 3-inches.
- Following the visual above, spoon a pile of the apple filling onto one half of the rectangle, leaving a 1-inch rim. Aim for a tall pile, as opposed to a wide pile.
- Fold the non-filled side of the crust over, pinch the sides to seal, fold the sides over onto itself, and finish the edge with the tines of a fork. Place hand pie on the prepared cookie sheet and brush with the collected juices from the apple filling. Sprinkle with cinnamon and turbinado sugar.
- Collect the dough scraps and combine with the remaining dough. Repeat steps 3-5 until all the dough has been used.
- Preheat oven to 425°F.
- Chill the pies in the refrigerator for 20 minutes. Bake the pies for 15 minutes. Then, reduce the oven to 350°F, rotate the cookie sheet and continue baking for an additional 10 minutes or until the crust is golden brown.
Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. Reheat in toaster oven for about 5 minutes or until the crust becomes crispy.
Pie crust adapted from The Complete Cooking For Two Cookbook
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