In the Kitchen: Baked Apple Hand Pies
Leave the deep fat fryer in the closet, ‘cause you’re about to enjoy this healthier dessert that’s long on sweetness and flakiness and short on the guilt. So pick your favorite varieties of sweet or tart Bella Viva Orchards’ Dried Apples and fire up that oven! It’s delish time in your house!
Yields: 12 hand pies
Prep time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 35 minutes (including fridge time)
1 recipe hand pie crust (recipe below), or 1 store-bought pie crust
2 cups chopped Bella Viva Orchards Dried Skinless Apples (see note)
About 2 cups very hot water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 tablespoon granulated sugar
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small cubes (optional but nice)
1 egg, beaten
1 ½ tablespoons whole milk
Coarse raw sugar or granulated sugar for dusting, optional
Special equipment: 5” diameter round cutter, parchment paper or silicone baking mat, pastry brush
Prepare the pie crust (recipe below).
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat and set aside.
In a medium bowl, place the diced Apples. Add hot water just to cover and rehydrate, stirring occasionally, about 15 to 20 minutes. Reserve about 2 tablespoons of liquid from Apples and drain. Add vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, sugar and reserved liquid. Cool a few minutes then stir in the cubed butter, if using.
Remove pie circles from the refrigerator and brush the edges with a little milk. Spoon about 1 heaping tablespoon of the Apple mixture in the center of each circle. Drizzle a little of the Apple spice liquid on top of each pie. Fold to make a half-moon shape. Crimp the edges with the tines of a fork. Using the tip of a sharp knife, cut 3 small slits in a decorative pattern for ventilation.
Whisk the beaten egg with 1 tablespoon of milk. Brush the egg-milk mixture evenly on top of each pie. Sprinkle with coarse sugar, if using. Bake about 18-20 minutes, until the pies are golden brown and you can see the filling bubble.
Remove from the oven and cool slightly. They’re now ready to enjoy!
Notes: If you’d like to try another variety of Bella Viva Orchards Apples, rehydrate and adjust the sugar accordingly. These little pies will keep in an airtight container at room temperature or in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Hand Pie Crust
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
4 ounces (1 cube) cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
½ cup cold vegetable shortening, divided into several pieces
½ cup ice water, approximately
In a large bowl, whisk the flour, sugar and salt. Add the cubed butter and chilled shortening and using a pastry blender or 2 knives, cut the ingredients until you have pea-sized crumbs. It’s okay if you have some larger pieces. Add ¼ cup of ice water and cut in. Then add water, a tablespoon at a time, and mix until the dough starts to come together. Turn out onto a lightly-floured board, form into a ball and flatten with the palm of your hand. Place the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour.
Once chilled, divide the dough in two and roll one portion out to about 1/8” thickness. Using a 5” diameter round cutter, make 6 circles. Repeat with the remaining dough. Place the circles on the prepared baking sheet and refrigerate again while you prepare the hand pie filling.