|Sweet, salty, fruity, and flaky #nom! Have a little circle for each and every one of your friends.|
Last Friday was Pi Day! And, well, I’m a nerd.
You’ll remember my numbers fascination from my fried beef empanadas post a few years ago. I casually mentioned pi(e) to co-workers and they all but demanded I bring something in to share. There are sweet and savory Runaway Apricot options for pie: pear streusel tart, butternut squash and creamed spinach empanadas, and even veggie-packed quiche, but each choice would give each person just a section of the round. With full circles we could appreciate how this weird and endless mathematical constant helps us to calculate the circumference. (Seriously a nerd, I just started emailing unsolicited weekly Excel tips around the office. Let me know if you’re interested in the comments and maybe I’ll start a special newsletter.)
I first made these hand pies to celebrate election night 2012, using the recipe from Juste A Taste (another fellow Columbia alum!). Since using store-bought caramels doesn’t jibe with my DIY spirit, I found an awesome recipe for homemade salted caramel via Sally’s Baking Addiction that came together quickly. Added bonus, I now have caramel sauce in the fridge to play around with! (Yes, that was a video of me pouring salted caramel over apple cinnamon pancakes for “breakfast.”)
|Salted caramel is a glorious thing!|
I’m quasi lactose intolerant and leftover sour cream always goes to waste in my fridge, so I switched to a different crust recipe from King Arthur Flour. It was crispy and delightful. I also consulted my old Fannie Farmer cookbook for a good proportion of nutmeg to add, imparting a bit more complexity to the spice. For the sheen and sprinkle on top of each pie? I tested KAF-recommended milk wash vs. egg wash and found that a little mix of the two with coarse sugar – organic raw turbinado in this case – is pretty, crunchy and yum. And then more math – I multiplied everything by 1.5 to make enough for the crowd of colleagues!
|Old Christmas cookie tins are the perfect vehicle for transport. Just make sure they’re cool before you seal so the steam doesn’t make everything soggy.|
Play around with these circular beauties or increase the filling:crust ratio by taking a cue from Micky D’s and make rectangular hand pies. September to summer, you can’t go wrong with this recipe.
|I like to roll out dough on floured plastic wrap. Once you’re all done, cleanup is a snap.|
|The apples do not need to be perfect cubes, but make sure they are small and uniform in size so they cook up evenly in the hot, 15-minute trip to the oven.|
|Hand pies are definitely the way to go for everyone who prefers more crust than filling. You could also make a full pie with this same recipe. Just multiply the filling needs by 1.5 or 2 depending on the depth.|
|Ahh…there are too many #foodporn words for what is happening in this pic!|
|Don’t worry about messy cracks on the top. You’ll need those and more to help vent steam and keep it crisp.|
|Parchment paper or a baking mat is key. How enticing is that oozing caramel?|
|I tried a milk wash vs. egg wash and found the egg to give a better crispy sheen.|
Salted Caramel Apple Hand Pies
Makes about 14
2 1/2 cups Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1/4 cup vegetable shortening
10 tablespoons very cold unsalted butter
10 tablespoons ice water
Mix together flour and salt in a large bowl. Use your fingers or a pastry blender to mix in shortening until there is an even crumb. Cut butter into 1/2″ cubes then work into flour, being careful not overwork the butter. Add half of the water and toss to combine. Stir in more water in three additions until the dough comes together in your hand. Divide the dough in half and smooth each into a disk. Wrap in plastic and chill for at least 30 minutes in the refrigerator or up to overnight.
Salted Caramel (recipe at Sally’s Baking Addiction)
2 cups Granny Smith Apples, peeled and diced into 1/4″ bits
2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/4 cup sugar, plus coarse sugar for dusting
1 tablespoon milk or water
Preheat oven to 425°.
Stir together apples, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, lemon juice and sugar in a medium bowl. Set aside.
Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface to 1/8″ thick. Cut dough into 3-inch rounds using a cookie cutter or glass. Place half of rounds on a parchment lined baking sheet.
Spoon a heaping tablespoon of apples onto each round then drizzle each with about a tablespoon of salted caramel. Place a remaining dough round on top of each hand pie and press edges to seal.
Whisk together egg and milk in a small bowl then brush egg wash over each hand pie. Sprinkle with a pinch of coarse sugar and cut two or three vents into each pie. Bake for about 15 minutes, until golden brown.
|Hey, moms. I would be really happy if I found this treat in my lunchbox. #justsayin|
|ENJOY! And let me know how they turn out|