Everyone seems to be handling quarantine differently. I really struggled at the beginning, right after the stay at home orders and social distancing started, but I know some people started out alright but are having a tough go now. Creating a new routine really helped me feel like something is ‘normal’, even when nothing really is. I take the time every morning to create a realistic (that’s the key) to-do list, and try to have grace with myself if I don’t get everything done. The best days are days when a baking project is on that list 🙂 After the apple jam (is that even a thing? honestly not sure the difference between that and applesauce) I attempted last week came out tasting more like an apple pie filling, finding a way to use it up found its way onto the to-do list. What better way to use something that tastes like a pie filling, than as a pie filling??
I don’t have a ton of experience with making and handling pie dough, so I decided to make this recipe a whole project. However, the beauty of this recipe is that you can make it as much or as little of a process as you want! Oh, and they freeze beautifully before baking, so you can make a big batch and have some pie whenever the craving hits. As long as you have some kind of pie dough and some kind of pie filling, you’re in business for these hand pies. And if you want to go the extra mile to make the salted caramel sauce, well, then you’re either handling quarantine really well, or just looking for an excuse to make caramel. Either way, it’s a great decision.
Apple Hand Pies
- Pie dough – I doubled this recipe
- ~ 1 cup pie filling – homemade or store bought. I used apple, but any fruit would work!
- 1 egg, beaten with 1-2 tsp water
- Salted caramel sauce, for serving. Recipe below
How to do it
- Working with half of the dough at a time, roll out the pie dough to about 1/8th inch thick. Keep the rest of the dough in the fridge so it doesn’t get too warm
- Cut out circles, about 2.5 inches across, using a circular cutter or a knife with a ramekin as a guide. Cut an ‘X’ in the middle of half of the circles to act as steam vents for the pies
- Top the circles that don’t have ‘X’s on them with about 1.5 tablespoons of pie filling, leaving about 2cm from the edge empty to seal the pie
- Cover the pie filling with the remaining circles that have the ‘X’ on them. Working from the center to the edge, gently press down on the top crust to remove all air and seal the edges together. Use a fork to crimp the edges, both to seal the pie and make it look pretty.
- Repeat steps 1-4 with the second half of dough, keeping the formed pies in the fridge
- At this point, you can freeze the pies! Place on a baking sheet and freeze until solid. Wrap in plastic wrap and store in a freezer bag until ready to bake. Bake straight from frozen, just add a couple of extra minutes to the bake time.
- If baking immediately, place the pies an inch or two apart on a baking sheet and chill for the amount of time it takes to preheat the oven to 400*. Brush each pie with the egg wash and bake for 20-23 minutes, or until golden brown on the top and bottom
Salted Caramel Sauce
- 200 g sugar
- 6 T butter, in pieces
- 1/2 C heavy cream
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
How to do it
- Add sugar to a pan over medium/medium high heat. Stir constantly until all of the sugar melts and it becomes a golden amber color. It’s going to take a few minutes, just be patient and keep stirring!
- Add butter pieces to the sugar and whisk until melted. If it separates, just remove the sauce from the heat and whisk vigorously, it’ll come back together
- Add the heavy cream to the sauce and boil for about a minute, then remove from the heat and add the salt
- Let cool before serving. The sauce will keep in the fridge for about a week, or in the freezer for up to a month. Heat the caramel up before serving, it firms up quite a bit in the fridge. Or just eat it from the fridge with a spoon, there’s no judgement here