However, I've gotten some requests for this recipe, so I thought I'd write it up here. Its quite basic, but a few key elements makes it amazing. They are my apple butter hand pies (my husband likes to call them pop tarts).
The apple butter and the homemade crust are key here. Using fresh apples in a hand pie or pop tart just never worked for me because the apples cook down, the juices release, and then you end up with empty space and juices that make the crust soggy. While they are still good, I wanted something my family could eat with one hand on the road or to the school bus. That is where the apple butter came in.
I picked my yearly loads of apples at our dear neighbors house, and since the apples aren't exactly great for eating straight, they are perfect for apple butter. You just cut off all the bad things! Here is my recipe for apple butter: Apple Butter.
I didn't have rum this week, so I used brandy. You can easily replace this with apple cider. I didn't add any cider this year. Just apples, brandy, and a vanilla pod, scraped out. In the end, you just want the apples completely soft and falling apart. I let them stew over night in the crock pot. Then I puree them up, skins and all! I want it thick, so if I don't think it is thick enough '(think thick jam) I let it sit while its still hot to let the moisture evaporate a bit.
The crust is my classic pie crust. You can use whatever flour you want....I use a whole wheat flour for our family. It makes 4 "discs" so if you wanted to make whole pies, you'd get two. I used 3 discs (I had used one for a lemon merague pie) and got 9 hand pies out of it, They are about 4.5 inches in diameter. They are pretty big, but that is the way I like em!! I used the lid to one of my canisters for cutting out the dough....so just find something that matches the size you are looking for.
|Cubed, cold butter|
|After the butter is cut in|
|Add egg mixture|
|form, and refridgerate|
|roll and cut|
I rolled my dough to about 1/4" - a little thicker than for a regular pie. They hold up better that way. Just lay a circle down and put a generous 2-3 tablespoons of apple butter in the middle. Spread out leaving a 1/2 " edge for sealing. Place another circle over the top and carefully close up the filling. Seal the edge with your fingers, a fork...whatever you want.
|be generous, but don't go crazy so you can't seal it|
|You can use a fork to seal or your fingers like me. A little water around the edge helps too|
|GT had his own project with the crust|
|I made little pies too this time :)|
Then to get that awesome looking crust on top, beat an egg and brush some over the tops and if desired, sprinkle with raw sugar. This gives it a great crunch!
Bake them at 415 degrees for 30-35 minutes until they are golden brown. Let cool, but I highly advise eating one slightly warm.
|I was skyping with my Mom while these were inthe oven, so they got a little dark....but still good!|
|The yummy inside!|
Apple Butter Hand Pies
1 recipe Vanilla Apple Butter
4 cups whole wheat flour
1 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp Salt
1 3/4 cup cold butter (a pound minus half a stick)
1/2 cup water
1 Tbsp white or cider vinegar
Prepare Apple butter and pie crust the day before you want to make your pies. The crust does best when it has sat for a day or so in the fridge, and the apple butter takes at least 10 hours!
For crust: Combine flour, sugar, and salt in a large bowl. Cut butter into cubes and work into the flour using your fingers or a pastry cutter. When it is incorporated (butter like small peas in the flour), mix together the water, egg, and vinegar and add to the flour mixture. Combine well and divide into 4 parts, shaping them into a disc. Wrap and store in the fridge for a day. They also freeze well!
Assemble the hand pie by rolling out a disc of dough to about 1/4-1/3" thick and cutting to desired shape/size. Put a generous amount of filling in the middle and spread to the edge, leaving a 1/2" edge for sealing. Top with another round of pastry, and seal well with your fingers or a fork. Continue like this until you've made the amount of pies you want, or until you are out of dough or apple butter :). You can re-roll the dough several times. You can also eat it raw, like me. Place the pies on a baking sheet.
Beat the egg and brush the tops with it, Sprinkle with raw sugar or cinnamon sugar if desired. Bake at 415 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until brown on top.
You can also leave off the egg wash/sugar and make a glaze to go on top, if you are feeling decadent. I think a cinnamon glaze would go well here. About 1 cup powdered sugar, 1 tsp cinnamon, and 2-3 tsp. of milk. Add more powedred sugar if it needs to be thicker, and more milk for thinner. Drizzle over cooled pies.