Cheddar Apple Rye Hand Pies

October 26, 2020

This slightly savory twist on a classic apple pie is the perfect marriage of sweet and salty. Local cheese gives it a little bite, while seasonal, brown sugar and butter soaked apples make it sweet and warm. Hand pies are a perfect treat, especially this year when we want to keep touch and sharing to a minimum. 


Ingredients:

For the cheddar rye pie crust:


For the apple filling:

  • 2 apples, peeled, cored and diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice, about 1/4 lemon
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons tapioca starch or 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Directions:

Make the pie crust:

  1. In a large stainless steel bowl, combine the all-purpose and rye flours, sugar, and salt and stir to mix well. Grate the butter using a cheese grater and transfer to the freezer to chill for about 5 minutes. Mix the butter into the flour mixture, until thoroughly combined, breaking up the butter bits until they resemble the size of peas. The rest of the pie dough should look like canned Parmesan cheese. Add the Cheddar and mix in quickly until evenly distributed.
  2. Add the water-vinegar mixture all at once, and give it a good mix. Scrape as much of the mixture as you can from one side of the bowl to the other, until you can’t see visible pools of liquid anymore. Scoop up as much of the mixture as you can, and use the tips of your fingers (and a whole lot of pressure) to press it back down onto the rest of the ingredients. Rotate the bowl a quarter-turn and repeat. Scoop, press and turn. With each fold, your intention is to be quickly forming the mixture into one cohesive mass.
  3. Remove the dough from the bowl, place it on a lightly-floured counter, and use your bench scraper to divide into two equal pieces. Gently pat each into a 1-inch thick square, working quickly to seal any broken edges before wrapping them tightly in a double layer of plastic wrap. Refrigerate the dough for at least 2 hours, or, ideally, overnight.
  4. You can keep the pie dough in the fridge for a few days or in the freezer for up to 1 year. If frozen, remove the dough and place in the refrigerator to thaw one full day before you intend to use it.

For the filling: 

  1. Place the cubed apples in a large bowl and toss with the lemon juice. Add the granulated sugar, brown sugar, tapioca or cornstarch, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Toss until evenly distributed.
  2. Remove the first disk of dough from the fridge. Lightly flour your work surface and roll the dough out to a 1/2-inch thick round. Using a 3-inch or 4-inch round cookie cutter, stamp out rounds of pie crust and transfer them to a baking sheet or tray. You should be able to re roll the scraps and end up with about 40 rounds.
  3. Lay half of them out onto a lightly floured surface. Brush each round entirely with beaten egg. Add a heaping teaspoon of the diced apples to the center of each round, leaving at least a 1-inch border. Using the tines of a fork (dipped in flour), press the edges together and do this around the edge of the entire round, making a decorative edge. Take the 3-inch or 4-inch cutter (whichever one you used) and cut the hand pie once more to clean and define the edges. Repeat with the remaining hand pies.
  4. Transfer them to the freezer to chill for about 10 minutes. Meanwhile preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
  5. When the hand pies are done chilling and the oven is preheated, brush the tops with the remaining egg wash and sprinkle with turbinado sugar. Transfer to the oven for about 15 to 20 minutes, until the tops are golden brown.

Note about freezing: If you want to freeze the hand pies to bake later, do that right after they're assembled. Transfer them to a baking sheet and place in the freezer. When frozen, place in a freezer storage bag and freeze for up to 3 months. Transfer from the freezer directly to the oven to bake.





Recipe adapted from A Cozy Kitchen





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