Caramel Apple Hand Pies
I still had 15 lbs or so of macintosh apples from my backyard tree boxed up on the floor in the pantry. When I walked in the other morning, it was smelling of cider; I knew the apples were starting to ferment and it was time to use them up! I spent the day building all types of sweet treats (apple bread pudding, apple crisps, pies, tarts...), and these caramel apple hand pies were my favorite! The use the simplest of simple pie crusts, and a bit of patience to construct. They are nothing fussy, but they taste like Fall-time and Grandma's house! Check out the simple step-by-step guide below.
- 2 1/2 cups flour
- 1 cup cold butter
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup ice water
- 1 egg
- sugar for sprinkling
Caramel Apple Filling
- 15 apples
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 2 tbsp. corn starch + 2 TBSP water
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 4tsp cinnamon
- 1 can dolce dulce
Begin by preparing your crust. It will need a minimum of 4 hours to chill in the fridge, or overnight if that's easier!
Add flour and salt to large mixing bowl. Cut the cold butter into small chunks. Sprinkle over top of dry ingredients. Take a pastry knife, and cut butter into the flour until a fine crumble has formed in the bowl. Once the butter is worked into the flour, take your 1/2 cup of ice water, and slowly add it into the mixture, stirring as you go. Once the water is fully added, work the dough with your hands to form a stringy texture. Move the dough onto a floured countertop, and kneed until fully mixed and a solid ball is formed. Do not overwork to the dough. Cover with plastic and place in fridge for a minimum of 4 hours.
While your dough is chilling, prepare your apple caramel filling. I made a super large batch, and froze the rest... so if my estimates on quantities are off, throw the remainder into the freezer, or whip up an easy apple crisp too!
Wash up your apples. I used macintosh apples, as that's the type of tree in my yard! No need to peel them, just core and slice them thin. Place all sliced apples into a large soup pot onto the stove on medium heat. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup of white sugar and 1/4 cup of lemon juice. Cover and allow to cook down for about 15- 20 minutes; stirring occasionally. Don't take them too far down, you don't want apple sauce! Just allow for them to soften and get a touch glassy on the edges. Once cooked to your liking, remove from heat and pour into a strainer to remove excess liquid. In a small bowl, stir together 2 tbsp. corn starch and 2 tbsp. warm water to form a liquid. Place apples back into the pot and stir in cinnamon, and drizzle with corn starch slew and stir well. Add in 1 can of dolce dulce caramel sauce.
TIP: This can be found in the condensed milk aisle at the store. If your local grocer doesn't carry it, you can easily make your own by removing the label from a can of condensed milk, and placing it into a bot of low boiling water for a couple of hours.
Stir the caramel into the apples until it is well incorporated. You can leave this mixture on the counter while you dough is chilling, or place it in the fridge. It doesn't really matter.
Pre-heat your oven to 375*.
Once your dough is chilled, remove from fridge and place on a well floured countertop. Cut like a pie into 8 even pieces. Roll out each piece of dough into a rough circle. Place about 1/4 cup of filling into the center of each circle. Fold dough over to create a half moon shape. Fold the edges of the dough to create a pocket; pinch together well to hold the shape. Place each hand pie onto a lined baking sheet.
Make 2 slits across the top of each pie with a knife to allow your apples and caramel to bubble over, preserving the crust from bursting at the seams! Take your egg and beat it well in a small bowl. Brush the egg wash on top of each hand pie. Sprinkle with white sugar.
Place into the oven, and bake for 45-60 minutes, depending on your ovens temperament. Watch carefully; you want golden brown tops with bubbling filling - don't undercook em, or they will be doughy. Don't overcook them, or the will be dry. You want a golden flakey finish. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a rack. Enjoy with vanilla ice cream and a piping hot espresso!