16 November 2012
I know that this time of year things start to get busier. There is more pressure to create the perfect table and the perfect feast, be the perfect host and make everything the best. I love getting ready for holidays, but perfection is not something I am very good at. My cooking style is often more often improvised and rustic than worthy of a photograph. But I enjoy the time I spend standing by the kitchen counter, the thought of sharing something that does taste really good. Sharing it through writing and photographs is very different than simply handing you a plate and a spoon. Though I wish you could taste it, when I am stumbling to find words and trying to capture images I am really hoping to inspire you. I love it when I see, read, and learn things that inspire me to be open to the beauty, wonder, and sweetness that can be part of every day and I sincerely hope that I can create and share this inspiration, too.
These hand pies are not the show stopping dessert that you might want on your Thanksgiving table. They are more suited to nibbling with a cup of tea and a quilt on your lap or grabbing before you head outside for a walk in the woods. As I was making them, I wasn't sure that I could pull them together just the way I wanted. They don't look perfect or impressive, but once I tasted the soft buttery pastry enveloping the fruit this was no longer a concern. Thanks to the incredible transformation of flour and butter and the way the sugar and spices melted the apples just enough these turned out just right.
Apple Hand Pies
You can use any double pie crust recipe here, but I highly recommend this one for its buttery flaky goodness. I used a combination of apple varieties that I found in the store. Use at least one or two apples that hold up well for baking.
Dough for a double pie crust (see above), chilled
3 large apples
1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
Remove pie crust dough from refrigerator and leave on the counter to soften slightly. Preheat the oven to 350'. Peel the apples and cut them into thin slices. Mix the apple slices with the lemon juice, sugar, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and salt. Stir to evenly coat the apple slices. Divide the dough into 6 equal pieces. Roll out the first piece of dough into a rough circle until the dough is about an eighth of an inch thick. Arrange the apple slices on one half of the dough circle. Fold the other half over (adjust the apples as needed so this can happen). Pinch the dough together to close the pie and form a half circle. Shape the edge of the dough with your fingers or press it together with the tines of a fork. Repeat the process with the other five pieces of dough. Cut slits in the top of each pie to let out steam.
At this point you can either bake the pies for 25 minutes or until they are nicely golden brown. Or freeze the pies to bake later (they will take longer to bake from frozen) Serve slightly warm or at room temperature.