I am kind of sad I didn’t take a picture after I took a bite from one of these hand pies. The photos don’t really give the hand pies the justice they deserve. An apple pie you can pick up with your hands? Oh, yes. The escaped filling is only a hint of the delicious filling.
The best part of an apple pie is the filling (IMHO) but a few months ago, Renee (of the best cupcake ever fame) shared a fabulous apple-pear pie with us. It was delicious. The crust so flakey, it was one of the best pies we had ever had, vegan or not. She happily revealed her recipe secret – half vegan butter, half vegetable shortening – to create a workable, chewier yet flaky pastry dough. She even has a gluten-free pie crust recipe on her site along with a host of other tips to assist you as you create your own pie.
Note: I also liked Sam’s tip to roll your dough on top of a wet cloth for easier transport.
In any case, it didn’t take long for me to make myself an apple pie. I had a pie of leftover crust and filling, so I decided to try my hand at hand pies. They were more fiddly than a whole pie, but they turned out pretty well. Next time, I would sprinkle some cinnamon and sugar overtop. Because there was more pastry than filling, I think it could have benefitted from a bit of extra sweetness.
PS. My tummy keeps rumbling as you tell me about your upcoming holiday meals. Keep the entries coming to win one of 3 copies of Roberto’s New Vegan Cooking.
PPS. I am sharing this with No Waste Food Challenge.
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp granulated sugar
1/2 cup vegetable shortening, cut into chunks
1/2 cup Earth Balance, cut into chunks and frozen
4 tablespoons to about 1/2 cup really cold water (no ice crystals)
approximately 2 tbsp soy milk
sugar and cinnamon, for dusting
1. Place your metal large bowl and knives in the freezer. Once chilled, you can begin. In the chilled large bowl, mix together the flour, salt and sugar.
2. Add the chunks of shortening and Earth Balance and cut through until it looks like rough oatmeal. Pieces of fat are ok!
3. Add the water, a little at a time, until the pastry comes together in a rough ball. use as much water as you need. Divide the dough into two pieces and wrap each piece in plastic wrap. Place in a refrigerator and chill for at least 30 minutes. Meanwhile, make your filling (see below).
4. Preheat your oven to 375F.
5. Remove chilled dough from the refrigerator. Roll the dough with a rolling pin (or wine bottle) onto a well floured surface. For hand pies, use a large cup or cookie cutter to cut out large circles. For a single hand pie, place 3-5 pieces (or 2-3 tbsp) of filling in the middle, taking care to not let the filling touch the edges. A top circle that is slightly larger may be better, so consider stretching it so that it can cover the filling and the bottom circle. Use water to moisten the edges and press together with the prongs on a fork. Do this around the edges until completely sealed. Use the fork to prick the top of the hand pie so steam can escape. Brush the top with soy milk and sprinkle with a light dusting of sugar and cinnamon.
6. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until golden. Remove from oven and allow to cool before digging in.
Note: If making a pie: For a pie, make it large enough to cover the pie plate. Place in a pie plate, pushing to the edges. Add the filling. Repeat with the other dough for the top crust. Poke holes in the top of the crust. Bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes, then reduce heat to 350 degrees and continue to bake for about 35 to 45 more minutes, or until apples are done and pie is golden brown. Place on wire rack and let cool completely before slicing.
Apple Pie Filling
7 to 8 apples (about 3.5 lbs), peeled, cored, and sliced (I used a mixture of Northern Spy and Mutsu)
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 cup vegan butter (homemade or store bought)
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1. While preparing your apples, place the apple chunks in a large bowl. Sprinkle with the lemon juice and toss to coat.
2. In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Stir in the flour to form a paste. Add the sugar, cinnamon and salt. Stir to evenly distribute. Raise heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to allow to simmer for 3 minutes or until slightly thickened. Stir in the apples, mixing well. Remove from heat. The filling may be refrigerated until needed.
These recipes will make one 9″ pie and 5-6 hand pies. Or many, many hand pies.