Individual Apple Pies

A few months ago I had an urge to make individual apple pies. As I researched recipes and considered ideas, I often came across them being referred to as “hand pies”. Now, this has nothing to do with today’s post, but I just wanted to say that I can’t think of a worse name for a dessert.

Moving on…


Apple pie is one of the big favorites around here, but I honestly hate slicing fruit pies because you almost always lose some filling. The slices just never look as pretty as I’d like once they’re sitting on a plate. I know this is a ridiculous reason to have a problem with pies, but I’m a little crazy sometimes. Anyway, that’s what prompted me to try individual pies. They’re easy to serve and they always look so cute!


For this recipe, I simply modified my favorite classic apple pie recipe. I typically get about eight individual pies from this recipe, but it can vary, depending on how big they are and full you fill them. My format today is slightly different than usual, as I took these photos months ago and didn’t have the blog up and running yet, so I don’t have photos of all of the ingredients…sorry!

To make these, you need a basic pie dough recipe that makes enough for two crusts (typically the top and bottom crusts). For the dough you need salt, chilled shortening, sugar, cold water, all-purpose flour, and cold unsalted butter.

In a food processor, mix the dry ingredients for a couple of seconds to combine, then drop the shortening evenly on top in chunks. Process until the mixture looks like wet sand, then distribute the butter on top. Process this time until the mixture has pea sized chunks in it. I like to do all of this in pulses so that it doesn’t overwork the dough. If mixing by hand, cut the cold shortening in with a fork or dough blender,again until it resembles wet sand. Then cut the butter in until you have pea sized pieces. You won’t be able to get the mixture as fine by hand, but stick with it until you have, more or less, a mixture that resembles the photos.

If using a processor, transfer the mixture to a large bowl. Add cold water and begin mixing with a spatula.


Using a spatula, mix the dough by ‘folding’ from bottom to top and pressing down with each fold. Using a spatula rather to mix keeps the dough nice and cold. When you knead with your hands, the heat from them will cause the butter and shortening to melt. Having chunks of fat in your crust is what will make it flaky, a definite must.


Once the mixture has just formed a dough, turn it out onto a very lightly floured surface. As quickly as possible, finish bringing the dough together by hand, kneading for as little time as possible.

 


 

Once the dough is well mixed, divide it evenly and shape into two disks, roughly 4 inches across. Wrap each disk in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least two hours or over night.


For the filling you need all-purpose flour, Granny Smith apples, Macintosh apples, lemon juice, finely grated lemon zest, sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice, and salt. You will also need a lightly beaten egg white. Peel, core, and slice the apples. An apple peeler is indispensable when making apple pie! It does all of the peeling, coring, and slicing for you. All I do is then cut each apple into quarters before moving on.

Toss the apple slices in the lemon juice and zest; set aside. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, sugar, spices, and salt. Add the apples and toss the mixture to mix well. Cover and refrigerate while you prepare the dough.

Take one piece of dough from the refrigerator and roll out to about a 12 to  inch square. Cut the square into rectangles, about four inches wide by six inches long (you should get six to eight rectangles). Place four to six rectangles (depending on the size of your baking sheet) on a baking sheet lined with parchment or a Silpat mat.

Place about a half cup of the filling on top of one of the dough rectangles. Place another rectangle on top and fold the edges up, pinching them together, or using a fork to press them together. Repeat with the remaining rectangles.

I like to use the excess dough for a little decoration. Cut out small apples or other shapes with mini cookie cutters. Brush each pie with egg white, place the dough apples on top, and brush them with a tiny bit more egg white. Sprinkle with about a teaspoon of sugar each. Repeat the process with the remaining pie dough and filling.

Bake at 400 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes, or until the pies are deep golden brown. Transfer to wire cooling racks and allow to cool for a couple of hours before serving.

These are so wonderful! Besides being pretty and easy to serve, they have some extra advantages that I hadn’t really considered while making them. For starters, if you’re a crust fan, these will make you very happy. Also, they travel very well, so they’re excellent for packed lunches and picnics! These are really good at room temperature and delicious warmed up and served with a bit of ice cream! Enjoy!




Classic Apple Pocket Pies


Makes 8


Ingredients


FOR THE DOUGH
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup shortening, chilled
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into small chunks
1/4 to 1/2 cup cold water


FOR THE FILLING
1 tablespoon flour
2 medium Granny Smith apples
2 large Macintosh apples
1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch allspice
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 egg white, lightly beaten


To make the dough: In a food processor, mix the dry ingredients for a couple of seconds to combine, then drop the shortening evenly on top in chunks. Process until the mixture looks like wet sand. Evenly distribute the butter on top and pulse until the mixture has pea sized chunks in it. If mixing by hand, cut the cold shortening in with a fork or dough blender, again until it resembles wet sand. Then cut the butter in until you have pea sized pieces.


If using a processor, transfer the mixture to a large bowl. Add about 6 tablespoons cold water and begin mixing with a spatula. Using a spatula, mix the dough by ‘folding’ from bottom to top and pressing down with each fold, adding more water if the dough is too dry.

Once the mixture has just formed a dough, turn it out onto a very lightly floured surface. As quickly as possible, finish bringing the dough together by hand, kneading as little as possible.
 
Divide the dough in half evenly and shape into two disks, roughly 4 inches across. Wrap each disk in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least two hours or over night.



To make the filling: Peel, core, and slice the apples. An apple peeler is indispensable when making apple pie! It does all of the peeling, coring, and slicing for you. All I do is then cut each apple into quarters before moving on. Toss the apple slices in the lemon juice and zest; set aside. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, sugar, spices, and salt. Add the apples and toss the mixture to mix well.


To make the pies: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or Silpat mats.


Take one piece of dough from the refrigerator and roll out to about a 12 inch square. Cut the square into rectangles, about four inches wide by six inches long (you should get eight to ten rectangles). Place four to six rectangles (depending on the size of your baking sheet) on your prepared baking sheet. 


Place about a half cup of the filling on top of one of the dough rectangles. Place another rectangle on top and fold the edges up, pinching them together, or using a fork to press them together. 


Brush each pie with egg white, place the dough apples on top, if desired, and brush them with a tiny bit more egg white. Sprinkle with about a teaspoon of sugar each. Repeat the process with the remaining pie dough and filling.


Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until the pies are deep golden brown. Transfer to wire cooling racks and allow to cool for a couple of hours before serving.

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Comments

  1. bttrflybabydoll says

    I can't wait to try these with my kids this summer! I think they will have a blast helping me make them. Plus, I have lots of picnics planned so we will be able to enjoy them on our picnics.

    You are awesome!

  2. Megan says

    I am trying these tomorrow, but baking them as mini pies in little ramikin’s or however you say that… Haha. I can’t wait to try them!!!