The Pretend Chef

Easy apple hand pie

Indulgent Caramel apple filled apple hand pie
Apple pie is a sweet pie with a decadent and succulent apple filling, an excellent comfort food. It is mostly made as a dish pie but with all the pros of hand pies/ turnovers, most pies are now made into “pockets of convenience” especially to suit the fast pace of modern life.
For the past few weeks, I have been making different types of savoury pies, meat pie, fish pie and vegetable pie so today, I decided to showcase a sweet pie.
My first time eating apple pie was as a very young teenager during a summer vacation in London. It was served as dessert in the restaurant where we ate. It just did not taste good. The filling was almost like apple sauce. None of us liked it besides my kid sister. She hadn’t eaten much of the rest of the meal so she was overjoyed when nobody wanted theirs. She stuffed herself full of apple pie slices that day and readily fell in love with it.

 
 Indulgent Caramel apple filled apple hand pie
 
I didn’t go near apple pies for a long time and wondered over the years what it was about apple pie that put us off or could it have been that particular one (the same experience I had with Agidi Jollof). Now I can categorically say it was that particular Apple pie.
I have since been making apple pie, I love my apple pie and so does everybody who has tasted them. I use whatever apples I have available because, in Nigeria, we don’t really have a huge variety. All you need to do is adjust your sugar and cooking time to suit the taste and texture of your apple.
 
Apple pie filling can be either raw or cooked, I prefer mine cooked. Cooking the apples draw out the juices of the apples which mix with the sugars and spices, to form a sweet and spicy caramel, making it taste like caramel apple sauce, what can beat that? I included dry currants in my filling.
 

To cook or not cook your apples

  • When apples are cooked, you are sure the apples are ready and soft before going into the pastry thereby removing the guess work when baking your easy apple hand pie.
  • Cooking eliminates the situation where the crust is brown and ready while the apples are still crunchy.
  • Cooking also gives the apple pie filling a richer apple flavour.
  • It eliminates the issue of collapsed pie crusts too.
  • The cooked filling should not have much liquid.
  • If there is a lot of thick syrupy liquid in the filling, drain it off and use as apple flavoured syrup to drizzle over your easy apple hand pie or for some other use.
  • Excess liquid can also be thickened with flour or corn flour.

Easy apple hand pie can also be made with puff pastry but puff pastry making is such a pain and in some countries, ready-made puff pastry is difficult or impossible to find. My Easy pie dough (short crust pastry) is perfect for apple pie just add one tablespoon sugar to the dry ingredients. It is perfect for a snack, breakfast or dessert.

Possible add-ins to Easy apple hand pie filling

Dried cranberry
Currants
Sultanas
Dates
Fig
Almonds
Toasted nuts
Raisins
Strawberries
Blackberries
Apricot
Lemon zest
Orange zest
Pear etc.

Possible spices for Easy apple hand pie

Vanilla essence
Nutmeg
Allspice
Fresh/dry ginger
Cloves
Ground
Cardamon
Allspice etc.

To make easy apple hand pie

Dough
Easy pie dough 
1 tablespoon sugar

Filling
3-4 apples
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup white sugar
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon flour if needed.

Topping
sugar
egg

Wash, peel and remove the core of the apples.

Chop into 1/2 inch cubes, set aside.

Measure out other ingredients.

Place a saucepan over medium heat, add butter and leave to melt and start turning brown.

Add chopped apples and salt, stir.

Fry until apple cubes begin to soften.

Add white and brown sugar, fry until the apple swells and releases its juices.

Stir in the cinnamon and nutmeg. 

Cook about one minute and take off the heat.

easy apple hand pie in sauce pan

The apples should be perfectly soft by now.

Set aside to completely cool.

easy apple hand pie in sauce pan

Make dough using my Easy pie dough recipe adding 1 tablespoon of sugar to the dry ingredients.

Wrap dough in plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 1 hour or more.

Preheat oven to 180 deg C.

Crack the egg into a bowl, add 1 teaspoon water or a pinch of salt and beat to mix.

Use a rolling pin, roll out the dough into a square of 1/8″ thickness. 

Cut the dough into squares, depending on the size you want.

Place pie filling on half of the square making sure to leave as much liquid from the filling as you can behind.

apple filling on dough for easy apple hand pie

Leave some space around the edges.

Rub a little egg around the edges.

Fold the empty side of the pastry over the filling to cover it and meet the edge on the other side of the square to form a triangle. 

Crimp the outer edges by hand or with the tines of a fork. 

easy apple hand pie ready for baking

Place individual pies on the prepared sheet.

Snipe holes at the top of the pie or prick with a fork.

Brush the pies with the egg wash (egg mixed with 1 teaspoons milk or water).  

Sprinkle sugar over the top of each hand pie.

Bake for 30-40 minutes until golden brown.

Indulgent Caramel apple filled apple hand pie

Drizzle leftover filling liquid over the easy apple hand pie.

Transfer the pies to a cooling rack.

Allow your apple hand pies to cool for a minimum of 10 minutes before serving.

 

Serve with caramel sauce, chocolate sauce, ice cream, whipped cream, custard etc.

 

Notes

  • The apples can be sliced not cubed. In this case, the cooking time will have to be considerably reduced.
  • If the apple syrup is beginning to stick to the saucepan, add 1 or 2 teaspoons water to deglaze the pan and release that delicious syrup.
  • Do not deglaze the saucepan if the apple syrup is burnt.
  • If the dough becomes too soft when rolling and filling, put it back into the refrigerator or freezer to firm up. Reseal the edges with a fork if necessary when you bring it out.
  • To make the apples softer and more broken down, cook a little longer adding about one tablespoon water.
  • In the absence of brown sugar, use 6 tablespoons white sugar.
  • Do not overfill the hand pies or the filling will leak out during baking.
  • The pie filling retains a lot of heat after baking so, leave it to cool before eating.
  • The hot juice from the filling will thicken as the pie cools. If you cut it open while it is still very hot, the juices will leak out.
  • Store pie in freezer and reheat from frozen in the microwave or oven.

You will also enjoy my Nigerian meat pie, Nigerian fish roll, Nigerian vegetable pie, Jamaican Beef Patty, Nigerian Cornish Pasty, Easy Apple Hand Pie and Nigerian sausage roll. Do you have any comments, questions or suggestions, please leave a comment below.

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Indulgent Caramel apple filled apple hand pie

Indulgent Caramel apple filled apple hand pie

 

Comments

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