As some of you may know, I made chocolate cake three times last week. My husband then said (after finishing his piece of cake), “Chocolate isn’t my favorite, can you make something that I like?” I ask, “Like what?” He responds, “I want something with apples.” Done!
So here it is….for my husband: apple pies that you can hold in your hand and eat! It’s perfect, portable, pre- portioned and delicious! These would be perfect tucked in a cellophane bag with some candy and tied with a pretty bow. Who wouldn’t want to find this in their Easter basket? (Sorry – no pictures of the gifting idea – the pies were eaten before it could be wrapped)
I also think it’s a plus when you don’t have to wash a plate and fork afterwards! It makes you think of a McDonald’s apple pie right? Do you remember when those pies used to be fried….yum….childhood memories! Did I just date myself?
You can really do this with any shape cookie cutter. For Easter, I used a large egg shape cookie cutter that I found at Crate and Barrel last year and a little baby chick cookie cutter that I have no idea where it came from. I didn’t even know I had it until I organized all of my baking supplies a few weeks ago. You can definitely make these pies for other holidays/occasions such as a heart with mini heart cut out for Valentine’s Day, star with mini star cut out for 4th of July, turkey and mini leaf/acorn for Thanksgiving. Oh – an apple and mini moon for The Twilight Saga! You see, the combinations are endless.
I have to admit…it was a weeknight – and I really – really wanted to give in and buy refrigerated pie dough. While measuring and mixing the dough…I though – “gosh, if I was using store bought dough – I would already be baking by now.” Then when I got to the step where I had to refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight….I was sold on store bought dough….little did I know.
I baked the pies the next day and finally knew the supremacy of homemade pie dough. I had a fresh baked pie that night - it was flaky, buttery and light in texture. It was far better. I get it now. Sometimes the cheat is worth it – and other times – it’s better to do it the old fashion way. (but if you’re in a pinch – just use store bought dough…no one will know unless you tell them – right?)
Pocket Pie Recipe from William Sonoma (with a few tweaks from KR to accommodate the use of cookie cutters):
- 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp. salt, plus a pinch
- 2 Tbs. sugar
- 16 Tbs. (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch dice
- 6 to 8 Tbs. ice water
- 1 egg, lightly beaten with 1 tsp. water
- Coarse sugar for sprinkling
- ½ to 1 C pie filling, canned or fresh (I used apple – but you can really use any flavor that suits you)
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the flat beater, beat together the flour, the 1 tsp. salt and the 2 Tbs. granulated sugar on low speed for 10 seconds. Add the butter and beat until the mixture resembles coarse meal, about 30 seconds. Increase the speed to medium-low and beat for 1½ minutes more. Add the 6 Tbs. ice water, reduce the speed to low and beat for 20 seconds. The dough should hold together when squeezed with your fingers but should not be sticky. If it is crumbly, add more water, 1 tsp. at a time, and beat for 5 seconds after each addition. Divide the dough in half, wrap with plastic wrap and shape each into a disk. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to overnight.
Preheat an oven to 400°F.
Let the dough stand at room temperature for 5 minutes. On a floured surface, roll out 1 dough disk into a round 1/16 to 1/8 inch thick. Brush off the excess flour. Using a large cookie cutter cut out 8 of each shape (4 solid and 4 with the decorative cutout). Re-roll the dough scraps, if necessary, and cut out more shapes. Repeat with the remaining dough disk.
Place a solid dough shape on parchment lined baking sheet. Fill the center with 1 to 2 Tbs. of pie filling and brush the edges of the dough with some of the egg wash. Top with a shape with a decorative cutout. Press along the edge of the dough then press along the edges with a fork to crimp the edges. Repeat with the remaining dough and filling.
Brush the top of the pies with egg wash and sprinkle with coarse sugar. Bake until the crust is golden brown and the filling is gently bubbling, about 20 minutes. Transfer the pies to a wire rack and let cool for 10 minutes. Serve with vanilla ice cream. Makes about 8 pocket pies.
Kitchen Runway notes:
**I find it easier to work with the dough when I roll it on parchment paper. I still flour the parchment paper and the rolling pin.
**I used more than 2 tbs of filling. This is up to you – for some people it’s all about the filling and for others it’s all about the crust. Just be careful about overfilling because you will not be able to seal the pie.
**I use regular granulated sugar as well as decorative sprinkles and coarse sugar. It’s your pie – you can decorate it any way you like!
**If you go with apple filling – I think a sprinkle of cinnamon sugar on the crust would be a delicious!
**taste best fresh – but still pretty good warmed up in the toaster oven!