One of my absolute favorite things to do during the Fall is apple picking with my little family. I never did it as a kid but after I got married and my husband and started a family we took our 6 month old daughter to a local orchard in the Green Mountains (we were living in Vermont at the time) and I finally had my first apple picking experience. It's funny, her first was my first. I'm pretty sure I like apple picking more for the family photos with the fall colors than I do the actual apples. But figuring out what to do with the bushel of apples can be just as fun.
About two weeks ago, my little family and I went back to Syracuse for the weekend for a family engagement and while we were there we went apple picking where my husband used to go as a child – probably the most popular apple orchard in Central New York. It was great being back home to spend time with family.
Every Fall, my first go-to dessert is apple pie. You can't go wrong with a nice warm apple pie - tart apples, buttery flaky crust, sugar and spice. If you have a bushel of apples sitting on your counter like I do then you need to make these adorable apple hand pies. Like, now!
Apple Hand Pies
Yield: makes 18
For the pie crust:
2 ½ cups all purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
8 tablespoons ice cold water
For the apple filling:
1/3 cup flour
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¾ teaspoon ground nutmeg
3 cups apples, peeled, cored and diced
In the bowl of a food processor combine flour, salt and sugar. Pulse a few times to combine. Add in cold butter and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs, with noticeable lumps of butter. Slowly drizzle in cold water a tablespoon at a time while constantly pulsing mixture until the water is just incorporated. Dump the dough onto a lightly floured surface and bring the loose crumbs together to form a ball of dough. Wrap with plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for 15-20 minutes.
While the dough is being chilled, make the filling. In a mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Add in cubed apples and stir lightly to coat the apples; set aside.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
Remove the dough from the fridge. Roll out dough onto a lightly floured surface into desired thickness. Cut with a round biscuit cutter about 3 inches in diameter and transfer half of the rounds of cut dough onto prepared baking sheets, reserving the other half to go on top. Place about a little over a tablespoon of the apple mixture onto each round of dough and cover with the remaining rounds of dough. Pinch the dough together on all sides to seal it and crimp it with a fork (optional).
Cut an "X" into the tops of each pie, brush lightly with milk and sprinkle generous amounts of turbinado sugar. Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool for a few minutes before serving.