These individual apple pies are made with a flaky all-butter crust and a chopped apple filling. Make the filling the day before and baking day will be a snap. Prepare the pies and freeze half of them for another day.
I like cutting them as square pies because there's less waste and no need to re-roll dough, but you can cut out rounds as well to make half moon shapes.
Prep Time: 35 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes
- Apple Filling
- 3 pounds apples
- 4 teaspoons lemon juice
- 3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- dash nutmeg
- pinch salt
- 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 3/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, 13 ounces
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla powder, optional
- 8 ounces butter (2 sticks) cut in small pieces, chilled in freezer
- 7 to 11 tablespoons ice water
- Egg Wash and Topping
- 1 egg yolk
- 2 teaspoons light cream or milk
- cinnamon sugar or vanilla sugar
Peel the apples; core and dice. Toss the apples in a bowl with the lemon juice.
In a large saucepan over medium heat, combine the brown sugar, 1/2 cup granulated sugar, and cornstarch; stir to blend. Add the apples, nutmeg, pinch of salt, and 3/4 teaspoon of cinnamon. Bring to a simmer, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring frequently, for about 20 to 30 minutes, or until apples are tender and the mixture is very thick. Stir in the vanilla extract.
Let the filling cool. If not making the pies right away, store in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. The filling may also be frozen for up to 9 months.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, 1 tablespoon of sugar, and vanilla powder, if using.
Add the butter pieces to the flour mixture and mix using a pastry blender, fingers, or a food processor just enough to make a crumbly mixture with some pea-size pieces of butter still intact. About 8 to 10 pulses using a food processor.
If using the food processor, transfer the flour and butter mixture to a large bowl. Add about 6 tablespoons of the ice water to the flour and butter mixture and toss together until moistened. Continue adding small amounts of water until the mixture begins to form clumps.
Turn the mixture out onto a lightly floured surface and knead a few times until a dough is formed. If necessary, moisten hands a few times, but don't overwork the dough or add more water than is necessary to hold together. Shape into two rectangles about 12 ounces each and 1 inch thick, wrap each in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 30 to 45 minutes.
Roll the chilled dough out to rectangle about 16 inches by 12 inches. With a pizza cutter or knife, cut out 8 rectangles about 4 inches wide and 6 inches in length.
Put about 2 heaping tablespoons of apple filling on the center of the bottom half of one of the rectangles. With your finger, dab a little water around the edge. Fold the top over the filling and pat gently to seal. Take a fork and crimp the entire edge with the tines. Set on a parchment paper lined baking sheet and repeat with the remaining 7 rectangles. Roll out the remaining dough and repeat for 8 more pies. Refrigerate the baking sheets for about 20 to 30 minutes.
At this point, if you want to, you can freeze all or half of the prepared pies then transfer to freezer bags. On baking day, arrange them on a parchment lined baking sheet and continue with the recipe.
Heat the oven to 375° F.
Take the pies out of the refrigerator.
Combine the egg yolk and cream. Brush the egg mixture lightly over each pie. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar or vanilla sugar and cut a vent or a few vents in the top of each pie.
Bake for about 24 to 30 minutes, or until nicely browned and the filling is bubbly.
Makes 16 pies.
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