Whole Wheat Apple Hand Pies

Whole Wheat Apple Hand Pies

Holy cow I'm a pathetic pastry chef. Watching me roll and cut out pie crust is a gruesome sight. There's flour on me and every nearby surface, a rolling pin with scads of dough clinging to it and rips and holes on what should be a uniform blanket of pastry. Mine never forms a perfect ball in the food processor (maybe I should be doing this by hand) or rolls out to a shape that follows any recognized geometric restraints (looking more like an amoeba in the final throws). My crimping looks like it was done by a toddler wearing boxing gloves. But what do you know - sometimes it just doesn't matter how sloppy the chef is, the dish comes out delicious. This is one of those times.

I used whole wheat flour to make these more rustic and, yes, a little healthier. Whole wheat pastry flour is delicate and has lots of fiber - fiber helps slow the absorption of sugar into your body and makes you feel full. And I can attest that after two days of making and sampling these, I am feeling quite full, and happy. And mad at the fact that apples shrink when cooked and I can't cram any more into these without ripping the dough and making them sticky leaky pies and not the neat grab-and-go wonders I had in mind.

There were lots of issues. But, as I said, these are still wonderful. Pastry perseverance.

Whole Wheat Apple Hand Pies

Makes about 10 pies

Adapted from Brown Eyed Baker

2 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
2 sticks unsalted butter, diced and chilled
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup ice water

3 medium apples (a crisp variety - I used Honeycrisp)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar

Egg wash
1 egg
1 tablespoon milk or cream
Coarse sugar (raw turbinado)

1. Put flour, salt and sugar in bowl of food processor and pulse a few times to combine. Add chilled butter cubes and pulse 10-15 times until lumpy.

2. Mix sour cream and ice water and drizzle it into the flour/butter mixture while the processor is running just until it forms a ball (sort of - it's a sticky dough and you may have some left in your food processor - don't worry about it). Dump it onto a sheet of plastic wrap, pat into a disc, then cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes or longer.

3. Preheat oven to 350ยบ.

4. Meanwhile peel and chop apples into a small dice (about the size of big teeth - think Eric Estrada). Combine with spices and sugar and toss thoroughly. Whisk egg and milk together in a separate bowl.

5. Roll out dough on a heavily floured surface to 1/8" thickness. Cut out circles about 5" in diameter (I used a bowl) and place on parchment lined sheet pans.

6. Put a tablespoon of apple mixture on center of dough circle and fold over, pinching ends shut or crimping with a fork.

7. Brush with egg wash and sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 30 minutes until golden brown.


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