Jack-o-Lantern Apple Hand Pies
Hand-sized Halloween pies for trick-or-treaters of all ages!
These hand pies are a triple threat: delicious, adorable, and really easy to prepare. Made with my Best-Ever Pie Dough and filled with a skin-on apple compote, these show-stoppers are the perfect sweet treat to bring to a Halloween party.
Equipment: cutting board; box grater; medium saucepan; dry measuring cup; measuring spoons; medium and small mixing bowls; heatproof rubber spatula or wooden spoon; rolling pin; 3-inch cookie cutter; mini cookie cutter or pastry tips; parchment paper or silicone baking sheets; sheet pans; paring knife; pastry brush; fork; offset spatula; cooling rack
6 apples, such as Gala, Fiji, or Granny Smith
1/3 - 2/3 cup granulated sugar ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
pinch of salt
Dough Ingredients: 1 batch Best-Ever Pie Dough 1 large egg, beaten 2-3 tablespoons turbinado sugar
1. First, prepare the filling. Using a box grater, grate the whole, skin-on apples to the point of reaching the core and the seeds (to be discarded). Place the grated apples - and any juices - in a saucepan. Stir in 1/3 - 2/3 cup sugar (depending on how sweet you want the filling to be), plus the cinnamon and salt. Cook over medium heat until the apples wilt, the sugar dissolves, and some moisture evaporates to the point that when you pull the mixture towards the side of the pan the bottom of the pan is clean and dry (see photos). Remove the apple mixture to a bowl to cool.
"You can peel the apples if you prefer, but the skins add depth of color and texture, plus some nutrients and flavor, too!"
2. Once the dough you have prepared has chilled sufficiently so that you can handle it (at least one hour), preheat the oven to 375°F. Line two sheet pans with silicone liners or parchment paper. Set aside.
Chill Your Counter When Working with Dough and a Rolling Pin
"ILOC tip: dough can warm so quickly on the counter, especially when being handled. One of the easiest ways to keep your dough cool for easy rolling/cutting/shaping is to chill first the counter, especially if your counter is made of stone. Place some ice cubes in a mixing bowl (preferably metallic for speedy cooling) and set the bowl on your work surface. After a few minutes the area will be chilled and ready for some action! It’s all about technique, not torture."
4. Place the unwrapped dough on a lightly floured work surface and roll to ¼-inch thickness.
5. Using a cookie cutter, cut circles and place half of them 2 inches apart on the lined sheet pans. Take the mini cookie cutters or a paring knife to make the jack-o-lantern faces by cutting eyes and mouths on the remaining dough circles. Use the scraps to roll the dough and repeat the process.
6. Drop 2 tablespoons of apple filling in the center of each circle of dough. Set aside.
7. Brush the rim around the apple filling of each hand pie with beaten egg. Lift carefully the jack-o-lantern faces and place atop the apple-filled and egg-washed crust. Using your fingers and then a fork, pinch the seam around the edge of the pies to seal the top crust to the bottom crust. Repeat until all the pies have been sealed.
8. Brush the tops of the pies lightly with the beaten egg. Sprinkle with turbinado sugar. Bake at 375°F for 30 minutes, until golden brown.
9. Remove from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes before removing them to a cooling rack. Store in a single layer in an airtight container at room temperature for up to three days.
Makes 12-14 hand pies.