Team recipe: Sweet apple hand pies

This fan-favorite recipe is a riff on a traditional apple pie that’s convenient enough to drop in a jersey pocket or sneak into a lunchbox. Do note that the recipe calls for a crust made with whole spelt flour. While this is our favorite way to do it (eat your whole grains!) you can always substitute all-purpose flour if you prefer. Just know that with all-purpose flour you’ll need to slightly reduce the amount of ice water you end up using in the crust. You can even use pre-made pie dough from the freezer section at the grocery store if you’re pressed for time.

INGREDIENTS

WHOLE GRAIN CRUST

1.5 cups whole spelt flour 
0.5 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
0.5 cups cold unsalted butter
2-4 Tablespoons ice water
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar

APPLE FILLING

3-4 medium apples, use a mix of sweet & tart varieties if possible
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1 pinch nutmeg
3 dashes angostura bitters
juice of half a lemon
3 Tablespoons whole spelt flour (or all-purpose, if substituting)


Egg wash (1 egg + 1 teaspoon water + pinch of salt, beaten together)

METHOD


Begin by making your pie crust …or defrosting your frozen crust if you decided to take the shortcut. In the bowl of a food processor, quickly pulse together flour, salt and sugar. Roughly chop cold butter into 5 or 6 chunks, and drop into flour mixture. Pulse until you’ve got pea-sized bits of butter evenly distributed through flour. Now drizzle vinegar + 2 tablespoons of water over the  mixture and quickly pulse until the dough starts to come together. Add up to 4 tablespoons of water if the dough still feels too crumbly to hold together. 

Now prep your dough: Turn dough out onto a floured cutting board, gather together into a ball, then shape into rough rectangle. Wrap dough with plastic wrap and let chill in the fridge for 30 minutes. (And quickly rinse out your food processor bowl – you’ll need it again soon…)

In the meantime, core and roughly chop apples, leaving their skins on. Add them to food processor along with spices, bitters, lemon juice and flour. Give the filling 4-5 very quick pulses so that the apples end up finely chopped, not pureed! Filling, complete.

Back to the dough: On a floured surface, roll out dough into a rectangle approximately 1/8 inch thick. Trim edges to make a clean rectangle. Using a sharp paring knife or a pizza cutter, cut dough into eight small rectangles. (This will yield four pocket pies in total.)

On a parchment-lined baking sheet, set four rectangles of dough, evenly spaced. Mound 2-3 tablespoons of filling on each, then top with remaining four pieces of dough. Crimp around the edges of each pie with a fork (see picture below) to ensure they’re all nicely sealed up. Make a few slits in the top of each to release steam as they bake. Set baking sheet in the freezer for 30 minutes and preheat oven to 400 degrees, Fahrenheit.

Entering the home stretch now: Remove baking sheet from freezer and use a pastry brush to lightly coat each pie with egg wash. On the same parchment-lined baking sheet, slide pies into the preheated oven. After 20 minutes, check for doneness. Pies should should have a deep golden brown color all over. 

Let pies cool for 1 hour on a cooling rack before wrapping them up for your jersey pocket!