It’s September, and that means two things: the High Holy Days are upon us, and autumn is just around the corner. This is my absolute favorite time of year! I can already smell the cinnamon spices and taste the honey flavors mixed with apples. There’s really no shortage of recipes for apples and honey. You’ve got honey cakes, quick breads, crisps and puddings. The possibilities are endless, and isn’t it obvious why? It’s just the perfect combination to welcome in a sweet new year!
How are we celebrating Rosh Hashanah? With Apple Hand Pies! They’re cute and scrumptious, and combine Rosh Hashanah’s featured ingredients in a classic New England fashion. To up the ante, we’re also making homemade honey salted caramel dipping sauce for some extra sweetness. These make the perfect treats to gift to your friends and families. Once they take the first bite, you’ll definitely be the apple of their eyes.
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, chilled and diced
1/4 cup ice water
2 Granny Smith apples, peeled and diced
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons honey
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
Juice from one-half lemon
Pinch of nutmeg
1 egg, beaten, for egg wash
Optional raw or “sanding” sugar, for sprinkling
4 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup honey
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
Make the Pie Dough:
In a large bowl, combine flour and salt. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in water, one tablespoon at a time, until mixture forms a ball. Wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight.
Make the Filling:
While the dough is chilling, prepare the filling. In a medium pan, combine the apples, sugar, honey, cinnamon, salt, vanilla, lemon juice and nutmeg. Bring to a simmer, and cook over low heat for about 10 minutes or until the apples have softened. Remove from heat, and let cool.
Make the Hand Pies:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Remove dough from refrigerator, and roll out on a work surface as thin as possible. Use a 3-inch-round cookie cutter to make as many circles as you can. Place half the dough circles on your prepared baking sheet.
Place a dollop of filling in the middle of the dough circles on the pan. Place the remaining dough circles atop the filled crusts and press the edges together with your fingertips or crimp with a fork. Make a few small incisions in the center each filled hand pie to allow steam to escape.
Brush the top of the hand pies with egg wash (1 egg beaten with a little water) and sprinkle with raw sugar. Bake pies for 20 minutes. Makes about 12-14 pies.
Make the Sauce:
While the pies are baking, melt the butter and honey together in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir until combined. Increase the heat slightly, and allow to simmer gently for 10 minutes or until slightly thickened and darkened in color.
Whisk in the cream to combine, allow to just come to a boil, then remove saucepan from the heat. Stir in the salt, and let stand for 5-10 minutes for the sauce to cool slightly. It will thicken as it cools.
Use immediately as a dip for the pies or store in the refrigerator and heat slightly when ready to use.