Sweeten your new year with these hand pies

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It’s almost 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.

Hungry for more? Keep following “Baking with Lisa,” a regular feature in the print and online editions of Jewish Rhode Island that will explore the rich and tasty confections of the Jewish diaspora.

Have a baking question? Want me to make your family recipe? Feel free to email me at lmaybruch@jewishallianceri.org. And check out all my baking videos, at Jewishrhody.org/baking-with-lisa.

 

LISA MAYBRUCH (lmaybruch@jewishallianceri.org) is the manager, adult programs at the Jewish Alliance of Greater Rhode Island. Her occasional series, Baking with Lisa, will appear in Jewish Rhode Island and online at Jewishrhody.com/baking-with-lisa

 

Apple Hand Pies with Honey Salted Caramel Sauce

INGREDIENTS

Pie Dough:

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup butter, chilled and diced

1/4 cup ice water

Filling:

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

Sauce:

4 tablespoons butter

1/2 cup honey

1 cup heavy cream

1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt

 

DIRECTIONS

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 sheet pan 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 in 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 of 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.