Sweet Apple Hand Pies with Cheddar Shortcrust
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Cook time: 
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Yield: 7 to 9 hand pies
Sweet Apple Hand Pies with Cheddar Shortcrust let the magical flavor pairing of sweet apple and sharp cheddar shine.
Apple Filling:
  • 1 lb (450 g) Rainier Fruit Lady Alice apples, washed, cored, and diced small (not peeled)
  • ⅓ cup (67 g) Dixie Crystals sugar
  • 1½ teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ teaspoon fine salt
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • ½ teaspoon Nielsen-Massey vanilla extract
  • 1¼ cups (160 g) all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon fine salt
  • ½ cup (1 stick) good-quality unsalted butter, chilled and diced into small cubes
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons ice-cold water
  • 4 oz (115 g) Cabot Alpine Cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon cold water, for eggwash
  1. Add the apples, sugar, vinegar, salt, and water to a medium saucepan over medium-high heat; cook (covered) until the sugar is dissolved and the apple is starting to soften, about 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. You can remove the lid during the last couple minutes to help the syrup thicken a bit if you want. Turn the heat off and stir in the vanilla. Cool to room temperature, then refrigerate until fully chilled, about 1 hour (up to 3 days is fine).
  2. When you want to make the pies, strain the apple, reserving the syrupy liquid for another use (such as a sweetener for tea, oatmeal, yogurt, etc.).
  3. For the crust, whisk together the flour and salt in a large bowl and then cut in the butter with a pastry cutter or a fork until it looks like coarse meal. Add water 1 tablespoon at a time, working the dough together with your fingertips just until it comes together, and only adding enough water so the dough comes together when you squeeze it. Knead in the shredded cheese. Gather the dough together into a ball and then flatted it into a disk; wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled, about 30 minutes.
  4. Once chilled, remove the dough from the fridge. Lay a piece of parchment paper out on your work surface, place the dough on the prepared parchment paper, and top with another piece of parchment (or if you have it, freezer paper works even better because it’s thicker). (Done this way, there is no need for flour to roll the dough out.) Working from the center out, roll the dough out to a circle about 12 inches in diameter. Use a 4-inch cookie cutter (or a glass with that diameter) to stamp out circles in the dough.
  5. Place a heaping 1 tablespoon of filling in the center of each circle of dough. Use a thin metal spatula to lift up one circle of dough, then fold the dough over onto itself to form a half-moon, pressing the pastry closed along the outside. Set the pastry down on a flat surface and crimp the edges with a fork. Gather the scraps of dough, re-roll them, and repeat until the dough and filling are gone (you should get about 7 to 9 pastries). You can chill the dough scraps at any point if it becomes too difficult to re-roll them out.
  6. Chill the pastries in the fridge for 30 minutes; during this time, preheat the oven to 400F.
  7. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat liner; arrange the pastries on the tray and use a paring knife or fork to prick the top of each. Brush the tops with the eggwash (you will have extra eggwash, don’t try to use it all).
  8. Bake until the pastries are golden and flaky, about 20 to 25 minutes.
  9. Serve warm or at room temperature.
If There’s Extra Filling: Use it as a topping for yogurt, oatmeal, ice cream, toast, etc.
Recipe by An Edible Mosaic™ at https://www.anediblemosaic.com/sweet-apple-hand-pies-with-cheddar-shortcrust-brunchweek/