Switching things up a little bit in this morning’s food post. While these Salted Caramel Apple Hand Pies may still be a dessert, they’re perfectly suited for an easy breakfast/brunch meal as well. Since you’re guaranteed to be gorging yourself on everything in sight later in the day it may be best to keep your first meal of the day on the lighter side, and these are the perfect option for that. What’s better than homemade pastries on a cold, Holiday morning?
While making pastry dough from scratch may not be the easiest thing in the world, I definitely think it’s worth it. If you’re not quite feeling up to the challenge though, you can easily us pre-made pie shells and fill with this delicious apple filling.
FOR THE DOUGH
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
1/2 cup cold sour cream
FOR THE FILLING
2 cups small diced (peeled) Granny Smith apples (See Kelly’s Notes)
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
8 store-bought soft caramels, roughly chopped
Large flake sea salt (See Kelly’s Notes)
Egg wash (1 egg lightly whisked with 1 Tablespoon water)
Crystal sanding sugar (optional)
MAKE THE DOUGH
Whisk together the flour, salt and baking powder in a large bowl.
Add the cubed butter to the bowl and use your fingers to work the butter into the flour until the mixture is the consistency of wet sand.
Stir in the sour cream (the dough will be very wet), and then turn the dough out onto a well-floured work surface.
Knead the dough a few times until it comes together, adding more flour, 1 teaspoon at a time, if the dough is too sticky to handle. Roll the dough into an 8×10-inch rectangle and dust both sides with flour before folding it into thirds as if you were folding a letter.
Rotate the dough 90º and roll it out again into an 8×10-inch rectangle. Fold the dough again into thirds then wrap it securely in plastic wrap and refrigerate it for at least 30 minutes while you make the filling.
MAKE THE FILLING
In a small bowl, combine the apples, lemon juice, cinnamon, sugar and flour, stirring until thoroughly mixed. Set aside.
Remove the dough from the refrigerator and unfold it onto a well-floured surface, rolling it out to a 14×14-inch square. (See Kelly’s Notes.)
Using a 3-inch circular cookie cutter or cup, cut out as many circles as possible. Re-roll the scraps and continue cutting out circles until you run out of dough, ensuring you end up with an even number of circles. (You should have approximately 20 3-inch circles.)
Place six of the dough circles on a Silpat or parchment paper-lined cookie sheet. Spoon a small portion of the apple filling into the center of each circle, leaving enough of a border around the filling. Top the apple filling with a portion of the chopped caramels and a pinch of sea salt. Place a second dough circle atop each filled circle then use a fork to crimp the edges together, sealing each pie.
Brush each pie with the egg wash, and using a sharp knife, cut two or three vents on the top of each pie. Sprinkle the pies with crystal sanding sugar (optional).
Bake the pies for about 15 minutes, or until they’re golden brown.
Remove the pies from the oven and allow them to rest for 10 minutes before serving. Repeat the filling and baking process with the remaining dough circles.
The cubed apples should be no larger than the size of corn kernels to ensure they become tender during the quick 15-minute bake time.
Large flake sea salt is available in most supermarkets. My preferred brand is Maldon Salt.
If the dough is too firm to work with after refrigerating, allow it to sit at room temperature for 10 minutes before cutting out the circular shapes.
If the sour cream in the dough makes it too sticky at any point in the rolling out process, just simply sprinkle a pinch of flour atop the wet areas and continue rolling.