My husband takes most of my baked goods to work to share with his co-workers. We certainly can’t eat everything and I enjoy making them goodies. Since it is fall, I wanted to make something with apples. Of course I first think of apple pie! However, pie is not an easy item to take into work, nor is it easy to serve. I like to send in goodies that people can grab and go. So, I made mini apple pies. I suppose we could call them apple empanadas, since that is what they look like. But I like pockets. It’s cute.
Apple pie filling is great because you can adjust it to suit your tastes. Don’t like as much cinnamon? Easy! Less sugar? No problem! This is just what I like, but please, adjust it to suit your taste buds…after all, those are the ones that matter!
I recommend making this the day before so it can chill overnight and will also give you less do to on baking day.
- 500 g AP flour (about 4 cups)
- 2 tsp salt
- 2 TB sugar
- 1 TB cinnamon (optional)
- 350 g butter (3 sticks)
- Ice water, about 2 TB
Place flour, salt, sugar, and cinnamon into a food processor and pulse until well blended. Cube the butter and add to food processor. For a mealy pie dough, pulse until consistency of corn meal. For flaky, until pea size. For these pockets, mealy will hold together easier. Be careful not to over mix the dough! If the flour absorbs the butter, you will not be able to add the water. Just short pulses until the right consistency. Then add the water, 1 TB at a time until dough pulls together to form a ball. Wrap in plastic and chill overnight, or freeze until ready for use.
It’s important to use apples that will hold their shape. A soft apple will quickly turn to mush and you will have applesauce instead. I used Rome apples because they were on sale, but my preferred apple is Granny Smith.
- 3 pounds of apples, peeled and sliced into wedges
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup + 1 TB brown sugar
- 3 TB butter
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 TB cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp cloves
- 1/4 tsp ginger
- Zest of 1 lemon
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1 TB cornstarch
- 2 TB cold water
Place all ingredients except the cornstarch and water into a large, heavy bottom pan. Stir to combine and warm over medium heat. Whisk together the cornstarch and water (add more or less water if needed). Once the apples are warm, but not hot, slowly stir in the cornstarch mixture. Bring to boil. Turn heat to low and cook until apples are slightly tender, but warm. Cool completely.
Transfer in small batches to a food processor and pulse slightly to make the apple pieces smaller. Be careful not to puree! I think it is easier to process after cooking because if the apple pieces are too small they will become mush too easily when cooking. And just slicing makes them too big for the small pockets.
Yield: about 27 pie pockets
Preheat oven to 375F.
I used a four inch cutter, but you can use whatever size you have. If you don’t have a cutter you can use a bowl and a pizza wheel.
Let your dough come to room temperature. Lightly flour your surface and roll to about 1/8″. A good way to get your dough even is to use dowels. You can pick up multiple sizes at the hardware store and then use them for cookies, scones, and pie! Also, to avoid using excessive flour (which will just result in a tough dough) constantly move your dough around. If you roll too long in one spot, it will start to stick.
Cut out the pie dough and place on a sheet pan lined with either a silpat or parchment.
Place one teaspoon of filling in the center (I used a scoop to ensure all are even). Gently fold over to match up the edges, then use a fork to seal. Brush egg wash (just an egg and water) over the entire surface and sprinkle with sanding sugar. If you don’t have sanding sugar just use any sugar you have. Turbinado sugar would be a great touch!
Bake until golden, 15 to 20 minutes. If you used cinnamon in your dough, it will be harder to tell when it is golden, so keep a close eye not to burn.
Let cool as long as you can before devouring with a scoop of ice cream! Your co-workers will love you for these!
Note: You will end up with extra apple filling. Either make less or do what we did…put it on your waffles, pancakes, or something equally delicious for a special breakfast. Yum!