Apple Hand Pies with Cinnamon-Infused Salted Caramel

I fully admit to a bias regarding chocolate desserts, and I’m completely ok with that.  Fruit desserts are usually reserved for fall, when they can be enjoyed warm from the oven with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.  Since we just picked 20 lbs. of apples, I’d say now is as good a time as any to bake with them!

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I like to mix tart & sweet apples when baking, so today it’s Cortlands & Jonagolds!  Aren’t they gorgeous?  It almost seems a shame to peel off those skins….

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Here’s a handy dandy apple reference chart you may find useful when choosing apples for cooking & baking.

apple chart

Apple Reference Chart

Awhile back I found a recipe for caramel apple hand pies.  The sour cream pie crust from Just A Taste is amazing, but the pie recipe called for store bought caramels in the filling.  I never buy caramel candy, and I just happen to have an amazing recipe for salted caramel ice cream from the Sweet Cream and Sugar Cones cookbook. What if I made homemade salted caramel to add to the filling instead?  Now you’re onto something, Katie! 😉

Apple Hand Pies with Cinnamon-Infused Salted Caramel ~ Pearls + Girls

I’m notorious for changing up recipes and not writing down the NEW recipe, as well as not measuring ingredients (a dash of this, a sprinkle of that, etc. – drives my husband nuts).  These are two of many reasons I wanted to start this blog in the first place.  Now I HAVE to write it down….  Soooooo, true to (new) form, I wrote down this recipe!  How bout them apples? 😉

Apple Hand Pies with Cinnamon Infused Salted Caramel

Ooh, la, la!  Look at that gooey cinnamon-infused salted caramel oozing out the top!  Crisp, golden pastry crust, sweet, tart apple filling and oozing cinnamon infused salted caramel.  To quote one of my favorite chefs, Ina Garten, “How bad can that be?!?!”  Serve at room temperature or piping hot from the oven with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.  Enjoy! 🙂

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Apple Hand Pies with Cinnamon-Infused Salted Caramel

Yield: 10 hand pies

I like to combine sweet and tart apples in the filling for these hand pies, but use whatever apples you enjoy the most. This recipe was tested using Cortland and Jonagold apples.

Ingredients

    Pie Crust:
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, chilled and cut in cubes
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • Egg wash (1 egg whisked with 1 tablespoon water or milk)
  • Salted Caramel:
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/8 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon
  • Filling:
  • 2 cups finely diced apples, about the size of corn kernels
  • **I like to mix tart & sweet apples
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp flour

Instructions

    Pie Crust
  1. Whisk together flour, salt and baking powder and add to a food processor fitted with a mixing blade.
  2. Add the chilled, cubed butter and pulse until the mixture is the consistency of wet sand.
  3. Add the sour cream, and mix continuously (no pulsing this time) until it starts to come together in a ball.
  4. Dump mixture onto a floured surface and knead it together.
  5. Roll it into an 8 x 10 rectangle, fold over three times (see photos & captions below)
  6. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
  7. While dough is resting, you can make the caramel and the apple filling.
  8. Salted Caramel
  9. Measure out 1/4 cup sugar and place in a small bowl. Put 1/4 cup cream, butter, spatula and whisk next to the stove so it will be at hand when you need it. This process moves very quickly, and if you step away from the stove for a moment your caramel will be burnt in a matter of seconds.
  10. Put two tablespoons of the sugar in a medium saucepan and place over medium-high heat. When the sugar is melted around the edges and starts to turn amber in places (about 2 minutes) stir with a spatula and add the rest of the sugar.
  11. When the caramel is a deep amber color remove pan from the heat and add the butter.
  12. Whisk until smooth.
  13. Then add 1/4 cup cream slowly. The mixture will bubble up, so be careful.
  14. When the bubbling subsides, gently stir with a spatula and add the salt and cinnamon.
  15. Filling
  16. Combine apples, lemon juice, cinnamon, sugar and flour in a bowl. Set aside.
  17. To Assemble the Pies:
  18. Place six of the circles on a Silpat or parchment paper lined baking sheet.
  19. Spoon some filling in the middle of each circle, making sure to leave a border.
  20. Top each portion with a small dollop of the cinnamon-infused salted caramel sauce.
  21. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  22. Roll out dough on a floured surface into a 14 x 14 square (or you can cut the dough in half and roll out smaller squares, which I often do).
  23. Use a three inch round cookie cutter, or drinking glass like I did, and cut out 20 circles. You may need to reroll the scraps, just knead dough back into a disk and roll out again.
  24. Top each with another circle of dough and crimp edges with a fork.
  25. Brush each pie with egg wash, use a paring knife to cut two slits in the top of each pie and sprinkle with sugar.
  26. Bake for 15 - 18 minutes or until golden brown.
  27. Cool on baking sheet for 10 minutes.
  28. Repeat steps to make the second batch of pies.
http://pearlsplusgirls.com/2013/10/how-bout-them-apples/

Fold dough hot dog style into a skinny rectangle (don't worry about matching it up perfectly, mine certainly isn't!
Fold dough hot dog style into a skinny rectangle.  Don’t worry about matching it up perfectly, mine certainly isn’t!
Fold hamburger style into a square-like shape.  Once again, perfection is overrated, and definitely not needed!
Fold hamburger style into a square-like shape. Once again, perfection is overrated, and definitely not needed!
Fold over dough hot dog style again to make a rectangle.
Fold over dough hot dog style again to make a rectangle.

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