I don’t have anything against pie. Really. It’s just that, well, there are so many things that can go wrong when you make a pie—especially the crust, and, honestly, it takes a lot of time and skill.
What if the dough is too flaky, not flaky enough, lacking flavor? Who wants to have wasted all that work? You know what I mean?
And there’s also another reason I don’t make pie, a bigger issue, and it’s not pie’s fault in the slightest.
This problem is with me. I have a terrible, unconquerable habit of picking things to make at the worst possible moments.
From a lengthy long-rise yeast bread to a process-filled batch of cookies, I like to choose the most time-consuming recipes at the latest times of night. Case in point: these hand pies.
I saw a recent post over at Smitten Kitchen for Bourbon Peach Hand Pies and thought they were so adorable, a finger-food version of the classic, and I wanted to make them.
At 8:30 PM, last Friday night.
Now, see, with a lot of desserts, starting at 8:30 PM would be fine.
But with hand pies, you really need to give yourself a good chunk of time because there’s a lot of chilling and taking out, chilling and taking out. All told, I finally went to bed at 2:15 AM.
But in this case, it was worth it.
I wanted apple pie filling, but I didn’t have a recipe for apple pie filling, not for 14 to 24 hand pies
So, basing things on a cookbook ingredient list, I started guessing about what to get (which, for your information, is how I ended up buying two three-pound bags of Gala apples. No, I hadn’t even been to the orchard at this point. Yes, good thing we like apples.)
This is a long recipe, but it’s not hard. Essentially, you’re going to create a dough (which involves a few steps), then roll it out and cut circles with a pastry cutter or a cookie cutter or, what I did, the opening to a storage container; these circles will be chilled, then filled* and folded, then chilled again. After that, you just bake and enjoy.**
(*For the filling, you’ll just core, peel and chop 3 or 4 good-sized apples, then mix them with sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg.)
(**Truthfully, there’s one more small step, so small I actually forgot about it until the pies were already baking: cutting slits into the pies, then brushing the dough with egg and topping with sugar. It’s OK if you make a few mistakes with this recipe, and that’s why I like it.)
Like most made-from-scratch pies, these are best fresh out of the oven, although they’re equally tasty reheated and topped with vanilla ice cream. In fact, now that I think about it, they’re not so bad cold, either. You decide which way is best for you.
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen
Filling adapted from Better Homes & Gardens New Cookbook
About Shanna Mallon
Shanna has a Masters in Writing through Depaul University. Her mantra? Restoring order and celebrating beauty through creative content, photography and food. Shanna's work has been featured in Bon Appetit, The Kitchn, MSN.com, Everyday Health, Better Homes & Gardens, Houzz.com, Food News Journal, Food52, Zeit Magazine, Chew the World, Mom.me, Babble, Delish.com, Parade, Foodista, Entrepreneur and Ragan PR.