here’s a funny thing about storage in a tiny apartment: you work so hard at it, you shift and rearrange and make sure to fit things in just so, and at the end of the day you manage to squeeze in at least several perplexing and by most accounts, not terribly useful items (see another example here). this apple peeler/corer/ring-maker is one such object. i can’t really defend its taking up space in our tiny abode, but i do rather like it and it made making these little hand pies so much more fun.
but, this isn’t really a post about storage or kitchen utensils, it’s a post about pies. hand pies. sweet-and-savory-and-perfect-for-september-picnics-hand-pies. they’re buttery and delicious and if you’re like me, you might eat three of them in one go and still have a hankering for more. sharp cheddar added to the crust and folded into the middle makes these little guys unexpected and comforting all at the same time. it’s a good day for a little comfort food and anyway, an apple pie without cheese is like a kiss without a squeeze, or so they say.
i’m not making any real claims about the perfection of this recipe in the technical sense–i winged it almost entirely–but it worked terrifically for me, and if you’re pleased by things that are savory and sweet all at the same time, i’m confident this’ll do the trick.
flaky pastry crust (adapted from mark bittman):
1 stick cold butter
1 cup all-purpose flour, plus a few tablespoons for rolling the dough (i swapped in 1/2 c. whole wheat)
1/2 teaspoon salt (or so)
1 teaspoon sugar (or so)
3 or more cold tablespoons of water
1/2 cup or so grated extra sharp cheddar cheese
a small handful or so of fresh sage, chopped
mix together dry ingredients then use a pastry blender, fork, or hulking food processor to mix butter and cheese into flour until the mixture looks like small crumbs (mine always look like large crumbs, but that’s neither here nor there). form dough with hands by adding cold water to your crumbs, one tablespoon at a time. when formed into a ball, wrap in parchment paper and freeze for ten minutes while you prepare the filling. when you’re ready, dump plenty of flour onto your surface and rolling pin and flatten away. i used a small fruit bowl as a guide for cutting my circles.
for the filling:
4 smallish apples (ours were a gift from an orchard-going friend–not sure the variety)
a few tablespoons flour
a few tablesoons sugar
1/2 a lemon
one small bunch sage, chopped
five slices yellow onion, quartered
one slice extra sharp cheddar cheese per pie
i used the fancy apple corer to slice the apples thinly. there’s no need for the fancy corer, but slicing the apples thinly works better than using the big slices you might put into a regular old pie. after slicing, douse apples with the juice of 1/2 a lemon. mix a few tablespoons sugar and flour into slices. add chopped fresh sage and a few slices of onion, quartered. spoon mixture onto your dough rounds and top with a slice of cheddar cheese. fold dough round in half over the filling and pinch shut (using a fork to tamp down the edges works well). place hand pies on a parchment covered cookie sheet and bake at 450 F for about 20 minutes, or until nicely browned.
enjoy by your lonesome or with company. in either scenario you’ll finish with a smile on your face.
ps: should you be interested in purchasing your very own debatably necessary apple peeler/corer/ring-maker: go here for an old-fashioned one like mine.
Amazing post as always!
Now I´m SERIOUSLY hungry..!
wow – this sounds like a pretty insane combination!
Beautifully done! I've tried making hand pies before for a Fourth of July picnic… it failed horribly! I don't know what happened, but this post has inspired me to give it a go once again. Thank you
I'll take one to-go please.
Wow, that looks amazing and doesn't seem to difficult. Definitely going to try! Great post 🙂
These look wonderful! I want that apple peeler, looks like fun!
Made applesauce cake this morning 🙂
Amazing! Beautiful images, I want your apple peeler and now I'm hungry 🙂 x
Never had this combination before. Will have to try it. You can mail that apple peeler to me if it's taking up too much room! I've wanted one for a while now! Ha!
i'm trying to eat paleo right now…but this recipe is going to have to happen for me. it speaks to my soul. you have to cheat now and then, right? http://www.everywhimandnotion.com
These are making my mouth water! The apple peeler looks really fun to use too.
This looks so incredible! I'm addicted to cheese and onion pasties (larger English/Cornish versions of hand pies) and reckon these would be right up my street! Yum!
wonderful! on my to-bake list now!
Looks like something the kids I watch would love! I'll have to make sure to buy extra apples this weekend to make this as an afternoon snack next week.
I've never made hand pies, but these look like just the place to begin. I love apples and cheddar together. Thank you for sharing the recipe!
wow, these look gorgeous. I have plenty of kitchen accessories that are "debatebly necessary". Can't get rid of them if there is a shred of hope I'll use one in the next 10 years!
At first I didn't read the title of this post so I was expecting these to be dessert hand pies. I was surprised when I started reading about the savory ingredients, but when I did, I got even more inspired to make this. Now I am super excited to go apple picking this fall…
We have that little gadget and even though we only use it once or twice a year, I couldn't ever get rid of it. Apple pies are so much better with perfectly sliced apples!
Gawd yummy!! I think i'm drooling a little. Must get napkin. LOL
i can't even tell you how impressed i am by this. so, so impressed. and hungry.
these hand pies look so incredibly scrumptious. and now I want a midnight snack.
This looks absolutely delicious! My mouth is watering. Seriously. 🙂
these look amazing and I plan to try ASAP! My peeler/corer is one of my "must have" gadgets in my house.. .though I cook with apples in the fall on a regular basis. Great post and thanks for the recipe! You really inspire me to simplify in my own home.
Anyone make these? I would love to make them this week, but how many does this recipe make?
Yes, of course, I've made them! The quantity depends on the size of the circle you make. I used a small bowl to make mine, and yielded about ten hand pies!
I haven't been reading your blog for too long, BUT I've made these twice, recently. So far the reviews they've received have been some version of: "These are the best things I've ever tasted."
I tend to need a bit more flour than you listed here, and this recipe made 7 pies for me.
Do you slice vents/slits in the top of the pie to prevent a "blow out" in the crust? Just wondering, because the pictures look like it, but nobody has mentioned it. I'm trying these for a potluck this weekend with some local organic apples and onions, looks delicious!
Yup! I made a few slits on the top of each hand pie to let off steam!
I made these tonight or dinner. WOW. Awesome recipe. Thanks Erin!
so glad to hear it!
Lovely blog; life in a small apartment…can be cozy. You have privacy as opposed to communal or the Y.
Just came back to this recipe again as I'm already dreaming of apple season long gone…
I made these! They are AMAZING! Flavors were sooo good together and I appreciated the "or so" in the recipe. That's how I like to cook too.
I pinned this awhile ago and just got around to making it, except instead of making mini-pies, I got it into my head I wanted to make a galette. Word to the wise: roll the dough way thinner than I did if you’re going to go this route! I ended up with a very thick-crusted galette, so thick-crusted the sides fell away, so it was more like a flatbread type-thing with the filling sitting on top. And I ended up having too much filling. Regardless, it was delicious, but between the two of us we ate the whole thing in one sitting, which is a lot of butter 🙂
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