These Pocket Apple Pies are my contribution to a different Thanksgiving during the pandemic. The individual pies allow people to only touch their food and are easy to take home. In Vermont, multi-household gatherings are prohibited. So, my Mom packed up a full Turkey Take Out ready for outdoor pick up. These little pies are so delish – buttery pie crust filled with a combo of sweet (MacIntosh) and tart (Granny Smith) apples. I will make these throughout the year because they freeze well, so you can bake an apple pie anytime! I’m grateful that even during dark COVID days, I discovered some new joy.
2 ½ cups (300g) flour
½ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
1 cup (2 sticks or 226g) butter, cold and cut into ½-inch cubes
6-8 tablespoons ice water
1 pound (450g) apples (2 large or 3 medium), peeled and cut into ½-inch cubes
¼ cup (53g) brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
¼ teaspoon all spice
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 ½ teaspoon cornstarch
1 ½ tablespoons butter
Makes 8 pocket pies.
In a large bowl (the wider the better), whisk together the flour, sugar and salt.
Cut in the cold butter cubes until it is incorporated throughout in small pieces. It will looks like clumpy, soft oatmeal. I use a pie cutter and my hands, but you can also use a fork or a food processor.
Slowly mix in the ice water a tablespoon at a time. You will use a different amount of water depending upon how dry the air is that day. The dough is done when you can squeeze a fist full that holds together.
Place the dough onto plastic wrap. Quickly mold the dough into a flat disk then wrap up.
Chill dough in the fridge for at least 2 hours or up to 2 days.
In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar with the spices. Mix well and set aside.
In another small bowl, combine the vanilla and lemon juice. Stir in the corn starch until it dissolves. Set aside.
In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the apples; stir to coat with the butter. Sprinkle the sugar-spice mixture over; stir occasionally. Cook until the apples are tender; around 10 minutes.
Pour in the liquid corn starch mixture. Stir until the sauce thickens. Cook another 1-2 minutes.
Remove from the heat and transfer filling to a medium bowl to cool.
Preheat oven to 400° Fahrenheit.
Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
Cut the dough in half. Roll to 1/8-inch thickness.
Use a 3.5" cookie cutter to cut out 16 circles (8 tops and 8 bottoms).
Place 8 bottom crusts on a lined cookie sheet.
Drop 2 teaspoons of filling in the middle of each bottom crust.
Holding a top crust, rub cold water around the edge. Place moist side down over a filled bottom.
Crimp the edges together with a fork.
Cut a cross in the top to make a vent for steam.
Now, bake or freeze (up to one month).
Before baking brush pocket pies with heavy cream and sprinkle with sugar.
Bake for 24-25 minutes until the top crust turns golden brown.
Cool on a wire rack. Enjoy warm or at room temperature.