This crust really was as easy as it looks! But you’ll want to keep one thing in mind: over working pie crust dough will give you a gummy end product. So, process as little as possible and roll out the dough as few times as possible when cutting your circles. If you don’t have a food processor, you can still make this recipe by using a pastry cutter or knives to cut the butter into the flour… it will just take longer than 60 seconds ;)
I had some extra apples and dried cranberries laying around so I used those for the filling. Now that I see how easy these are to make, I can’t stop thinking about other possibilities! Mmm, maybe even sweet potato and pecan! The sky is the limit.
Apple Cranberry Hand Pies
- 1.75 cups all-purpose flour $0.25
- 1 tsp sugar $0.01
- 12 Tbsp (1.5 sticks) cold butter (salted) $0.60
- ¼ cup cold water $0.00
- 2 small apples $0.74
- ¼ cup dried cranberries $0.63
- 1 Tbsp sugar $0.01
- ½ Tbsp all-purpose flour $0.01
- ¼ tsp cinnamon $0.02
- ⅛ tsp ground cloves $0.02
- Pulse the flour and sugar together in a food processor. Cut the butter into chunks and add to the processor. Pulse the butter and flour until it resembles coarse sand. Larger butter flecks make a flakier crust, so don’t over process here.
- Add the cold water to the processor and pulse a few times until the dough forms one clump. Again, try not to over process. Add a little more water (1/2 tsp at a time) if the dough does not form one cohesive piece.
- Dust a piece of plastic wrap with flour, form the dough into a ball, and wrap tightly the in the plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- While the dough is refrigerating, make the filling for the pies. Dice the apples and combine them in a bowl with the cranberries, sugar, flour, cinnamon, and cloves.
- After the dough has chilled, roll it out to ⅛ – ¼ inch thick on a lightly floured surface. Using a circular object (approximately 4 inches in diameter), cut as many circles as possible out of the dough. Collect the scraps, roll out again and cut more circles. Try to cut 12 circles in as few “roll outs” as possible.
- Place six circles on a parchment lined baking sheet, spoon the filling on top, and then place the last six circles over top. Crimp down the edges with a fork and make two small slits in the top of each. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for about 45 minutes or until they are golden brown.
TIPS: For something extra special, brush the tops of the pies with milk and sprinkle sugar on top. The milk will give the pies a slight sheen and help them brown. The sugar will glisten!
Step By Step Photos
Start by pulsing the flour and sugar together in the food processor to combine.
Cut the butter into chunks. Since this dough recipe did not call for any salt, I used salted butter. But that is completely up to you.
Add the butter to the processor and pulse a few more times until the mixture resembles coarse sand. It’s okay if there are a few larger bits of butter in there. Larger butter specs make for a flakey crust.
Add the cold water and pulse just a few more times until the dough comes together into one piece. Try to pulse as few times as possible here. Add a touch more water if the dough does not come together.
Form the dough into a ball and wrap it tightly in plastic wrap that has been dusted with flour. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
While the dough is refrigerating, make the filling. Dice the apples and combine them with the flour, sugar, cinnamon, cloves, and cranberries. The flour helps gelatinize any juices that escape from the apples during cooking. Stir it all up until everything is evenly coated.
After the dough has refrigerated, roll it out on a lightly floured surface. I find that rolling is easier if I press it down into a disc shape first. Roll the dough slightly thinner than you’d think (1/8 – 1/4 inch thick) because hand pies already tend to have a high crust-filling ratio. You don’t want the crust too thick.
I used a bowl to cut my circles but you can find whatever round object you have that is the size you want the pies to be. I made six pies so I needed 12 circles. Cut as many as you can while re-rolling out the dough scraps as few times as possible. The more you work the dough, the more the gluten will form and make a chewy crust.
Place the circles on a parchment lined baking sheet. Spoon the filling on top and then place another circle over it. Crimp down the edges with a fork and then use a sharp knife to make two slits in the top of each.
Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for about 45 minutes or until they are golden brown. Let the pies cool on a wire rack to prevent condensation and a soggy crust!
I’m not sure if it’s a good or a bad thing to have discovered how easy pie crust is to make…