Friday, November 30, 2012

Apple Pear Hand Pies (For Ev, Part I)

I have a friend in the Peace Corps right now who is stationed (is that the right word?) in Armenia. Her living arrangements are sparse and most things we take for granted over here aren't as available there. Things like meat, baking powder, and leafy greens. Even heat and refrigerators! In fact, the butchers are currently closed because there was a case of anthrax in a cow. It sure makes me feel lucky to be an American. She asked me to create a simple meal that uses local ingredients and this is the dessert I came up with.

These small servings are easier for a single person, rather than wondering what to do with a whole pie! Plus, we both grew up in the UP of Michigan. Years ago, there were many Cornish immigrants that came over to work in the copper mines. With them, they brought the pasty (pronounced past-ee). They are shaped like this and contain meat, potatoes, rutabaga, and carrots. They're much larger, but can still be eaten out of hands. In fact, that's how I prefer to eat them!

Next week I'll be posting the meal, but let's do dessert first. It's more exciting in my opinion. 

If necessary, an additional apple can be used in place of the pear.

I hope you enjoy them, Ev! This was a fun challenge and I can't wait to see how they turn out for you!

Apple Pear Hand Pies
Makes 8

Adapted from Dorie's recipe

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar, plus additional for sprinkling
3/4 teaspoons sea salt
1 1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter, very cold, and cut into small pieces
1/4 cup cold water
1 whole egg, beaten lightly

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, and salt. Add the butter and using your fingers, rub the butter and flour between your fingers until there is no more "free" flour or large pieces of solid butter.

Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of water over dough and toss gently with your hands to combine. Dough should come together when pinched. Add additional water as necessary 1 teaspoon at a time, continuing to toss until desired texture is achieved.

Form into disk using your hands and wrap in plastic wrap or wax paper. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

2 large apples, cored, peeled, and roughly chopped (I used a Pink Lady and a Honeycrisp)
1 pear, cored, peeled, and roughly chopped (I used D'anjou)
2 tablespoons lemon juice, from half a lemon
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons unsalted butter

While crust is resting, combine apples, pear, lemon juice, cinnamon, and sugar in a medium bowl until fruit is evenly coated.

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt butter, swirling pan and scraping sides of pan with rubber spatula occasionally. Once small brown flecks form in the butter and it gives off a caramel smell, (about 5 minutes) remove from heat and pour into a small heat-proof bowl.

In the same saucepan, heat fruit until sauce bubbles and decrease heat to low. Cover and simmer about 10 minutes. Remove cover and stir occasionally until sauce thickens. Remove from heat and stir in browned butter.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Roll out crust on a clean, lightly floured surface into a 14-inch circle. Using a 4 1/2-inch round cookie cutter, cut out 8 circles. You may need to re-roll the scraps in order to get 8.

Set dough rounds on a baking sheet and drop about 1 tablespoon of fruit just off center on the dough. Fold the dough into half moons and press the edges together with your fingers to seal.You may need to slightly flatten the pie with your palm. Brush with the beaten egg and sprinkle with a small amount of sugar.

Bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until crust is lightly browned.

Cool for 20 minutes at room temperature before serving.


I'm sharing this at Happy Hour, Or So She Says, Something Swanky, Crazy for Crust, and One Project Closer.

Featured on The Humble Brag


  1. Rosa's Yummy YumsNov 30, 2012, 9:02:00 AM

    Those hand pies look very tempting! A delicious treat.



    1. Oh thank you Rosa! Tempting indeed. That's why I have to put most of my bakery in the freezer...It prevents immediate snacking when a craving hits!

  • I came to visit your blog because of Ev. When she returns from Armenia, she should be accomplished enough with this recipe that she could make them for me!

    1. Yes, it's what a good little sister should do! Wait, that means I'll have to make them for Heather...Oh well.

      Thanks for checking them out Andrea!

  • These look stunning, Loretta. I love apples and pears at this time of the year. Well, anytime really but they're more special now. And the touch of cinnamon is perfect too. How many pies does this recipe yield?

    And WTH? Anthrax in a cow? I don't even want to know how that even got into the food chain. The UK is the same, for most part, with good food safety and standards. I just like to moan a lot for the lack of confectionary and sprinkles we Brits [don't] get over here. :)

    Sweet 2 Eat Baking

    1. Thanks Lisa! Thanks for the heads-up. I added the yield to the recipe. It makes 8.

      About the anthrax?! Yeah, it's crazy to me too! It's easy to forget that the world is so different...

      Sorry about the lack of sprinkles!

  • sally @ sallys baking addictionNov 30, 2012, 4:35:00 PM

    i've only made hand pies once and you're reminding me to make them again SOON! Apples and pears - i'd go with those too :)

    1. It was my first time doing hand pies and I'll be doing them again for sure! They were actually easier than a regular pie because I didn't have to worry about a runny filling, waiting FOREVER to eat it...I have frozen wild blueberries, which is super tempting.

  • Jocie@TheBetterHalfDec 1, 2012, 1:23:00 PM

    These look SOOOOO yummy and I love the pix!
    You may have heard, but we are giving away a Silhouette Cameo and free ad space and would love for you to come link up and enter to win! Hope to see you there!

    1. Thanks for the heads up, Jocie!

    2. Jocie@TheBetterHalfDec 6, 2012, 7:28:00 PM

      Thanks so much for linking up last week at The Humble Brag, Loretta!! You were FEATURED! so stop by and grab a button - you earned it.

      The Silhouette Cameo giveaway is still going strong and you can get MORE ENTRIES by signing up for link party email reminders, sharing the giveaway on FB with your readers, and linking up again. Hope to see you there tomorrow.

    3. That's great news Jocie! I'm crossing my fingers...

      Thanks so much for featuring me!

  • Oh, I LOVE a pasty! My family is also from the UP and I still bring them home frozen every time I visit. Nice to find your blog - I am also a Finn from dad's side and Cornish from mom's side! You should post a pasty recipe! :-)

    1. Nice to have a fellow yooper here! There's a pasty recipe I've been wanting to try replicate. It's not a traditional recipe, but it's awesome...If you follow me, hopefully I'll pull it off sometime this winter!

      I should probably do a traditional one as well...

  • I made these hand pies and they were scrumptious! See the link to my story about making them here: Thanks for doing this for me, Loretta!

    1. No prob. Ev. I love the post that you did on these!

  • Hi! I'm a returned Peace Corps Volunteer from Eastern Europe and happened upon your blog via pinterest. Thanks for supporting Volunteers (Ev and the rest of us!) with tasty recipes! One thing you learn during service is to cook/bake from scratch so having recipes with simple ingredients is a blessing. You also learn not to let food spoil! I'm in Ukraine with a few pears and apples that are itching for a recipe like yours!

    1. It's so cool that you found me Veronica! I've never experienced a lack of basic ingredients, so it was fun to try this for Ev. Plus, I realized what a challenge it must be to live in certain parts of the world. It makes me realize how much I take for granted! Thanks again for coming by!


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