I usually repurpose one of my senior pie photos on #PiDay because I make pie all year round. I felt this year deserved a brand new photo and something a little fantasy and hopeful. Mini apple pies seem to be a good portrayal of how I’ve been feeling. It’s almost as if I could touch the beginning of Spring and am anticipating some happy changes in the next couple of months. Fingers crossed. To be completely honest, I’ve hit the pandemic fatigue wall and know we are in the final stretch… just gotta hold on tight a little longer.
Also we’ve been watching a bunch of Fellini films during this lockdown and I’m in fantasy mode. Why not? Better than the alternative. All this lead me to change things up and deep fry my mini apple pies… and I gotta say I like today’s revision. I may even get wild and call them empanadas!
Ingredients for Mini Apple Pies:
Makes 20 pies
For pie dough:
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1/3 cup frozen vegetable shortening, spooned into teaspoon drops
- 2 1/2 sticks (10 ounces) frozen unsalted butter, cut into tabs
- 1/2 cup extremely cold water
- 5 granny smith apples
- 2 gala apples
- 2 large Pink Lady or Honey Crisp apples
- 1 1/2 cups turbinado sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
- 3 teaspoons lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) salted butter
- 3 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 3 tablespoons cold water
- 2 cups vegetable oil
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 3 tablespoons half and half
- Red food coloring
For the crust:
- Place the flour, sugar and salt into a food processor. Pulse to combine.
- Add in the vegetable shortening, and pulse until fat is cut into the flour.
- Pulse in frozen butter into flour mixture in 3 parts. You are looking for pea sized balls of butter to remain.
- Slowly add in the ice water one tablespoon at a time. Give the dough one pulse between each water addition.
- Dump the dough onto a clean surface. Run hands under cold water for a few minutes. Dry your hands well, then quickly press the dough together to form a long log. Divide the log in half, and form each half into a disk.
- Wrap each disk in plastic wrap and place in the fridge over night.
- Remove chilled dough from the fridge, and allow to rest at room temperature for 10 minutes.
- Sprinkle clean work area with flour. I like to roll my dough on a non stick baking sheet. Roll the dough out from the center and move the mat underneath to roll it out to a 1/8 inch thickness.
- Cut as many 2 inch circles out with a 2 inch cookie cutter.
For The Apple Filling:
- Peel, core, and cut all the apples into 1/8 inch thickness.
- Place the apple slices in a large pot over a medium flame. Then add sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, lemon juice, butter and vanilla extract to the pot and mix to combine completely.
- Cook for 30 minutes stirring occasionally.
- Mix 3 tablespoons of cold water and cornstarch together in a glass until cornstarch dissolves.
- Pour cornstarch mixture over apples and mix until thickened.
- Remove from heat and allow to come to room temperature.
- TIP: Apple filling can be made up to two days in advance.
Make Mini Apple Pies
- Take one circle cut dough and fill the center with 1 tablespoon of apple filling.
- Top apple filling with another circle cut dough and press the top piece into the bottom piece of dough with your finger tips to enclose it.
- Take a fork and press the tines into the outer edge of the dough to completely secure the edges shut.
- Place all mini hand pies on a parchment lined cookie sheet and place in the freezer for 30 minutes.
- Pour 2 cups of vegetable oil in a pot over a medium flame. Attach a thermometer to the side and bring temperature up to 350 degrees.
- Deep fry a few hand pies at a time for about 2 minutes or until golden brown.
- Remove pies from oil with a slotted spoon and place on a paper towel lined plate to drain excess oil.
- Continue frying until all pies are done.
- Sift powdered sugar in a bowl, then add in half and half.
- Whisk to combine and make a glaze.
- Add in a few drops of food coloring to reach desired color.
- Spoon a tablespoon of glaze over each pie.
- Allow to set for 30 minutes.
If you need to get your hands on some cherry pie… try mine.