Happy Pi Day!
Being two physicists (by degree) and food-lovers (by taste), we couldn’t let 3.14 go by without a pie recipe for you. Last year we were traveling in the Sprinter van with no access to an oven, so we made a raw Strawberry Tart. This year, we’ve made an equally easy recipe: Apple-Walnut Hand Pies.
We had a sheet of puff pastry in the freezer that I wanted to use, and the most difficult part of the recipe is remembering to let the puff pastry defrost in the fridge for a few hours before using it!
Because these little hand pies only take about 25 minutes to bake, you will need to soften the apples first. Add them to a small saucepan, cover and let simmer over medium heat for about 15 minutes, stirring every so often to avoid them sticking to the bottom on the pan. Adding a splash of water to the mix will help.
Once they’ve softened, add some cinnamon, flour, a touch of sugar, a touch of apple cider vinegar, and a handful of toasted walnuts, and stir to combine. Let this mixture cool for a bit before assembling the hand pies.
If you’ve never used it, puff pastry is surprisingly easy to work with. As long as you keep the worktop surface well-floured (to prevent the pastry from sticking) and work briskly (to prevent the pastry from warming up too fast) the pastry is quite forgiving. Using a rolling-pin, roll out a sheet of puff pastry to about half its original thickness, and cut the piece into 4 equal squares (or rectangles).
Brush the edges with a bit of milk, place 1/4 of the apple mixture onto one half of each square, then fold the pastry over this mixture and crimp the edges together using your fingers or a fork. Brush the tops of the hand pies with a bit of milk, slash to tops with a sharp knife to allow steam to escape, then pop the hand pies into the oven for about 25 minutes.
While these hand pies are still warm from the oven, I suggest topping them with a scoop of ice cream. The ice cream melts into all the nooks and crannies of the pie, making these seriously delicious. If you live in Vancouver, I urge you to head to Earnest Ice Cream to pick up a pint; there will be no regrets 🙂
So easy to make, so tasty to eat!
- ~200 g / 7oz puff pastry (this was ½ package for the pastry I used)
- 1 large apple (275 g), cored and diced
- 25 g (1/4 cup) walnuts, toasted then chopped
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 tbsp flour
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
- Thaw the puff pastry as directed (usually a few hours in the refrigerator).
- Core and dice a large apple. Place into a small sauce pan over medium heat. Add a splash of water, cover and reduce until softened, about 15 minutes.
- Toast the walnuts in the oven or in a pan on the stove top until fragrant, about 5 minutes. Chop and reserve.
- Once the apples have softened, add the cinnamon, brown sugar, flour, apple cider vinegar and chopped walnuts. Stir to combine, then cool the mixture.
- To make the hand pies, roll out a piece of puff pastry on a well-floured surface, to about half its original thickness. Cut into four equal pieces. I cut mine into 12-cm / 5-inch squares.
- Brush the edges of the pastry with milk and add ¼ of the apple mixture onto each square. Fold the pastry over itself, and pinch the edges together with your fingers or a fork.
- Brush the top of the hand pies with milk and slash a few holes to allow steam to escape.
- Place the hand pies on a parchment-lined tray and bake in a 400F oven for 22 to 25 minutes, until the pastries are a deep golden brown.
- Cool slightly on a rack before eating.
Enjoy these Apple-Walnut Hand Pies!