Hand pies are so much fun. You just pick up your own personal mini-pie and munch away. No sharing! And when those flaky pies are filled with cinnamon spiced apples and gooey salted caramel, you won't want to share.
Putting these together is pretty easy - divide up your apple mixture among the circles of dough, top with a few bits of caramel candy, sprinkle with sea salt, place another round of dough on top.
Crimp the edges with a fork to seal, but the dough is going to puff up like puff pastry so it doesn't have to be perfect. Egg wash and coarse sugar make the crust a beautiful golden brown.
The one issue with these is that you do have to eat them warm or the caramel will re-solidify. If you don't eat them all immediately (which, good luck with that) you will need to reheat them before serving. There is also quite a bit of dough in proportion to filling. If that is not your style, make sure to roll it out extra thin.
Salted Caramel Apple Hand Pies
adapted from Just a Taste
makes 10-12 hand pies
For the dough:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 cup (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
1/2 cup cold sour cream
For the filling:
2 cups peeled and small diced (size of corn kernel) Granny Smith apples
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup sugar
2 tsp all-purpose flour
8 store-bought soft caramels, roughly chopped
Large flake sea salt
1 egg, beaten
Crystal sanding sugar (optional)
Make the dough:
Whisk together the flour, salt and baking powder in a large bowl. Add the cubed butter to the bowl and use a pastry cutter or your fingers to work the butter into the flour until the mixture is the consistency of wet sand. Stir in the sour cream (the dough should be very wet, if not add cold water 1 tbsp at a time), and then turn the dough out onto a well-floured work surface. Knead the dough a few times until it comes together, adding more flour, 1 teaspoon at a time, if the dough is too sticky to handle.
Roll the dough into an 8x10-inch rectangle and dust both sides with flour before folding it into thirds as if you were folding a letter. Rotate the dough 90º and roll it out again into an 8x10-inch rectangle. Fold the dough again into thirds then wrap it securely in plastic wrap and refrigerate it for at least 30 minutes while you make the filling.
Make the filling: In a small bowl, combine the apples, lemon juice, cinnamon, sugar, and flour - stirring until thoroughly mixed. Set aside.
Assemble the pies: Preheat the oven to 425ºF.
Remove the dough from the refrigerator and unfold it onto a well-floured surface, rolling it out to a 14x14-inch square. Using a 3-inch circular cookie cutter or cup, cut out as many circles as possible. Re-roll the scraps and continue cutting out circles until you run out of dough, ensuring you end up with an even number of circles. (You should have approximately 20 3-inch circles.)
Place half of the dough circles on a Silpat or parchment paper-lined cookie sheet. Spoon a small portion of the apple filling into the center of each circle, leaving enough of a border around the filling. Top the apple filling with a portion of the chopped caramels and a pinch of sea salt (I would go for 2 pinches, personally). Place a second dough circle atop each filled circle then use a fork to crimp the edges together, sealing each pie.
Brush each pie with the egg wash, and using a sharp knife, cut two or three vents on the top of each pie. Sprinkle the pies with crystal sanding sugar (optional).
Bake the pies for about 15 minutes, or until they're golden brown. Remove the pies from the oven and allow them to rest for 10 minutes before serving.