Apple Hand Pies
On May 13, Nothing is More American – Or More Delicious — Thanks to Lard-Infused Flaky Crust
Gastronomically speaking, this Friday the 13th figures to be a lucky day, marking as it does the observance of National Apple Day. After all, who doesn’t love a fresh-from-the-oven apple pie?
Now, thanks to a new recipe from Greg Hozinsky, Coast Packing Company’s Corporate Chef, that kind of bliss (and the attendant aromas that make apple pie such a multi-sensory treat) can be wafting through your kitchen in no time.
“I love hand pies,” Chef Greg says. “They’re easy to eat and great for kids. In this recipe we slice the apples thinly to maximize the fill inside each hand pie, giving a perfect bite of flaky pie crust and sweet spiced apples. Try this recipe and I promise you won’t be disappointed!”
Here are Chef’s step-by-step instructions for hand pies you can bake – and then devour.
- 3 cups AP flour (plus extra for dusting)
- 6 ounces pork lard (very cold)
- 2 ounces unsalted butter (very cold)
- ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 Tbsp granulated sugar
- 5 ½ Tbsp ice water
- 1 each, whole egg
- 1 teaspoon cider vinegar
For the apple filling
- 3 pounds Granny Smith apples (or a mix of your favorite baking apples)
- 1 cup turbinado cane sugar (plus extra for dusting)
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/8 teaspoon ground clove
- 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
- Juice of half a lemon (about 2 Tablespoons)
- 2 Tbsp cornstarch
- 4 Tbsp unsalted butter
To make the pie crust, start with cold ingredients. You don’t want the fat to melt; you want to keep nice, big pieces as you build your dough. “I even like to put my pork lard and butter in the freezer for 20-30 minutes before I start,” he says. “On a hot day, it doesn’t hurt to even refrigerate the flour. I like using my hands and a pastry cutter when making the dough, but you can also do this recipe with two forks or even a food processor, by pulsing the dough.”
Make sure not to overwork the dough; you want it to be flaky and tender. The more you work it, the more gluten develops, resulting in a tough pie crust, which no one really likes.
VARIATION: Fried Apple Pies
Instead of brushing the hand pie with egg, sprinkling with sugar and cutting little slit’s on top simply take this perfect hand sized pie and deep fry it in beef tallow until it is golden brown, usually about 4-5 minutes at 350 degrees. The end result is absolute perfection! And if you want to spice it up, sprinkle with a touch of cinnamon sugar over the top or serve it with your favorite vanilla ice cream.