Let’s talk pie. This week we’re taking a break from flowers to put on our baking hats!
I’ve had a challenging relationship with pie crust over the years. I remember the first time attempting to make it in my twenties and being brought to tears because it was either crumbling all over or sticking to everything. After many incarnations, and much trial and error I think I’ve found the magic pie crust recipe and a fun way to use it. This season I am loving bringing my little people into the kitchen to help bake. I am going to share my favorite pie crust recipe, which comes together in minutes with the help of a food processor, and an apple hand pie recipe that little and big folks love.
I love an all-butter pie crust for fruit pies. This one comes together in a food processor and gives the perfect texture to stand up to a good, gooey, fruit filling. I have to shout out to my Mom who makes everything in her food processor and introduced me to the concept!
My Favorite All Butter Easy Pie Crust
Makes x2 9 in. Pie crusts
2 1/2 Cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp Kosher salt
1 Tablespoon of Sugar (optional)
1 Cup very cold salted butter (if you use unsalted, up the salt to 1 tsp)
6-8 Tbsp Ice cold water
First, put some ice in a measuring cup with a spout and fill it up to get your water ice-cold.
Add 11/2 cups of flour, salt & sugar to the food processor. Scatter cold, cubed butter over the mixture and process for about 10-15 seconds.
Add the last 1 cup of flour to the food processor and pulse 3-4 times to combine, dough should look nice and crumbly
Add 4 Tbsp cold water and pulse 3-5 times, the dough should look like it it *just* starting to come together.
Dump the mixture into a big bowl and sprinkle the remaining 2 Tbsp of water over the crumbles. This should be enough for it to come together. Gently gather and squeeze into 2 balls. If it’s not coming together, add 1-2 more Tbsp of water.
Flatten into discs and wrap each disc in plastic wrap. Chill in the fridge for at least an hour and up to 3 days in the fridge. Pull your dough out 1-2 hours before using it so it can warm a bit before you begin working with it. Voila! You can check pie crust off the list.
I have little people who absolutely love to bake. Being busy Mama and running a business often means I just want to get dinner on the table and everyone out of my hair. I am taking some breaths this season and giving my little team more space and autonomy in the kitchen. I realize it is a great place for them to explore, and gain wonderful life skills and confidence. Having more than one little person, it can be a challenge to involve everyone and have it run smoothly. The following recipe has lots of steps that are easily accomplished by many small hands. It also tastes like childhood. And love. Try it out with kids or grandkids this season, it will make sweet memories, and a delicious dessert everyone can agree on.
Easy Apple Hand Pies (to be made with kids!)
Makes 7-8 Hand Pies
x1 9" unbaked pie crust
3-4 apples that makes approx. 3 cups of diced apples
1/3 Cup brown sugar or coconut sugar
2 tsp. Cinnamon
1 pinch of salt
2-3 Tbsp of Butter
Cinnamon & sugar for sprinkling
Preheat oven to 375°F
Peel and core the apples. I have this awesome Johnny apple peeler that suctions to the counter and peels, cores, and slices all at the same time. Kids can use it independently and it is also great for making dried apple rings, this is a kitchen tool that gets tons of use in our house!
Chop the apples into cubes and mix in brown sugar & cinnamon.
Melt 2-3 Tbsp of butter in a medium skillet and add the apple mixture and a pinch of salt.
Sauté the apples for 3-5 minutes until tender.
Roll out your pie dough, then cut it out into about 5-inch circles and place it on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper for easy cleanup. I use a flipped-over bowl to cut out my circles and it does the job! Spoon the apple filling onto the circles, and fold over to make a pocket. Use a fork to seal the edges. Beat the egg in a small bowl and brush an egg wash over the pockets. Sprinkle a cinnamon sugar mix over each of the hand pies. (My mix is usually 3 tbsp. Sugar to 1 tsp cinnamon, you won’t use all of it on this project, that’s just my approx. ratio). Bake at 375°F for 23-27 minutes until golden brown. Let cool on the cookie sheet for 10-15 min to stay crispy and then enjoy with the whole family.
Squeeze your loved ones, count your blessings, and make some memories.