After a friend shared a delicious-sounding recipe for dumplings, I decided to buy a dough press set. Since we have very little storage place in our kitchen, my tools supply is low. I try to avoid buying things like dough presses that won’t get much use, but my craving for hand pies and dumplings overtook me. Â I’ll try to use it quite a bit before it makes a home in the garage; right now it is sitting annoyingly on my kitchen counter (taking up about a quarter of my work space!).
I really wanted to make my great aunt B.I.’s famous hand pies but don’t have her recipes, so settled with trying something of my own with apples I had on hand.
They ended up pretty good. I’m still going to search for a better recipe! Next time I will probably make them larger to improve the filling-to-pastry ratio; I think that will be nearly perfect. The inside is really delicious, and if I have a craving for apple pie I’ll likely go ahead and make these again. Â Baked goods always taste better in miniature–especially if they eliminate having to wash dishes after each use!
I made two different rounds of hand pies. The fist time, I used one of Smitten Kitchen’s pastry suggestion but found it difficult to work with and not worth the wait. I was disappointed with how ugly that batch of pies came out and quickly threw together another round using a quick pie crust.
3 or 4 baking apples (Granny Smiths are a good choice)
Â½ cup sugar
1 Tbs flour
Â½ tsp cinnamon (heaping)
dash of nutmeg
Peel and chop apples into small pieces. Coat with dry ingredients and let sit in refrigerator until the pastry is prepared.
Pastry for Double-Crust Pie from Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook
2 Â½ cups AP flour
Â¾ tsp salt
2/3 cup shortening
8 to 10 Tbs cold water
1 egg yolk beaten with 2 Tbs water
Sugar for decoration
Preheat oven to 375Â°F. In a medium bowl stir together flour and salt. Cut in shortening until pieces are pea size (I always use my hands for this).
Sprinkle 1 Tbs of the water over part of the flour mixture; toss iwth a fork. Push moistened pastry to side of bowl. Repeat moistening flour mixture, using 1 Tbs of the water at a time, until flour mixture is moistened. Divide pastry in half; form halves into balls.
On lightly floured surface, use your hands to slightly flatten one pastry ball. Roll it from center to edges. Cut circles the size you desire, using a dough set as your guide. If you are not using a dough press, cut the circles with a large cookie or biscuit cutter.
Lightly flour surface of dough press, then place a generous amount of apple filling into the center of the circles. With a bit of cold water, wet the circumference of the dough and press edges together, forming a semi-circle. If not using a dough press, make a decorative edge by pressing the dough together with a fork.
Brush pies with egg yolk mixture and sprinkle generously with sugar. Bake until the hand pies are golden brown, or about 20 minutes.
Next up: hand pies of varying fruits (I’m dreaming of blackberries once the price drops a bit) and Kara’s dumplings