Apple White Cheddar Hand Pies
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Let’s talk about expectations for a minute.
I’m a planner. At around the age of 13 I planned out the next 30 years of my life with painful detail. I was to go to college in DC. Do an internship every single semester. Graduate in exactly 4 years. And then go directly to law school. My plan was going just right until, what can only be explained through some kind of brain aneurysm, I dropped out of school to enter the convent. True story.
I’m going to skip ahead a few years because that whole story is something to be saved for a later time (and a tall glass of wine). After leaving the convent, moving back home, and finally finishing college, I had the first of a few quarter life crises. And what I always do during those times of confusion is rethink my plan and make a new list of expectations. Things, so I believed, are always supposed to be a certain way in life. I thought that if I could define my future and its path then all I would need to do was read the directions and follow the map.
Life, as we all learn at some point, does NOT work this way. Expectations, all too often, do not turn into reality. But, sometimes reality is even better than the expectations I created. I’m so thankful for that. So my goal for 2015 has been to plan less and take life as it comes at me, regardless of the expectations.
Like this weekend, for example. I had ALL sorts of plans for this weekend. I had clear expectations for what I would have done come bed time on Sunday night. Most of it involved long spurts of time with my camera in hand.
The Nashville weather, however, crushed all of my expectations for the weekend. It ended up being so dark and dreary most of the weekend that I didn’t even want to get out of bed. Even the dogs couldn’t be bothered to do much else than sleep (which, to be honest, is really just a normal day for them). So, I let go of all the expectations and simply enjoyed a rather lazy, hazy weekend filled with lots of comfort food and puppy cuddles.
And I took lots of pictures of my dogs to give my camera some love too.
This is my happy gif^^^^^. That tilting headed ball of fluff will forever put a smile on my face.
Remember the Heart Shaped Raspberry Pies that I made last year? That post was the first food post on my blog that I was truly proud of, photography wise. I wanted to re-make those pies again this year but with a new and adventurous filling: apples and sharp white cheddar cheese (it’s delicious, I promise!!).
I made these pies real slow and enjoyed the process (eating lots of cheese and apples and raw rosemary pie crust along the way).
First the pie crust. I used my all time favorite pie crust recipe for this which is courtesy of Joy the Baker. I’ve made this crust maybe 100 times now. This time, I did something crazy and dumped a bunch of dried rosemary into the mix. Genius, I know.
The flour, buttermilk, and butter are all chilled for maximum crust-ability. Then they’re processed together and the sneaky rosemary is added in when no one is looking.
The crust is very shaggy (how Joy describes it) and kind of resembles Parmesan cheese. Don’t be alarmed by this (I was the first few times).
Just gather it all together into 2 balls of dough, wrap it in seran wrap, and press it together real tight. Let in rest in the fridge for an hour.
While that chills out, the apples and cheese are prepared.
Apples are peeled and diced and tossed with sugar and spices. Cheese is grated. I debated just slicing the cheese but I wanted to ensure that it would be evenly placed in the pies.
Once the dough is chilled enough to stick together, it’s rolled out on a flour dusted surface and cut into cute little hearts.
I cut all of the hearts out the same size but then stretched out half of them so that the pies will fit together nicely.
I use my little heart pie device to fill the pies. First the apples.
Then the cheese
The top layer of crust is added and the pie is crimped shut and any excess dough around the sides is cut off.
If you don’t have one of these, you can still fill the pies just fine and crimp them shut with a fork.
They’re all brushed with an egg wash, sprinkled with turbinado sugar, and baked for 25 minutes.
I’m kind of in love with this pie crust (and with these little heart pies). I have so many ideas for how to use this crust recipes again soon.Print
- 2 1/2 cups of all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup of buttermilk
- 2 sticks of unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon of sugar
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- heaping tablespoon of dried rosemary
- 2 medium apples, peeled and diced into small pieces
- ~ 1 cup of shredded sharp white cheddar cheese
- 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
- 1/4 cup of sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
- 1 egg, whisked
- turbinado sugar for topping
To make the crust:
- Cut the butter into small chunks and chill in the freezer for 15 minutes. Measure out the flour and buttermilk and also chill those.
- Sift together the flour, sugar, and salt. Add the flour mixture and the butter into a food process and pulse several times until the butter has broken up into small little chunks (but is still visible).
- While pulsing on and off, slowly add in the buttermilk and continue to pulse slowly until it’s all combined. It’ll be really shaggy and will barely hold together unless pressed together tightly. If it seems to need it, however, add in more buttermilk a tablespoon at a time.
- Add in the rosemary and pulse a couple more times. At this point, the dough will likely resemble grated parmesan cheese. That’s okay.
- Gather the dough together into 2 balls of dough, pressing each one tightly together. Wrap in wax paper or saran wrap and put in the fridge to chill for at least an hour.
- While that chills, prepare the filling by combining the diced apples, lemon juice, sugar, nutmeg, and cinnamon. Set aside.
- Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Once dough is ready, roll it out and cut out heart shapes. Taking half of the hearts, press them out so that they’re slightly larger than the other half of hearts.
- Taking 2 hearts (one regular and one pressed out a bit) fill the dough with ~1 tablespoon of apples and top with a layer of the cheese.
- Brush the edges of the bottom piece of dough with the egg wash and then seal the hand pies shut by crimping the edges. This can be done with a fork.
- Brush the tops of each pie with the egg wash and sprinkle with turbinado sugar. Poke a few small holes in the top of each pie.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown.