Welp, 2020 has done messed up Thanksgiving which is pretty unforgivable in my book. But here we are. No one wants to change Thanksgiving, and yet we have to if we want to keep folks safe. Nearly all our family is in Georgia so one thing we have been considering is cooking a big dinner, then dividing it by household, and having families pick it up. And by "we", I mean my daughter Josie, because she's making everything. Have I mentioned she's 16? Then we can all eat together on zoom.
Obviously dishes like turkey are easy to make in bulk and split up, but what about the desserts?? In my family the kids don't generally like traditional Thanksgiving pies (pumpkin and/or pecan). I know, it's a disgrace and probably a sign that I've failed as a parent. So...we always have to make some kind of fruit pie. Yes, we can slice up a pie and give pieces to each family but wouldn't it be better to have your own pie? Duh.
So I scoured the interwebs and came across this recipe for Cranberry Apple hand pies. Full disclosure: I haven't made these yet (nor has Josie, because really, I'm not going to be the one baking). I like that they have the cranberries so they feel a bit more seasonal than a regular apple pie.** I also like that you can make and freeze them in advance. That way your recipient can get them frozen then pop them in the oven and have a freshly baked pie of their own. This recipe includes a handmade crust but, if it were me, I probably would just buy the rolled up refrigerated version. No judging.
So without further ado, here you go.
- 2 1/2 cups flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tsp sugar
- 1 cup cold unsalted butter, cubed
- 1/4 to 1/2 cup ice water
- 1 cup cranberries, fresh or frozen
- 1 cup peeled and diced apples
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 Tbsp brandy
- 1 1/2 Tbsp water
- 1 tsp arrowroot starch (or cornstarch)
- 2 Tbsp sugar
- 2 Tbsp heavy cream
- 2 Tbsp sugar
- For the crust, combine flour, salt, and sugar in a food processor. Add cubed butter and process for 10 seconds, just until the mixture resembles coarse meal. With the food processor running, add 1/4 cup ice water in a steady stream through feed tube. If needed, add additional ice water 1 tablespoon at a time, and process just until dough holds together in large clumps (no more than 30 seconds). Divide dough into two equal portions. Wrap each portion in plastic and flatten slightly to form a disc. Chill in the refrigerator at least 1 hour (or up to 2 days, or place in a freezer bag and freeze up to 1 month).
- For the filling, combine cranberries, apples, sugar, salt, brandy, and water in a medium sauce pan. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly, until cranberries begin to split open. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until fruit has softened. Add arrowroot starch and simmer for 1 to 2 minutes, until mixture has thickened. Transfer to a bowl and chill until ready to use.
- Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Place one disc of dough on a floured board and dust dough with flour. Roll out until dough is about 1/8″ thick (If dough starts to stick, use a floured bench scraper to gently lift dough from board). Use a 3 1/2-inch round fluted biscuit cutter to cut out 12 circles of dough (re-roll scraps once). Place circles on baking sheet and chill in the refrigerator for 15 minutes. Repeat with second disc of dough and preheat oven to 400°F.
- To assemble hand pies, place 2 teaspoons of filling in the center of 12 chilled circles. Sprinkle filling with sugar. Brush edges of the pastry very lightly with water. Use a sharp knife to cut vents into remaining circles, and place over the top. Seal the edges of each pie by crimping with a fork (dust fork with flour first). Chilled assembled pies in the refrigerator for 10 minutes.
- Just before baking, brush hand pies with cream and sprinkle generously with sugar. Bake for 26 to 30 minutes, until golden brown. Cool hand pies on baking sheets for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.