Variable, portable and adorable
Hand pies make fun-size snacks, main dishes or desserts
Apple hand pies: Simple to make, there's not much to a hand pie: Sandwich your filling of choice between a couple of layers of dough and bake until golden brown. Voila. (Bob Chamberlin/Los Angeles Times)
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup toasted pecan pieces
Prepared pie dough for 2 single crust (9- to 10-inch) pies
1 beaten egg
Coarse or decorating sugar
1. Heat the raisins and rum in a small saucepan over medium heat until the raisins are softened and plump. Remove from heat; set aside.
2. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Stir in the apples, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt; cook, stirring frequently, until apples start to soften, 3-4 minutes (slices should still be crisp); remove from heat. Drain raisins; stir raisins and pecans into apples. Spread mixture onto a baking sheet to cool quickly.
3. Divide dough into 12 even pieces; shape into small disks. On a lightly floured board, roll disks into 6-inch circles, about 1/8-inch thick.
4. Brush the inside of each circle with a light coating of beaten egg, going all the way to the edges. Place roughly 1/4 cup filling in the center of each circle, slightly off to one side. Carefully fold over half the dough, lining the edges up to form a half circle. Gently press the edges down to seal.
5. Place pies on 2 parchment-lined baking sheets; refrigerate, uncovered, 30 minutes. Meanwhile, heat the oven to 400 degrees.
6. Brush chilled pies with beaten egg; slash 2-3 small steam vents in the tops. Sprinkle with coarse sugar. Bake, 1 sheet at a time (refrigerate the other sheet until ready to bake), on the center rack until puffed and golden brown, 20-25 minutes. Rotate baking sheet halfway through baking for even coloring. Cool on a rack; serve warm or at room temperature.
Per serving: 515 calories, 33 g fat, 14 g saturated fat, 64 mg cholesterol, 49 g carbohydrates, 6 g protein, 435 mg sodium, 3 g fiber
Flaky pie dough
Makes: Enough dough for 6 hand pies or 1 (9- to 10-inch) single-crust pie. The recipe can be doubled to make 12 hand pies. If using a food processor, process one batch at a time; most processors are too small for a double batch.
In a food processor, pulse together 2 1/2 cups flour, generous 1 teaspoon salt and 1 tablespoon sugar until combined.
Add 1/4 cup cold shortening; pulse until incorporated. Add 1 stick cold butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes; pulse just until the butter is reduced to pea-size pieces.
Sprinkle with 2 1/4 teaspoons cider vinegar and 1/4 cup ice water; pulse to form the dough. Pulse a few more times just until the dough begins to clump together. If the dough is crumbly and dry, pulse in additional water, 1 tablespoon at a time.
Remove the dough; mold it into a disk 6 to 8 inches in diameter. Cover tightly with plastic wrap; refrigerate at least 2 hours, preferably overnight.