These petite apple pies can be enjoyed either as a hearty vegetarian breakfast when visiting Beorn or as a durable teatime treat capable of keeping their shape after bumping around in your pack for a few days.
Apple Hand Pies Two Ways
8 granny smith apples, peeled, cored and diced small
1 cup sugar
2 tbsp melted butter
2 tbsp honey
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
½ tsp nutmeg
pinch ground cloves
2 ½ cups flour
¼ cup sugar
⅓ cup cold water
1 stick room temperature butter
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
Extra sugar to dust the surface of the pies
Peel and core the tart green apples of your choice. Cut the apples into a small dice. The smaller you cut them, the more filling you can pack into each pie.
Mix the sugar, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and a pinch of cloves in a large mixing bowl. Once they’re all playing nicely together, dump the apples on top. Toss them in the spice mix until every piece of apple is coated. Now drizzle the melted butter and honey on top. Toss the apples a few more times to get the tasty fat and liquid sugar on as many pieces as possible.
Let the apple flavors mingle while you make the crust.
To make the crust, first mix the flour, sugar, salt, and cinnamon until well blended. Add the room temperature butter and work it into the flour mix using your fingers. Keep at it until your flour looks like a crumbly pie topping, or really attractive gravel. The cold water will magically bind all those loose rocks together into a pie crust. Knead it a few times for good measure.
Preheat your oven to 400F.
You can now make your pies in two shapes. Either way, start by sprinkling flour on a clean surface and rolling the dough out to ¼ inch thickness. Don’t go much thinner or they’ll be prone to falling apart after one bite.
To make a large, cupcake sized hand pies, start by generously greasing the cupcake tins with butter. Remember, this isn’t health food. You want these to slide right out with ease while also gaining a little extra crispy flavor.
Use a cookie cutter (or martini glass, or bowl) about 2 inches bigger around than your cupcake tin holes. Press the large round piece into a tin. Make sure a little bit hangs over the top.
Poke a couple vent holes in the bottom.
Now spoon apple filling up to the top of your cupcake tin.
Cut out a second circle of dough just a smidge thinner than the open top of your cupcake tin. Lay it on top of the filling.
Pinch the overhanging filling around the top crust.
Poke a few vent holes in the top of the crust. Feel free to sprinkle it with a little extra cinnamon and sugar to give it a nice crunch.
Bake the cupcake sized hand pies at 400F for 45-50 min or until golden brown.
If you prefer the bite sized teatime pies, simply cut out a flat disc of dough. Pile a tablespoon of filling in the middle and pinch the edges closed with a fork. Feel free to decorate the tops with shapes cut out from extra dough.
Bake the smaller, folded pies at 400F for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown.
The flavor is equally good either way. Use whatever shape fits your overall meal strategy. After all, going on an adventure is no reason to be uncivilized.
* Technically, you can make these vegan by substituting coconut oil (or the vegan cooking oil of your choice) for butter. I tried, hence the huge difference in color between the large, cupcake sized, oil based pies and the small, teatime buttery ones. Even with the addition of extra spices, the oil based pies were notably less flavorful. The crust was also quite a bit more fragile and prone to falling apart in your hand after 2-3 bites. My oil crusts have held up well as small, folded, half moon sized pies, but they’re just not sturdy enough for something larger.
Need more Hobbity goodness in your life?
Preview even more recipes from An Unexpected Cookbook: The Unofficial Book of Hobbit Cookery, available now!
Sample recipes from all seven chapters of An Unexpected Cookbook:
Breakfast – Poached Pears Stuffed with Frumenty
Second Breakfast – Beef and Mushroom Stuffed Hand Pies
Elevenses – Shire Seed Cake
Luncheon – Stewed Hare with Root Vegetables and Dumplings
Afternoon Tea – Shortbread
Supper – Stuffed Roasted Mushrooms
Dinner – Boxty on the Griddle with Bacon
Need more? Get your own copy of An Unexpected Cookbook: The Unofficial Book of Hobbit Cookery from Amazon.com.