You will not find this recipe in any fancy cookbook or magazine, as it relies on two shortcuts that a true chef would never stoop to (or at least in my imagination, they have much higher standards); frozen puff pastry and butterscotch chips. Read on….
Apple Hand Pies with Butterscotch
- 1 package of frozen puff pastry…I have to say I found the best ones at Whole Foods…they were 12 rounds of pastry, all perfectly cut for you.
- 3 baking apples (I used Granny Smith for excellent results)
- 2 Tbsp. sugar
- 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp. cardamon
- 1 tsp. corn starch
- 1 c. (or more) of butterscotch chips
- 1 egg, beaten in a small bowl
- brown sugar for sprinkling
1) If you are like me and always forget to take the pastry out of the freezer…take it out of the freezer. It will take about a day to thaw in the fridge or an hour or two on the countertop.
2) Assuming you have the pastry in hand, wash and peel and core your apples. Slice them thinly to make for more even cooking.
3) Sprinkle the apples with the cinnamon, cardamon, sugar and give them a stir. Now sprinkle the cornstarch over top and give them another excellent stir.
4) If you were not so lucky to find the small round puff pastry at Whole Foods, roll out your pastry sheet into about 1/4 thickness and cut it into 6 equal pieces (there are 2 large pieces of puff pastry in a box…it will take both to make a dozen hand pies). Be sure to dust your working surface lightly with flour, or your pastry is guaranteed to stick. Another trick to working with this stuff is to keep it cool…if it gets too warm (read sticky), pop it back into the fridge for 10 minutes or so.
5) Now, imagine your pastry pieces divided in half. Add a layer of butterscotch chips to middle of the right hand side of one of the pieces of pastry. Top that with the finely sliced apples. Perhaps add a few more chips to the top, if you think you can fit them in. Fold over the other side of the pastry and crimp the edges together. Repeat 11 times.
6) Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or whip out your silpat if you are lucky enough to own some. Place your hand pies on this sheet and pop them into the fridge for at least 20 minutes. Meanwhile, turn on your oven to 350 F.
7) Remove the pies from the fridge and brush your beaten egg over top of them. Sprinkle them with some nice brown sugar (demera if you have it) and cut some slits in the top of the pies to let the steam out.
8) Bake these beauties for about half an hour, checking them after 25 minutes. When they are done, you will see the pastry has turned a beautiful golden colour and the filling will have bubbled out of the vents a bit.
I let these cool a bit before serving…but not too much. The combination of the butterscotch and apple reminds me of those candied apples that you can find at the fair…I served them with vanilla icecream, which made them that much better.