Browed butter is the secret weapon in these classic apple hand pies. Rich, nutty, and full of depth, browned butter will take your hand pie game to the next level.
Apple and Browned Butter Hand Pies
- 2½ cups (313 grams) all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons (6 grams) kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon (4 grams) granulated sugar
- 1 cup (227 grams) cold unsalted butter, cubed
- 4 to 8 tablespoons ice water
- 2 Granny Smith apples, peeled and finely diced
- 1 cup Browned Butter Filling (recipe follows)
- 1 teaspoon (2 grams) ground cinnamon
- Pinch kosher salt
- 1 large egg
- 1 tablespoon water
- Granulated sugar
- Vanilla ice cream, to serve
- For dough: In the work bowl of a food processor, place flour, salt, and sugar; pulse until combined. Add butter, and pulse until mixture is crumbly. With processor running, add ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time, just until dough comes together. Divide dough in half, and shape each half into a disk. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Line large baking sheets with parchment paper.
- For filling: In a large bowl, stir together apples, Browned Butter Filling, cinnamon, and salt.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll dough to ⅛-inch thickness. Using a 3-inch square cutter, cut dough, rerolling scraps as necessary. Spoon 1 tablespoon filling onto half of dough squares, and cover with remaining dough squares. Transfer filled dough squares to prepared pans.
- In a small bowl, whisk together egg and 1 tablespoon water. Brush edges of dough squares with egg wash, and crimp edges with a fork to seal. Brush tops of squares with egg wash, and cut small slits in top of dough to release steam. Lightly sprinkle with granulated sugar, if desired.
- Bake until golden brown, 18 to 20 minutes.
Browned Butter Filling
Makes 2 cups
- ¾ cup (170 grams) unsalted butter
- ½ vanilla bean, split lengthwise, seeds scraped and reserved
- 1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1½ teaspoons (4.5 grams) all-purpose flour
- In a medium saucepan, heat butter and vanilla bean and reserved seeds over medium heat. Cook, swirling pan occasionally, until butter turns a medium-brown color and has a nutty aroma, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat, and discard vanilla bean.
- In a large bowl, whisk together sugar, eggs, and flour. To sugar mixture, add hot browned butter in a slow, steady stream, whisking constantly until well combined. Let mixture cool to room temperature; whisk once more. Transfer mixture to an airtight container, and refrigerate until cold. Extra filling can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
Can the pies be frozen? Or any of the components?
Almost all pie dough can be frozen (unbaked) in advance and will last for about three months in advance. You can also try to bake these off and freeze whole, but we recommend if you’d like to save some time, just to freeze the unbaked pie dough in advance.
Hi there! Can I use vanilla bean extract instead of an actual vanilla bean? If so, what amount do I use?
Thank you for reaching out! Substitute 1.5 tsp of vanilla extract for the 1/2 vanilla bean. Carefully (it will bubble up) add the vanilla into the brown butter after it has been removed from the heat, so you do not lose the aromatics!