A 130-year-old heirloom recipe is the backbone of Nashville, Tennessee pastry chef Lisa Donovan’s Dried Apple Filling. Black pepper lends the perfect amount of kick to this treat. For more hand pie recipes, look to her Roasted Strawberry Hand Pies, Lemon Thyme and Blackberry Hand Pies, and Spicy Green Tomato Jam Hand Pies.
Dried Apple Hand Pies
- Pie Dough, rested and chilled
- 1 large egg (50 grams)
- 1 tablespoon (15 grams) water
- Dried Apple Filling, chilled (recipe below)
- Garnish: ground black pepper
- Divide Pie Dough in half, and roll each half to ?-inch thickness. Using a 4½-inch round cutter, cut dough, rerolling scraps once. Place rounds between sheets of parchment paper, and refrigerate for 5 to 7 minutes.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a small bowl, whisk together egg and 1 tablespoon (15 grams) water. Brush edges of dough with egg wash. Place 1½ tablespoons Dried Apple Filling in center of each round. Fold dough over filling, and press edges to seal. Trim edges with a fluted pastry cutter. Place on prepared pan, and freeze.
- Preheat oven to 450°F (230°C).
- Brush frozen hand pies with egg wash, and garnish with pepper, if desired. Make 3 small vents in top of dough to release steam.
- Bake until golden brown, 15 to 18 minutes; serve warm.
Dried Apple Filling
Makes about 1½ cups
- 3 cups (384 grams) sliced dried apples
- 5 cups (1,200 grams) unsweetened apple cider
- ¼ cup (55 grams) firmly packed light brown sugar
- ½ tablespoon (1 gram) lemon zest
- 1½ tablespoons (22.5 grams) fresh lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon (1.5 grams) kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon (1 gram) ground black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon grated fresh nutmeg
- ½ vanilla bean, split lengthwise, seeds scraped and reserved
- ¼ cup (60 grams) heavy whipping cream
- In a large saucepan, soak dried apples in apple cider for 1 hour.
- Bring apple mixture to a boil over medium heat; boil for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer for 40 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C).
- Using a slotted spoon, transfer apples to a deep baking dish, reserving cider. Toss apples with brown sugar, lemon zest and juice, salt, pepper, nutmeg, and reserved vanilla bean seeds.
- Bake until filling begins to break down, 30 to 40 minutes, stirring frequently and adding reserved cider as needed to prevent drying while baking. Let cool for 10 minutes. Gradually stir in cream. Refrigerate before using.
I really like the flavor of these. But I’m just curious, is there there any reasoning behind using dehydrated apples instead of fresh? It just seemed like a lot of steps involved (soaking the apples, letting them simmer and then baking).
This is a very traditional recipe. It is a recipe that was used in the off-season when fresh apples were not available.
The value of dried apple pie is probably historic. It was popular in the days when dried apple slices where what was on hand throughout the winter. Nostalgia it is, but I’d say this pie has its own unique nice flavor.