Pies & Tarts & Crisps

Captain America Apple Hand Pies

Captain America Apple Hand Pies

The Avengers Infinity Wars hit theaters and is already a blockbuster hit! Since all of the fans love the characters so much, especially Captain America, I knew I had to make an inspired treat. Since Captain America is America’s Sweetheart Superhero, and as wholesome and sweet as apple pie, that is of course what we are making today! However, since I know Captain America would want to share his dessert with his friends and take it to go, I put together Captain America Apple Hand Pies!

Check out the step-by-step video tutorial here, RECIPE VIDEO !

As you all know, I am obsessed with food and drinks! And from the history I give you in my videos, you know I also like to learn about the food and drink I’m working with. Did you guys know that even though Apple Pie is the quintessential dessert of Americans it was first served in England in 1398? That apple pie was nothing like the one we think of today. It had apples, figs, raisins, and saffron! It didn’t even have sugar since sugar was so expensive. So apple pie has transformed into something so universally appealing that these Captain America Apple Hand Pies are meant to be!

When I make apple pie I look for some important factors. First, I want a flaky, all-butter crust that has flavor of its own. I want some tang, some attitude, and some rich decadence that you can only get from using a ton of butter. Second, I want a filling that is warm with spices and slightly sweet. I want the apples to be the real flavor star with the other ingredients there for enhancement and flair. Last, I want a golden brown and shiny finish that has a slight crunch. Apple pie, whether whole or in mini form, has to have texture, flavor, and pizzazz! While some apple pies are just ordinary, you know that’s not going to happen here!

So Ritzy Chefs, let’s bake some Captain America Apple Hand Pies!

The Perfect Pie Crust

The first step to an apple pie is the perfect crust. I have tried every kind of pie crust imaginable, tinkered, tweaked, and settled upon the perfect pie crust. Take a look at my HOW TO MAKE PERFECT PIE CRUST VIDEO. This recipe will give you enough pie dough for a top and bottom crust if you were to use it for making a whole pie. You will get about 15 mini hand pies from this as well.

This pie crust uses a combination of sour cream, butter, and lemon juice. I cut the butter in by hand and kneaded this by hand from start to finish. It yielded the perfect pie crust in every way! I would eat this crust by itself, it is that good. It has some tang from the sour cream and lemon juice, and a flakiness from a trick I shared on my video. I’ll let you in on it here too! As I mentioned, I did this all by hand. In doing so, a bit of butter still needed to be worked in after I chilled it. So, after it was completely chilled, I treated it more like croissant dough. For those of you have made danishes or croissants from scratch, you know that there’s a folding “envelope” type technique to spread out that butter throughout the dough and create those flaky layers. I did that with this pie crust, and OMG, it was so good that we ate these for breakfast the next morning! They were amazing, even having been left on the counter overnight!

The only other tip to be aware of when using pie crust of any kind to make this, make sure you roll it into a rectangle. This way you will have a top/bottom match for each pie to know how many you’ll have. That makes it all much easier for the assembly.

The Filling

You will use two medium sized (or three smaller) Granny Smith apples for these Captain America Apple Hand Pies, yielding a full two cups worth. Granny smith apples will give you that tartness that you want in a true apple pie. Once you peel your apples, make sure that you dice them up into tiny pieces. One of the things I love about making hand pies is that you don’t have to precook your filling since the apples are cut so small. They’ll bake up to soft yet still textured. No uncooked or mushy filling here!

Immediately after you have your apples diced, toss them in some lemon juice and then sugar. This will prevent, or at least slow down, the browning that happens to apples when they are exposed to the air. This is due to “enzymatic browning”. Take a look at some fascinating facts here, https://www.britannica.com/story/why-do-sliced-apples-turn-brown.

I love using a combination of nutmeg and cinnamon in any kind of apple pie. Over the holidays I may even get daring and add a dash of cardamom! The warmth of the baking spices round out the flavor of this filling with that creamy, tangy crust to give you the most groan worthy bite of apple pie ever.

Apple Hand Pies

While I encouraged everyone to error on the side of less filling in my video, I take it back! I threw caution to the wind and doubled up my off-camera batch and the result was even better.

Note that I will have accompanying recipe demonstration video up on My YouTube Channel on Monday.

Making Hand Pies

I love assembly lines when I make treats like this! Have a parchment lined baking sheet ready. Put your bottom crusts on the baking sheet. Then, add the amount of filling you like. I went with ideal amount of 2 1/2 tablespoons in my mini pies. These pies held up well without the seal breaking and leaking out any filling. However, if you find any gaps when you put your top pie crust on, just use a little egg wash to seal it. Then use a fork to press down the sides all around. Use a “star shaped” on top to emulate the look of Captain America’s shield. Then,  brush on some egg wash and sprinkle with some raw sugar. Then bake, and you’ve got your Captain America Apple Hand Pies!

If you have bigger hand pies, you can always use a cookie cutter to help you outline your star shape! Mine looked a lot like maple leaves and dinosaur claws until I got Grant and his artistic hand to help me out! Either way, these mini hand pies are so perfect for any Captain America / Avengers Infinity Wars themed parties you have, especially for little hands! Bea and Tilly just love when I make tiny sized treats. Portable ones like these make it easier for them to go wild, breaking free from having to sit at the table, and relish with giggles as they grab and go!

Captain America Apple Hand Pies

Captain America Apple Hand Pies

Ingredients

  • 1 Pie Crust Recipe

Apple Hand Pie Filling

  • 2 cups granny smith apples peeled, tiny dices
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 teaspoons corn starch
  • 2 tablespoons raw sugar for sprinkling on top

Egg Wash

  • 1 egg yolk beaten
  • 1 tablespoon water

Instructions

  1. Make or buy pie crusts (you want enough for a whole apple pie, top and bottom)

    Used chilled pie crust!

    Preheat oven to 400 degrees. 

    For Filling: 

    Peel, core, and dice apples into tiny chunks. Put into a large bowl and toss with lemon juice and granulated sugar. Sprinkle on cinnamon and nutmeg and cornstarch and coat. 

    Cut out your pie crust into circles of desired sizes. I used the mouth of a cup. You can use a biscuit cutter of any size you choose. Note that your filling amount per hand pie is dependent on what size your crust circles are. For mini pies, you will then put 2 -3 tablespoons of filling in the middle. Make it into a mound, leaving room around the edges of the pie crust.

    Then, set another pie crust on top. If needed, use a bit of your egg wash around the edge to make it stick before crimping the edges closed with the back of fork. 

    Cut small vents. Use the star shape if this is for Captain America! Then use a pastry brush to lightly brush egg wash over each pie.

    Sprinkle with raw sugar.

    Bake in preheated oven for approx. 18-22 minutes, until pies are golden brown. Remember, I made mini pies and my cook time was 20 minutes. Plan your time according to your size!


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