Tuesday, April 26, 2011

TWD- Apple Tart Handpies

{printable recipe here}
Yesterday I went to make the cornmeal shortbread cookies for TWD and realized I had no cornmeal! I still needed to make the tourtley apple tart so I decided that would have to do, so I set about making the pastry (nut free for Baby Strawberry). I pulled out one of my prized jars of homemade applesauce, since Dorie's description of the apple filling sounded so similar. My friend's grandma always made the best applesauce, spiced with cinnamon, mashed only a little to yield a thick, chunky, fragrant treat. I just can't eat any other kind now (though I'll admit I do buy the huge jars of Treetop at Costco for the kids!)

Last summer my thoughtful best friend Kara gave me several bushels of tart apples from her parents' tree. My mom and I made batch after batch of applesauce and apple pie filling to last all year with her steam canner. It's the only thing I've really canned before but it's not that intimidating and so rewarding. I only have a few jars left and can't wait for apple season to come again. If you haven't made applesauce before, I'd encourage you to try it soon. It's really not that time consuming with the apple peeler tool and the end product is so rewarding. Next time you have several apples languishing in the bottom of the fridge give it a try and let me know that I'm not the only person that's high maintenance about something as trivial as applesauce!

When it came time to shape the tart dough, I realized my mini tart pans were at my mom's, so I used my little dumpling press to make these hand pies. I bought a set at Ross several years ago (similar to this one) and they don't take up much room in the pantry and work really well for handpies. My husband loves the crust to filling ratio, too. While I certainly heavily deviated from the intended recipe, the flavors are the same and they are absolutely wonderful.  Even better, it all came together in just a few minutes. Thanks Dorie for the inspiration and Jeannette for the recipe choice!

Gram McGrath's Apple Sauce (the only kind Anne Strawberry will eat)
from Anne Strawberry
{printable recipe here}

8 Apples (I prefer the tart/firm varieties, but whatever you have on hand will work)
1 Cup Water
1/2 - 2/3 Cup Sugar, depending on the sweetness of the apples
2/3 Teaspoon Cinnamon

Peel, core, and slice the apples (I use my handy apple peeler/slicer to make quick work of this job, even my little man can do it).

In a large saucepan (or a big stockpot if you're doubling the recipe, I usually do) combine the apples, water, and sugar. Simmer until soft (about 15-20 minutes) and mash with a potato mashed- don't drain! Add cinnamon, stir, and eat warm.


Holly said...

Thanks Anne! I am off to make apple sauce right now. Thanks for the recipe and the inspiration. Yum!

Sara said...

Yum! These look perfect and delicious!

Tia said...

yum they look so tasty! what a wonderful idea - i must try this. great job anne!

Mary said...

I think the only thing better than a pie is a hand pie.

Tracey said...

Your little handpies are absolutely adorable Anne - I love them! I worry if I made them here I wouldn't be able to stop myself from grabbing one after another to carry around nibbling on :)

LaNell said...

Growing up there was a little convenience store on the way home from the elementary school called U-totem.
Sometimes we would stop and buy Hostess lemon or apple pies. Your little hand pies brought back that sweet memory. It's been years but I can still remember the taste of those little pies. The last time I had one it wasn't nearly as good as I remembered. The filling was dry and the crust a little stale. I was so disappointed.

Your little hand pies did not disappoint. Fresh and warm right out of the oven they were delish!

Audra Roberts said...

Those look so delicious!!!! I need to make this soon. Way to make it portable for the on the go people.

Laraine Eddington said...

Those look beautiful. Thanks for the great recipe.

Jessica said...

What a cute idea for the apple tart! You've inspired me to think about canning some applesauce this fall - we have great orchards around here. Maybe some apple butter too?

Jane said...

Anne, these little handpies are just beautiful! You couldn't have made them more perfectly. The recipe sounds fabulous. These babies wouldn't last a day in my house.

Mini Baker said...

I just made these the other day too! just found your blog and boy am I glad I did! These look scrumptious!!!
Mini Baker :)

Anonymous said...

what is the recipe for the tart/ outside crust?