Do you guys remember those apple pies from McDonald's? The ones that came in the little cardboard boxes that were ridiculously addictive? I LOVED them! I remember buying 2-3 at a time (probably not a good idea) but one just didn't do it. They had the perfect exterior and gooey delicious filling. I think they were actually deep fried, I suppose that's why they were so amazing. Lol! So I have concocted what I think is a close comparison (dare I say even better) to those iconic pies.
Tis' the season for all things apple, pumpkin, pear, persimmon, fig...this is the BEST time of year. It's the time of year when it's more convenient for us to stop at the apple orchard to pick apples than go to the grocery store for them. Perfect fresh apples will win my heart every time. Biting into a crisp apple is heaven but along with all those fresh apples comes the baking. Out of all the pies in the world, apple pie has to be my favorite! And in an effort to try and recreate the McDonald's Apple Pie, I had my work cut out for me.
I didn't want to deep fry them, because well, that's a lot of excess work for a pie. And if I'm not eating a donut I actually prefer a baked good. My good friend Marie from Cocina Marie is a MASTER pie maker. Seriously, check out her Instagram for tips, tricks and some amazing pies she has been whipping up these days. After watching her effortlessly roll and work with her pie dough, I had to give her recipe a try. I love making a scratch pie dough but I have never worked so easily with it like her. So I gave her dough a try and worked very hard not to add too much water and keep a dryer dough (that has been my problem before, adding too much water). And low and behold, the dough came out PERFECT and you know what else? It tastes amazing, all butter and crisps up so beautifully. I am forever changed and this will be my new go-to recipe!
Then the filling, the filling had to have a little goo but not quite as liquidy as standard apple pie. Also, since these would be cooking much faster I decided to cook up my apple filling before stuffing the handpies.
Diced up apples, brown sugar, cinnamon, all-spice and ginger make this all star filling. Begin by cutting up your apples into small 1 inch cubes, toss in your flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, all-spice, salt and coat well. Add your butter to a skillet and let it melt, add in your apple mixture and let the apples cook down slightly. I added the zested ginger, water and lemon juice after about 5 minutes. I went ahead a took my potato masher and smooched (yes, that's a real word ) the apples a bit, not all of them, but just some to create a bit of a sauce with the bigger chunks.
Let the mixture cool and then begin the assembly. Remove your pie dough from the fridge and work into a rectangle about 10" x 12" or so and cut into 6 rectangles. I then slightly rolled each rectangle out if they were a little on the thick side (I think my pie rolling skills need help). You don't want to roll too thin otherwise they will tear, so keep them hefty. Next, place a heaping tablespoon (close to 2 tbsp) in the center of each rectangle and then add a dollop of crème fraîche. Be sure to place the crème fraîche toward the back of the filling so it doesn't inch too close to the front where you'll close.
Fold over your dough and seal using a fork around the edges. Place on parchment lined sheetpan, brush tops with heavy cream and sprinkle coarse sugar on top. Make 2-3 slits on top and bake for 25-30 minutes until golden brown on top and bottom. Let cool slightly and enjoy! I hope this reminds you of those delicious apple pies from your childhood!