Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Hand Pies, the Cupcake Culture Killer
I am so tired of the cupcake culture, sure they are cute and delicious, but enough! Let's make this a new trend: hand pies. Small, cute and tasty. Even better they are just as good with a savory filling as sweet. :) Spread the word. Here are two recipes to get you started. If you'd like a hand pie recipe, ask in the comments section.

Apple Hand Pie
Makes 4.
• 4 apples, peeled and chopped quite small, pick a baking apple
• 2 tablespoons sugar, I add this to taste since it really depends on how tart your apples are
• Sprinkling of cinnamon
• 1 teaspoon cornstarch
• All-purpose flour, for work surface
• Pie Dough, I tend to use Pillbury crust
• 1 egg, lightly beaten
• Sugar, for sprinkling
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with tinfoil or a Silpat (a nonstick baking mat).
2. In a medium bowl, add apples, cover and microwave about a minute to soften.
3. When slightly cooled add cinnamon, sugar and cornstarch; stir to combine, set aside.
4. On a lightly floured work surface, roll dough into a large rectangle, about 1/8 inch thick. With a sharp knife, cut out 4 rectangles. Transfer rectangles to baking sheet.
5. Pile as much apple as you can fit onto one-half of each rectangle. Lightly brush egg around the edge of the covered half of each rectangle. Fold remaining dough over to enclose. Gently press edges together to seal. Brush the tops of each pie with egg. Using a paring knife, slash the top of each pie. This allows steam to escape and keeps your pie crispy. Sprinkle generously with sugar.
6. Bake in the center of the oven until golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes. If parts of the crust get too brown cover with small strips of tinfoil. Transfer pies to a wire rack to cool slightly before serving. Be careful the filling can remain as hot as molten lava.

Savory alternate Spinach Pies
• 1 box frozen chopped spinach, cooked
• ¼ cup shredded Swiss
• ¼- 1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese or feta cheese
• 1 jarred roasted red pepper, chopped

1. When spinach is cool enough to handle drain and squeeze out as much moisture as you can and add Parmesan, salt and pepper to taste.
2. Follow directions as above, but at the stage where you would use apple, sprinkle 1/2 the rectangle of dough with shredded Swiss cheese. The Swiss will form a moisture barrier between the spinach and dough, keeping the bottom of the pie crispy.
3. Pile on as much spinach mixture you can fit and top with chopped red pepper. Seal pie, slash top, egg wash, sprinkle with a bit more Parmesan and bake as directed above.