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Apple-Cranberry Pocket Pies

Serves: Yields 8 Pocket Pies

Ingredients:

Apple-Cranberry Filling:
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup orange juice
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen whole cranberries
  • 2 tart apples diced
  • 1 tablespoon onion chopped
  • ½ cup golden raisins
  • ½ cup light brown sugar
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon allspice
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon cloves
  • ½ cup walnuts chopped


Egg wash:
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • Demerra sugar, for garnish


Flaky Pie Dough:
  • 1-¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, cold, cut into ½-inch cubes
  • ½ to ⅓ cup ice water


Procedures:

You may remember the sugar-coated fruit and pudding pies sold in grocery stores during your childhood. Now, pocket pies are all the rage again. These mini-pies, featuring a delicious apple-cranberry filling, are perfect for after-school treats or as a nostalgic addition to a dessert buffet. Any remaining filling can be frozen for future use.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees and place rack in the upper and lower thirds.

To prepare the apple-cranberry filling: Place all ingredients except raisins and walnuts into blender and pulse for 1 minute, or until desired chunkiness is obtained. Place mixture in a bowl and stir in raisins and chopped walnuts.

To assemble pocket pies: Remove pie dough from the refrigerator about 15 minutes before rolling. Generously flour a work surface and place chilled dough disk on the flour. Dust the top of the dough with flour. Using a rolling pin, roll chilled dough into a circle, turning and flipping the dough as needed with a bench scraper to prevent sticking, until dough is 1/8 inch thick. Using a 6-inch round cookie cutter, cut 8 circles of dough, rerolling once as needed. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together egg and water for egg wash.

Place approximately 2 Tbsp. of the mixture in the center of each dough circle, leaving a ½" border (avoid overstuffing dough as filling will leak out). Using a fingertip or small brush, coat the dough edge halfway around with egg wash. Fold uncoated dough edge over to create a half-circle shape and press to seal and remove any air bubbles. Place assembled pocket pies on a parchment paper-lined sheet tray. Continue with remaining dough circles and freeze assembled pies for 30 minutes before baking. Save remaining egg wash.

Baking and serving: Remove pocket pies from freezer and cut a small “x ” in the top of each with a sharp paring knife. Brush tops of pies with egg wash to coat. Sprinkle each with Demerra sugar and place pans in preheated oven. Bake until pocket pies are golden brown, about 12 to 15 minutes. Remove pans from oven and allow pies to cool for 5 minutes. Using a large spatula, transfer pies to a cooling rack.

Pocket pies can be served warm or room temperature.

Flaky Pie Dough:
  • Yield: 1, 9- to 10-inch crust


To make the dough, place the flour and salt in a large mixing bowl. Using a pastry blender, two knives, or your fingers, cut or rub the butter into the flour mixture until the butter pieces are the size of peas. Sprinkle ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time, over the flour mixture. Stir and fluff the flour mixture with a fork until shaggy clumps form. Pick up the large clumps and squeeze to test for moisture. If clumps hold together, transfer them to a work surface and continue adding tablespoons of ice water and stirring.

Gather the clumps of dough together on a work surface. If the butter feels soft, cover the dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 30 minutes before proceeding. If the butter still feels cold, knead the dough gently 4 or 5 times. If dough falls apart, return it to the mixing bowl and sprinkle teaspoons of ice water and mix with a fork until dough holds together when squeezed.

Flatten the dough into a disk about 6 inches wide, cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes before rolling.

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