Orchard Hand Pies
These handheld fruit pies are baked in muffin tins to make them easy to grab-and-go for a sweet afternoon snack or late-night dessert. California cheddar and blue cheeses and chopped pecans add savory notes to the sweet filling.
1 large Granny Smith Apple, peeled, cored and cut into ½-in. dice
1 large Bosc Pear, peeled, cored and cut into ½-in. dice
¼ cup sugar, divided
¼ cup chopped pecans
2 tbsp. cornstarch
1 tbsp. butter
Grated lemon zest, to taste
12 tsp. ground cinnamon, divided
½ tsp. vanilla extract
½ cup crumbled blue cheese
½ cup grated Cheddar cheese
All Butter Pie Dough (recipe below) or 2 (15 oz.) packages ready-made pie crusts
All-Butter Pie Dough
2 tbsp. sugar
½ tsp. salt
1 cup unsalted butter, frozen
¾ cup ice water
1. Preheat oven to 375°
2. Combine apples, pears, 3 tbsp. sugar, pecans, cornstarch, butter, ¼ tsp. cinnamon, lemon zest and vanilla in a med/ bowl.
3. In a separate bowl, mix blue cheese and Cheddar cheese
4. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out dough 1/8-in. thick. Cut out eight 4½ in. circles and eight 4-in circles using round cutters or a plate with the correct diameter.
5. Lightly spray 8 muffin tin cups with cooking spray and line with 4½-in dough circles, leaving a ¼ in. overhang. Brush edges of dough with water. Sprinkle cheese mixture over bottom of dough, dividing it evenly.
6. Mound the fruit mixture on top of cheese and divide evenly. Place 4 in. dough circles on top and press the edges with the tines of a fork to seal.
7. Mix together 1 tbsp. sugar and ¼ tsp. cinnamon. Brush the tops of the pies with water and sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar. With the tines of fork, poke a few holes in each pie to vent the steam.
8. Bake for 35-40 min. or until pies are golden brown and a knife inserted into filling feels no resistance.
9. Cool pies in tin for about 10 min. Remove from tin and cool on rack.
All-Butter Pie Dough:
1. In large bowl, combine flour, sugar and salt. With a large holed grater, grate the butter into the flour mixture and toss lightly with your fingers to coat butter with flour.
2. Drizzle ½ cup water over flour and butter mixture and toss lightly with hands. If necessary, gradually add more water until clumps of dough adhere to each other when lightly squeezed.
3. Transfer dough to work surface and form into a flat disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hr. (Dough may be refrigerated up to 24 hr. or frozen. Be sure to bring it to room temperature before using.)
Courtesy of California Milk Marketing Board