Oct 25, 2017

Apple Cheddar Hand Pies

Prep Time: 45 mins
Cook Time: 15 mins
This recipe is basically a hybrid of an apple pie and a pop tart with the surprise addition of cheddar cheese on top.

jump toRECIPE

When I was a kid the only thing I would actually order from a fast food restaurant was a dollar menu apple pie from McDonalds one that was probably the worst thing for you on the menu (which is saying a lot). They were just too good to resist and I kept eating them right into adulthood. They contained all the delicious flavors of apple pie condensed into one little treat that could be simultaneously enjoyed with with one hand on the pie and the other hand on the car steering wheel.

This recipe is basically a hybrid of an apple pie and a pop tart with the surprise addition of cheddar cheese on top. Ever heard of eating cheddar cheese with apple pie? I used to make fun of my dad for doing it until I finally tried it.

Apple Cheddar Hand Pies

Why Apple and Cheddar?

For some reason a good sharp cheddar cheese brings out the sweet-tart flavor of apples, enhanced by the nutty cinnamon. From what I can tell it’s most commonly served this way in the Northeast. A 1999 law in Vermont even states that when serving apple pie a “good faith effort” must be made to serve it with a glass of milk and at least ½ ounce of cheddar cheese!

Cooking with Apples

You can’t generalize apples when it comes to baking. Not all varieties of apples will create the same dessert.

While any semi-sweet apple will work, I chose honeycrisp apples. While they are also great just for eating they are just as great for baking. They are easy to find, very sweet and their crisp texture holds up as the apples bake in the apple crisp.

If honeycrisp apples aren’t available, Golden delicious, McIntosh, Cortland or Jonathan apples are good alternatives. Tart apples like granny smith are also great for baking because they offset the added sugar though using too many can be overpowering. Try using a few of them mixed with another variety rather than all granny smith.

apple cheddar hand pies filled baking sheet cooking with cocktail rings

Key Ingredients in This Recipe

  • Apples – When buying apples look for unblemished and unbruised apples. They last about 5 to 7 days on the counter and about 3 weeks in a pantry (or another cool, dark place).
  • Cheddar cheese – Always use sharp Cheddar when cooking. If you use mild or medium Cheddar the flavor will cook out and the recipe will be lacking in that cheesy flavor.
  • Turbinado sugar – Also known as sugar in the raw, it’s minimally processed, evident in the larger granules. It comes from the first pressing of sugar cane and thus retains that natural, richer flavor. Because of the bigger granules of sugar it’s often used for finishing desserts.
apple cheddar hand pies cooking with cocktail rings

How to Make Apple Cheddar Hand Pies

For the crust:

  1. Mix the dough. In the bowl of a food processor combine the flour, salt and sugar. Add the cubes of butter and pulse until the mixture is crumbly.
  2. Add water and pulse. Slowly pour the ice water over the flour mixture and pulse until the mixture forms a dough.
  3. Knead and chill. Turn the dough out onto a clean, lightly floured surface and knead the dough until it’s smooth. Form the dough into a disk and wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

For the filling:

  1. Dissolve the sugar. Heat a large sauté pan over medium heat, add the butter and allow to melt. Stir in the brown sugar and stir constantly, breaking up any clumps until the sugar has almost dissolved, about 6 minutes.
  2. Cook the apples. Stir in the apples, this will cause the sugar to seize up but it will melt again as the apples cook. Next, stir in the salt and cinnamon and cook, stirring occasionally, until the apples are tender but not mushy, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add the flour. Stir in the flour and cook an additional minute. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and let it cool completely.

For assembly:

  1. Roll out the dough. Divide the dough in half and roll each half out into a rectangle about ¼” thick.
  2. Cut rectangles. Cut each rectangle into 8 pieces so each is 4” x 3”. You may have to re-roll the scraps to make enough. Lay the pieces on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Repeat with the other half of the dough.
  3. Add the apple filling. Use a slotted spoon to mound 2 tablespoons of the apple pie filling into the center of the dough being sure to drain as much of the liquid as possible.
  4. Close the hand pies. Top with one of the remaining rectangles of dough and use your fingers to gently press the edges together. Use the back of a fork to seal the edges together tightly. Repeat with the remaining pies.
  5. Make egg wash. In a small bowl whisk together the egg and milk until combined. Use a pastry brush to brush each of the hand pies with the egg wash mixture.
  6. Make cinnamon sugar. In another small bowl stir together the sugar and cinnamon and top each pie with a sprinkle of the mixture. Use a knife to cut three small slits in the top of each.
  7. Bake and add cheese. First, bake the apple pies for 15 minutes. Next, take the apple pies out of the oven and sprinkle with the cheese over the top. Bake until golden brown and the cheese is melted, about 15 minutes.
apple cheddar hand pies closeup

Other Recipes to Try

If you enjoy this recipe, I recommend checking out some of these:

closeup opened up cheddar apple hand pies cooking with cocktail rings

Apple Cheddar Hand Pies

Print Pin
Prep Time 45 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Serves 8 hand pies

Ingredients:

For the crust:

  • cups all-purpose flour, plus additional for rolling out the dough
  • 1 teaspoon table salt
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 16 tablespoons 2 sticks cold unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch cubes
  • ¼ to ½ cup ice water

For the filling:

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 ¾ packed cups light brown sugar
  • 4 medium honeycrisp apples, peeled, cored, cut into ¼-inch cubes (about 5 cups)
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour

For assembly:

  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon whole milk
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons demerera or turbinado sugar
  • cups grated sharp cheddar cheese

Instructions:

For the crust:

  • In the bowl of a food processor combine the flour, salt and sugar. Add the cubes of butter and pulse until the mixture is crumbly. Slowly pour the ice water over the flour mixture and pulse until the mixture forms a dough.
  • Turn the dough out onto a clean, lightly floured surface and roll it out until it’s smooth. Form the dough into a disk and wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

For the filling:

  • Heat a large sauté pan over medium heat, add the butter and allow to melt. Stir in the brown sugar and stir constantly, breaking up any clumps until the sugar has almost dissolved, about 6 minutes.
  • Stir in the apples, this will cause the sugar to seize up but it will melt again as the apples cook. Next, stir in the salt and cinnamon and cook, stirring occasionally, until the apples are tender but not mushy, about 5 minutes.
  • Stir in the flour and cook an additional minute. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and let it cool completely.

For assembly:

  • Divide the dough in half and roll each half out into a rectangle about ¼” thick.
  • Cut each rectangle into 8 pieces so each is 4” x 3”. You may have to re-roll the scraps to make enough. Lay the pieces on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Repeat with the other half of the dough.
  • Use a slotted spoon to mound 2 tablespoons of the apple pie filling into the center of the dough being sure to drain as much of the liquid as possible.
  • Top with one of the remaining rectangles of dough and use your fingers to gently press the edges together. Use the back of a fork to seal the edges together tightly. Repeat with the remaining pies.
  • In a small bowl whisk together the egg and milk until combined. Use a pastry brush to brush each of the hand pies with the egg wash mixture.
  • In another small bowl stir together the sugar and cinnamon and top each pie with a sprinkle of the mixture. Use a knife to cut three small slits in the top of each.
  • Bake for 15 minutes then take out and sprinkle with the cheese over the top. Bake until golden brown and the cheese is melted, about 15 minutes.

DID YOU MAKE THIS?

TAG ME ON INSTAGRAM TO BE FEATURED ON MY STORIES! @cookingwithcocktailrings

Rate + Review

WHAT DID YOU THINK OF THIS RECIPE?

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating