Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Apple Pie 'Calzones'

Took me: about 2 hours total in the kitchen
     Recently I've been in a dilemma that has kept me from baking to my hearts desire: my mother and I are both on diets. So now, instead of having four people to devour whatever I make, it's down to just my dad and brother. I had an itch last night to make something sweet though, so I asked my best friend what I could bake for her. She said she wanted apple pie. I knew I'd have to deliver whatever I made to her at school, and the idea of bringing a whole pie seemed messy. So instead I made these apple pie 'calzones', which I can just drop into a paper bag.  I know in reality they're called hand pies, but that name makes them sound grubby to me, so I'm gonna stick with calzones. 

You're gonna wanna make the crust right off the bat. I just used this lovely, boring, age old crust recipe: 
1 teaspoon of salt
3 cups flour
1 egg
1/4 of a cup water
2 sticks unsalted butter
2 teaspoons vinegar

Mix the salt, the flour and the butter. Blend the egg, water, and vinegar in a separate bowl, then add it to the saltflourbutter mixture. My mixer isn't working at all, so I after a bit of stirring, I just threw it down and combined it using my hands. It turned out fine.
Pop that baby in the fridge and let it chill out while you do all the hard work

This is when things start really getting messy.
First off, peel four medium sized to small apples, whatever kind you like best for baking. (I used two Braeburns and two Granny Smiths) There are five in the picture, but don't use five. You will be up to your knees in diced apples...
Cut them all up into a million little tiny pieces. You're gonna want to make them really small, even littler than what you see in this picture
Measure out the following in a small bowl:
1/2 cup of sugar
1 and 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 tablespoon flour
Stir that all together then toss with the apple chunks until it has been evenly distributed. Set this whole operation aside. 

Now comes a fork in the road: if you have 2 cookie sheets, take your crust out of the fridge and roll the whole thing out (to about 1/5 of an inch thick). If you are like me, and only own 1 cookie sheet, only roll out half of your crust - leave the other half in the fridge for later!
Once you've got the crust nice and thin, choose something circlular to cut it out with. I've seen other recipes say to use a biscuit cutter, or top of a glass to do this, but I prefer mine bigger. I found a bowl whose mouth was about the size of a CD, and pressed it down onto the dough to make perfect circles. Place the circles of crust down on a parchment-lined cookie sheet and place them BACK into the fridge.

NOW IS THE TIME TO PREHEAT YOUR OVEN! It needs to be 375 degrees farenheit. 

While the oven is preheating, make yourself an egg wash. To do so whisk together and egg and 1 tablespoon of milk in a small bowl. Fill another small bowl with water and set them both aside.

I just left my dough in the fridge until my oven got up to 375 (but if you're oven is really slow, I wouldn't leave the crust in any longer than 10 minutes) Once you take your crust out, place two tablespoons of the cinnamon-apple mixture on one half of each circle. Brush water over the edge of 1/2 of the circle, then fold over the other side like you're making a taco (or calzone...or hand cake...) Press a fork down on the edges to seal. Don't forget to cut a small slip in the top, or your yummy pastry will end up exploded on the walls of your oven. 

If you had 2 cookie sheets and cut circles out of all your dough in the first place, put all the calzones in the oven now. If you only had one cookie sheet, put them in the oven and begin rolling out your second wad of dough now. The calzones need to be baked for about 20-25 minutes, depending on how well you like your crust done. Take them out of the oven when they've baked to a golden perfection, allow them to cool for several minutes on a rack,then dig in.

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