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Apple Hand Pies

Apple Hand Pies
Adapted from Joy the Baker and My Kitchen Addiction
Makes 8 pies (or up to 2 dozen depending on size of cutter)

2 ½ cups all purpose flour
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
¾ teaspoon salt
¾ cup (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter, chilled, cut into small cubes
¼ cup (4 tablespoons) shortening, cut into small cubes
5 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons ice water
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

3 apples, peeled, cored, and finely diced (about 3 cups)
¼ cup dark brown sugar, lightly packed
1 teaspoon apple pie spice*
½ teaspoon lemon juice

1 to 2 tablespoons half and half or heavy cream
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

*Note: If you don’t have apple pie spice, simply use ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon, ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg, 1/8 teaspoon allspice, and if you have it, 1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom.

1. Make crust: In a large bowl, whisk together flour, salt, and sugar. Using a pastry cutter, add shortening and chilled butter and cut into flour mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs. (Some will look like oatmeal flakes, others will be the size of peas.) Stir together ice water and vinegar. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture, and add liquid, stirring until dough comes together and holds together when squeezed. If mixture is too dry, add additional water, a teaspoon at a time, until it reaches the right consistency.
2. Divide dough in half and create a disk out of each. Wrap each disk in plastic wrap and refrigerate until cold, at least 1 hour. Let sit out for about 2 minutes to warm up slightly before rolling out.
3. Make filling: In a medium bowl, stir together apples, brown sugar, apple pie spice, and lemon juice to coat evenly.
4. Assemble: Preheat oven to 375F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Roll out pie dough to ¼-inch thick. Cut out circles with a pocket pie press or a circular cutter (anywhere from 3 to 6 inches wide, depending on how big you want your pies to be.), gathering scraps and rerolling (try to do no more than 2 to 3 times, otherwise your dough will be tough.).
5. Spoon filling into center of dough round (2 teaspoons to 2 tablespoons, depending on the size of your round), and brush the edges with a little bit of water. Fold dough in half to create a half circle and press to seal. Place on prepared baking sheets. Cut a small slit in the tops of each pie to create a vent.
6. In a small bowl, mix together cinnamon and sugar for the topping. Lightly brush the tops of the pies with half and half and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar mixture. Bake, rotating pans halfway through, until tops are golden, about 16 to 18 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool slightly before serving with ice cream or whipped cream.

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