I’ve been wanting to make pocket pies. The best coffee shop in town (French Press) has… 🤔… fair pocket pies. Their overall “fair-ness” made me want to make my own. Of course, I immediately envisioned something much more involved than merely pocket pie. I am going to take you on this adventure with me.
I am sure most food bloggers will try a recipe a couple times before putting it on a blog, but that’s not how I roll 🛴.
What am I going to make? I envision a single slice of apple covered in dough and folded to look like a potsticker.
I am totes gonna fake this as I go. I know how to make a pie (there is no pie emoji?!?!). If I’m going to make this Asian-y in appearance lets use a ginger simple syrup to par cook the apples. Having never tried to cook a single slice of apple in a piece of crust I assume that they will need a little help to cook all the way through.
When I make pie it takes two days. I can swing it in one, but the energy to put it all together is exhausting 😪. Day one is going to be putting the crust together and ginger simple syrup. Day two will be apples and baking. You honestly aren’t saving too much energy doing it over two days but it keeps me sane.
DAY 1: SATURDAY
Simple Syrup: It’s in the name. Equal parts water and sugar heat until dissolved. Flavor if needed.
Peel (de-skin? un-skin? 🤔) the ginger with a spoon. Anything you don’t get with the spoon take a knife to it. Cut off anything too woody.
I grated the ginger. This may be a mistake (it was not a mistake). The fine goo seemed to dissolve in the syrup. That may be fine. This is an adventure.
Put it all together and cook. This smells great. I was ready to just chug it. It tastes pretty good too. Really quick, if you don’t know, taste while you cook. If it tastes bad, fix it. Cooking is that simple.
Once the sugar dissolves put it in something and let cool. Then move it to the fridge for tomorrow. Mason jars are great for this. Honestly, the wife and I bought some mason jars years ago and every once in a while I just need a container that size and it’s perfect.
I had extra ginger so I am trying ginger infused sugar. Again…
BUTTERMILK CRUST: For the crust I turned to the buttermilk crust I found on Joy the Baker. I will post the recipe at the end, but please, PLEASE, give Joy a look. Everything looks, smells, tastes amazing and she deserves your look. Also she takes better pics than me (also her kitchen is much cleaner, also I have never met Joy before, but she seems fun too). I made a double batch for this just in case everything does not work out.
Get your stuff together. There’s a word for that (it’s French) but I don’t remember. Sugar, flour, butter, buttermilk, salt. That’s it. Sift/stir your dry stuff together. I added too much salt and had to fix it (double check your ingredients and measurements 😉).
Incorporate the butter. Joy does this with a rolling pin. This time I used a pasty blender. This is quicker, but the rolled butter is better. Rolling the butter creates sheets of fat that melt and make the the crust flaky. I had actually never used a pastry blender to incorporate the butter before and the crust just isn’t as good.
Add the buttermilk and incorporate. The fat from the buttermilk coats the flour to give the dough the tenderness. How did I learned this? I watched it on Good Eats (you can find the vid online but it is not official so I will not direct link).
The dough will be “shaggy.” Make it a disk and throw in the fridge. The dough and liquid need to finish coming together. On to Day 2!
DAY 2: SUNDAY (OTHERWISE KNOWN AS PIE DAY)
Filling is going to be fairly straightforward. Slice of apple, syrup, dough pinched into a pot sticker shape and bake.
As far as apples go, these are Honeycrisps. They are THE BEST, but anything that makes a good, crunchy eating apple will work for the filling of a pie. These are somehow still available even though it is well past season. Peel (peal? no I had it right the first time), core them and slice them. Last minute decided to macerate the apples (google says that isn’t the right word, but that’s how I learned it). Here is what I used for them.
The bitters, as a concept, I got from the Four & Twenty Blackbirds cookbook. They have great pie ideas. Pi-deas if you will (I will from now on) 😎. The sugar you may recognize from day one. The vinegar will help keep the apples from browning.
Test time. Roll out a bit of the dough and cut a circle. Wrap one slice of apple in the dough, pinch shut, egg wash and send into the oven. 425 for a bit … 😬 … I want to say 35 minutes but that may be too short. The results:
Not really. It is just pocket pie; it’s not that hard. Honestly, I forgot the syrup so that did not help. But filling + crust is a success to me. On to the main event…
OMG!! THAT TOOK SOOOOO MUCH CRUST!!! I did add a second apple slice to fill out the dough some more (forgot the syrup a second time 🤦♂️). I love having handheld pie, and crust is the strait up the B-E-S-T but I don’t know if the volume of pay off is worth it. In fact I gave up and made a standard pie with the rest of the dough. Here are the results.
That’s some yummy pie. I did not forget the syrup in this one. The syrup was reduced by about a third to intensify the flavors. It is SOOOOO good with the ginger syrup (which is something I have never done before. In fact I may start incorporating ginger into all my apple pies (¯\_(ツ)_/¯ who knows).
OH YEAH! You will have noticed I did not par cook the apples. That was totally a thing I did not need to do.
Thanks for reading and enjoy your pie (you can skip the recipes if you don’t need them)!
Buttermilk Pie Crust (COMPLETELY STOLEN FROM JOY THE BAKER, PLEASE CHECK OUT HER PAGE PLEASE)
In fact I have done a 180 on this. Go to her site and get the recipe there. It is a great crust from a great site.
I completely winged it but here is what I did.
Ginger Simple Syrup — Equal parts water and sugar with fresh grated ginger for flavoring. Heat until dissolved. Reduce by approximately 1/3 volume.
Apples — Five or six fairly large apples. Honeycrisp are the best but any baking apple will do. When Honeycrisp are not in season or I am doing a lot of pies and don’t want to spend the money (Honeycrisp apples are still under patent by the University of Minnesota 💫) I do Granny Smith AND Fuji. Do both, Granny Smith can be pretty tart.
Macerating stuff — Bitters (yes the alcohol), sugar (I used the ginger sugar), apple cider vinegar. Probably 1/4-1/2 cup sugar, 1/8 cup vinegar (maybe less, I really do wing it) and a couple drops of bitters (kinda a lot of drops). Throw everything in a bowl with the apples and stir/toss/mix to coat the apples. Leave it on the apples for about 30+ minutes to get a lot of the water out of the apple slices. If I had planned ahead I would have macerated the apples and used the apple juice to make the simple syrup but what you gonna do?
Put apples in the pie crust, add approximately 1/3 cup of the syrup and bake at 425 for 50 (ish) minutes. After about 30 minutes cover the edge of the pie in foil so it does not burn. When fully golden brown and delicious remove from the oven and let cool AS LONG AS POSSIBLE. The books say until completely cool but for me it is usually only 1 – 3 hours, but the longer the better.