Now that it's November and Halloween decorations are down (OR SHOULD BE..I'm looking at you, people who keep skeletons and fake graves in their yard for like two months following their last trick or treater...you know who you are), I'd like to kick off the first post of this month with something Thankgiving-y. I intended for these to be apple empanadas, but the dough here is honestly so finicky that after spending what felt like two hours (but was really like 20 minutes...I'm just impatient as teenage boy at prom), I threw my hands up and said "F&$% IT" and went a different route. What a perfect example of how a mistake can turn into something glorious!
What made the dough such a pain in the ass from an empanada perspective was that it was too sticky for me to be able to work with handily. Handmade empanadas require a lot hand work (hence "handmade"), so when half the dough continued to stick to the palm of my hand and not the baking sheet (even when using tapioca flour to keep my hands and kitchen surface space dry), I decided I needed to change tunes and save the empanada experimenting for another day.
Lucky for me, the dough I already had turned out to be the PERFECT mini pie crust. With a some tapioca floured fingers, it was a breeze to simply press the dough into a mini muffin tin...as opposed to man handling the crap out of it trying to make a mini dessert calzone. I WILL make that recipe my b***h someday...mark my words [insert evil laugh here while imagining me in a sweet chef hat with giant flames behind me, perfectly illuminating my vitamix and stainless steel oven]. Ok I don't have a vitamix (cough...Mom...Dad....?), but I DO have a stainless steel oven. And by me I mean my landlord. The end.
But really...how flippin' cute are these little pies???
For the Crust
- 1 1/2 cups blanched almond flour
- 1 cup tapioca flour
- 2 eggs
- 2 tbsp honey
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Tapioca flour or arrowroot powder for handwork
For the Pie Filling
- 2 small green apples, cored and diced
- 2 tbsp coconut oil
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 2 tbsp coconut cream (I use the cream from a full fat can of coconut milk, but Trader Joe's also sells cans of pure coconut cream)
- 3 tbsp coconut sugar
- Combine all pie crust ingredients in a mixing bowl. Place in the fridge to firm up for at least one hour (or freezer for 10 minutes if you're super impatient).
- Remove the dough from the fridge/freezer and proceed to preheat your oven to 350.
- Dust your work space with tapioca flour or arrowroot powder and also rub your hands with it (makes working with the dough easier). Grease your muffin tin (I used coconut oil spray).
- Take a big spoonful (roughly 1 tbsp) of dough and press it into the muffin tin. Press it down into the bottom first, then up around the edges. You will want it tall enough to fit a big spoonful of apple pie filling. Do this until you've covered 8 muffin wells. You should have extra dough for the top of the hand pies - put it back into the fridge while you prepare the pie filling.
- In a medium skillet on medium/high heat, add the diced apple, coconut oil and cinnamon. Stir. Allow the apples to cook down for a minute or two, then add remaining pie filling ingredients. Mix well and let cook for about 7 minutes. The coconut cream/coconut sugar should be a darker, thicker, caramel-like consistency. Take a bite! It's delish.
- Distribute the apple mixture across the mini pie crusts. If you have extra apple pie filling...save it! It's good warmed up on its own :)
- Take the remaining dough out of the fridge and re-flour your work space and hands. Take 4 small pieces of the dough, roll them into snake-like strips (one at a time), then flatten them out a bit with your fingers. Gently lay them across a mini pie in a criss-cross pattern (as photographed). Repeat until you've covered all of the pies.
- Place the pies in the oven for 12-15 minutes, or until the edges turn a golden brown.
- Gently remove the pies and serve immediately! Perhaps with some coconut milk ice cream!
Servings: 8 hand pies