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Apple picking in the orchard

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Apple picking in the orchard

Katie Schur

When we bought our house we had four mysterious apple trees growing in our backyard. We have no idea what type of apples they are. I assume that they are an older variety, and one tastes very similar to a McIntosh. The last several years, we’ve had no such luck trying to use the apples. We don’t treat them with any spray so they are usually attacked by bugs and not the prettiest bunch. This year however was different.  Here in New England, It was a beautiful growing season for apples in our area, just enough rain and cooler growing days. The apples have burst into beauties in all the orchards (including ours!) and we’ve been trying hard to use each and every one.

 One of our backyard apple trees. I think this one is a McIntosh

One of our backyard apple trees. I think this one is a McIntosh

We’ve been juicing, drying and baking the apples almost everyday. Now you know why I’ve been more silent on the blog lately! We’ve been filled to the brim with apple pies, apple juice and dried apple slices. And in several weeks, when the apples start to lose their snap, we’ll be making lots of applesauce and cider.

 Getting the apples ready to dehydrate... 

Getting the apples ready to dehydrate... 

 

While busy, preserving and baking with all of our apples. I stumbled upon a new recipe creation for apple oat hand pies. Hand pies are perfect for picnicking because you can wrap them up and cart them along in any container, and there’s no need for utensils! This recipe also incorporates ground up oatmeal into the piecrust so that it gives it a more wholesome flavor – is it a rustic looking dessert or a sweet breakfast? You get to choose!

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Apple Oat Hand Pies

For the crust:

¼ cup (20 grams) of ground oats
2 ¾ cups (220 grams) all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt

3 Tablespoons (24 grams) of powdered sugar
5 Tablespoons cold unsalted butter
¾ cup (180 ml) of buttermilk

In a food processor, pulse all of the ingredients (except the milk) together for about 5 seconds. It might take a couple of more pulses to incorporate all of the butter. With the food processor running, slowly add the milk mixture and continue to pulse until the dough just comes together. Cover the dough in plastic wrap and place in the fridge. I recommend letting it sit for at least 30 minutes. In a rush, I’ve removed it early, but it’s harder to shape the pies if you’re working with lukewarm pastry dough.

For the filling:

4 apples, peeled, cored and sliced into ½ inch chunks (approximately 1 and ½ cups)
Lemon juice and water
3 Tbsps of powdered sugar

3 Tbsps of boiled cider*

1 tsp of cinnamon
1 Tbsp of cornstarch

When peeling and preparing your apples, let them soak in a mixture of lemon juice and water to help keep them fresh. When ready to make the filling, drain the lemon juice water and microwave the apples for 2 minutes on high in the microwave. Drain the juices and add the powdered sugar, boiled cider, cinnamon, and cornstarch.

*I order boiled cider off of King Arthur Flour because I bake A TON with apples. It’s a syrup that helps sweeten fillings without the use of extra sugar. If you don’t have it on hand. I’d recommend adding another tablespoon of sugar.

Shaping the Hand Pies:

1 Tbsp. milk
2 Tbsp. sparkling sugar

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Roll out the crusts and shape into 8 mini crusts. I recommend using a 2 inch round biscuit cutter to shape the crusts evenly, but you could also freehand it if you don’t have all the materials (or you could make square handpies!). Spoon the apple filling onto 4 of the crusts (you probably won’t use all of the mixture) and partner with a top crust. To seam the crusts together, take the edge of a fork and press down around the edges of the hand pie. Slice the top crust with a knife to make a decoration. (Stay tuned for a visual of this!). Brush with milk and sprinkle on sparkling sugar.

Bake the pies for 30 minutes until the crust is gold and crisp.

These are fun to take along while apple picking. What are you making with apples this season? We’d love to see your sweet and savory apple treats. Tag us in your food pics @picnicperfectco.

 Our apple cart... Our dog bear also usually assists and keeps a watchful eye on all of the apples 

Our apple cart... Our dog bear also usually assists and keeps a watchful eye on all of the apples