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CURRENT TAKES — RECIPE OF THE WEEK

Hand-held Apple Pies

 

For dough:

1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened

1 cup unsalted butter, softened

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

 

For filling:

1/4 cup sugar

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon ground allspice

2 cups finely chopped peeled tart apples

2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter

 

For finishing:

1 large egg yolk

2 tablespoons water

Coarse sugar and cinnamon-sugar

 

In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and butter until smooth. Combine flour and salt; gradually add to butter mixture until well blended. Divide dough in half. Shape each into a ball, and then flatten into a disk. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 1 hour. Combine the sugar, cinnamon, and allspice; set aside. Divide each portion of dough into 12 balls. On a lightly floured surface, roll each ball into a 4-inch circle. Place a tablespoonful of chopped apples on one side. Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon sugar mixture; dot with 1/4 teaspoon butter. In a small bowl, whisk egg yolk and water. Brush edges of pastry with egg wash; fold pastry over filling and seal edges well with a fork. Place 2 inches apart on un-greased baking sheets. Brush remaining egg wash over tops. Cut slits in pastry. Sprinkle with coarse sugar and cinnamon-sugar. Bake at 425 degrees for 11 to 14 minutes or until golden brown. Remove to wire racks to cool. This yields 2 dozen.

 

Pastry can be prepared and rolled out a day in advance. Stack pastry rounds between floured sheets of waxed paper. Don’t worry if your dough looks a little dry and crumbly before you pop it in the fridge. It will come together beautifully after it rests. Avoid blowouts! Cutting slits in pastry allows steam to escape. This dough isn’t sweetened, so it works well with savory fillings, too. Use about a tablespoon of filling per pie, and finish with a grind of coarse pepper instead of sugar.

 

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