It’s Plant Food Fabulous’s first anniversary! I can’t even begin to tell you how much fun this year has been for me, and how grateful I am for all of you who follow along and cook my food. A year ago I was wondering how I would make time for this project. I work full time and have two young kids after all. It turns out, making time for this blog really helped me make time for me. It’s been such a wonderful rebirth of my creative side. So thank you, from the bottom of my heart for sharing this journey with me.
A year ago this blog started with apple pie. We live on an apple orchard, and making my apple pie had become a tradition at the annual preschool potluck. This year we could not make it to the potluck, so I decided to reinvent the pie into these little apple pie bites, which were sent for our turn on snack day. They are super cute, perfectly bite sized, (which frankly is a bit dangerous when you keep popping them like chips) and very kid friendly. We used apples from our orchard, which really seems to make them even more special. Little Man made sure to tell all the kids in his class all about it, at length and in detail apparently.
|this is what it looks like when I am done|
|this is what it looks like when I decide it is perfect|
|you can see that it comes together easily when I kneed it against the bowl|
|worked into a ball|
I found the dough would get too warm to deal with quickly, so I would cut 12 or so circles and set them on the tray, then put the dough in the freezer for 10 minutes before trying to release the circles. I got 24 circles from each ball of dough, cutting 12 and then re-rolling.
- 1¼ cup all purpose flour
- ¾ cup whole wheat pastry flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ cup cold butter, cubed
- ¼ cup shortening (non hydrogenated)
- 4-5 tablespoons ice water
- ½ cup organic cane sugar
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg (fresh grated is best and in that case eyeball it)
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 6 cups sliced and peeled apples
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- ⅔ cup packed brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 egg for egg wash
- In a large bowl whisk together both flours and salt.
- Using a pastry cutter mix in the shortening and the butter. You want to keep mixing until the dough resembles peas and cornmeal.
- Add iced water 1 tablespoon at a time, mixing with a fork, until the dough comes together. You want the dough to start pulling together well, but not be at all wet.
- You want the dough to come together with the least amount of water possible to ensure that it is flaky. You should also try to handle it quickly and gently so as not to melt all the butter.
- Work it into a ball, cut the ball in half, work each half into a disk and then wrap it it wax paper or plastic wrap. Let the disk rest in the fridge for at least 30 min.
- Peel, core and dice your apples. 1" dice or smaller is best.
- Add the diced apples to a bowl waiting with the lemon juice. Swish them around with every addition of apple. In a small bowl mix all the dry ingredients except the brown sugar. Pour the flour mixture over the apples and mix well.
- Melt two tablespoons of butter in a large dutch oven, or deep pot. Add the apple mixture and then pour over the brown sugar and mix it in. Cover the pot and let it simmer, on medium low, until the apples are cooked through. About 20 minutes for me. Stir often so as not to burn the sugars.
- f your chunks are too big, break the whole mixture up a bit with an emersion blender. Large apple pieces tend to break the top pie crust.
- Preheat the oven to 375º.
- Roll the dough out between two sheets of waked paper. Use a 2″ cookie cutter to cut the bottom of the pie bites. I used a 2.5″ cookie cutter to cut the top. I found it was easier than trying to stretch the 2″, but you can use either. Lay the circles on a baking sheet lined with parchment.
- I found the dough would get too warm to deal with quickly, so I would cut 12 or so circles and set them on the tray, then put the dough in the freezer for 10 minutes before trying to release the circles. I got 24 circles from each ball of dough, cutting 12 and then re-rolling.
- Fill each circle with a teaspoon of filling. Spread egg wash around the outside rim, them top with the larger circle. Use a fork to crimp the sides and seal the pies. Cover with an egg wash and poke a couple of vent holes in each pie.
- If you are not sending them to a school which cares about sugar, dust the top of each pie with some sugar in the raw or other large crystal sugar.
- Bake the pies for 15-20 minutes looking for them to be golden brown. Let them cool for 5 minutes on the tray, then transfer them to a cooling rack.