Cheddar-Apple Hand Pies

INGREDIENTS 12 hand pies (or one Double 9-inch Butter and Lard Crust, unbaked)

For the filling:

  • 5 large apples of several different cooking varieties (Delicious apples will NOT do), peeled, cored, and grated
  • Juice of 1 large lemon
  • 2 Tablespoons Sugar
  • Ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of both ground mace and ground nutmeg
  • 1 large egg white beaten with a little water, for brushing

For the Cheddar and Lard Crust:

  • 3 cups sifted all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/4 cup Grated Cheddar, Prarie Breeze, NY State nothing 'aged'
  • 1/3 cup lard, chilled and cut into small pieces
  • 6 to 8 tablespoons iced water To make the crust:
    1. Combine the flour, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade.
    2. With the top off, sprinkle the cheddar and lard over the ingredients. Re-cover and pulse a few times until small clumps form. 3.Begin to add the iced water through the feed tube, 1 tablespoon at a time, pulsing quickly until the dough begins to form into a ball. Turn the dough out onto a sheet of plastic wrap. As you wrap the dough in the plastic, form it into a disk. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

To make the pie: Preheat oven to 450° F. 1.*You can shape the hand pies whatever shape you want. I just happen to have an apple shaped cutter (because I'm a nerd) You can subsitute a 3.5 inch round cookie cutter. I don’t suggest anything smaller than 3 inches in diameter because you can’t fit enough filling in a pie that small. You can also shape into rectangles. Use a ruler and cut into 3×4-inch rectangles. Bake time will be more or less depending on size– just bake until crust is golden brown. Use the same oven temperature.

2. In a large bowl, mix the apple slices in the lemon juice. Sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon to taste, then add the mace and nutmeg. 
3. Pour the apple mixture into the prepared pastry shell.  Roll out the remaining pastry and carefully lay it over the apples. Seal the edges, cut vent holes, and decorate with extra pieces of dough cut into decorative shapes. Brush the egg wash over the surface of the pastry. Place the pie(S)  pan on a baking sheet (to catch any spill over) and cook in the middle of the oven for 10 minutes. 
4. ***If making one large pie: Turn the oven down to 350° F. and continue to cook for about another hour, until the top crust is a beautiful golden brown. If the edges start to darken too much, cover with a ribbon of aluminum foil.
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