There’s something about the holidays that make me want to bake. They say that people eat more during the winter to stay warm; for me, I eat more desserts. In an effort to bring some of the holiday cheer, I decided to make spiced apple pear pie pockets. These pastries are the perfect dessert to make it feel like Christmas with notes of cinnamon and nutmeg. Is it time to open the presents yet?
**Helpful tips and common mistakes
As much as I love pie, I love portable pies. My favorite, and I have no shame admitting it, is McDonald’s baked apple pies. You are always guaranteed to have crust and filling with every bite. With that idea in mind, I decided to make pie pockets with a warm spiced apple and pear filling.
I am going to warn you, pies can be a bit challenging. If you only have 30 minutes to whip up a dessert, I would not suggest making these pie pockets. The crust alone needs 1 hour to chill. However, you can make the crust and filling the day before. You can even make the pie pockets the day before, freeze them and bake the following day (or week!).
The first step in preparing these beauties is to make the crust. I always use a food processor rather than mixing it by hand; it saves a lot of time. Pulse the ingredients together until the dough starts coming together but not until it starts to form a ball. Remove the dough from the machine and form into two balls, wrap in plastic and chill for one hour.
While the dough rests, prepare the filling. You can go with just apple but adding the pear adds another layer of flavor that makes the pie pockets infinitely better. The filling should almost be like a compote with a thick consistency. If the filling has too much liquid, it will make the pockets soggy.
Once the filling has cooled and the dough has chilled, it’s time to assemble. Dust your work surface with flour. Doing so will prevent the dough from sticking and will make it easier to roll out. Keep half of the dough in the refrigerator while working with the first piece; it is easier to roll out when cold.
Roll out the dough until 1/8 inch thick and cut out your desired shapes. You can do round hand pies, crescents, rectangular, whatever your heart desires! Place the filling in the center, being careful not to over stuff the pie pockets. I went a little crazy with the filling in my first batch and the pockets were bursting open after they were baked. Close the seams and cut slits in the center; this allows the steam to escape so that the pie pockets don’t burst open. Repeat with the second batch.
Remember to brush the pastries with egg to give it the beautiful golden crust. Once they are baked, wait a couple minutes before digging in.
These spiced apple pear pie pockets were everything I craved and more. The filling was wonderfully flavorful with the cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg. The pastry was buttery, flaky and a little sweet. I had to give away a batch before I devoured all of these babies to myself. The best part? Having leftover filling to top my breakfast oatmeal with!
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