As soon as the apples come into season, I get a hankering for pie. There are a lot of pies – Shaker Lemon, Peach Melba, and Banoconut – that I count among my favorites, but I’m a sucker for nostalgia, and there’s really nothing more American than, well, apple pie. And with so many apples currently at the farmer’s markets, I feel the need to taste test them all. And, logic would have it that most apples are best taste tested in pie — right?
The only problem is that I’m a crust fanatic and I’ll always favor a buttery, crisp crust to any filling it could hold. So, I make hand pies. They’re a touch more involved than a single-crust pie (read: a few more minutes of rolling, folding, and crimping required) but the result is a handheld, transportable pie that’s just enough bites to keep me satisfied yet few enough that I don’t risk pie fatigue.
Lately I’ve been playing around with these apple hand pies that ride the line of sweet and savory. I like sauteed apples with thyme on my pork chops, apples and aged Gouda as a snack, and classic apple pie in the fall, so I combined them all in these bitty hand pies. And it works really nicely together. The nutty Gouda and the herbal thyme folds in with the sweet, spiced apples like they’ve long been the best of friends.