Apple-Cranberry Pocket Pies
For the crust:
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp. salt
- 2 Tbs. granulated sugar
- 16 Tbs. (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch dice
- 6 to 8 Tbs. ice water
For the apple-cranberry filling:
- 1 1/2 lb. Pink Lady or McIntosh apples, peeled, cored and cut into 1/2-inch dice
- 1/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp. salt
- 1/8 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
- 2 tsp. cornstarch
- 2 Tbs. unsalted butter
- 1 1/2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
- 5 oz. fresh cranberries
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 Tbs. water
- 1 egg, lightly beaten with 1 tsp. water
- Granulated sugar for sprinkling
To make the apple-cranberry filling, in a large bowl, stir together the apples, brown sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg and cornstarch. In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the apple mixture, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the apples are just tender but not mushy, 16 to 18 minutes. Remove from the heat, stir in the lemon juice and let cool for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a small saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the cranberries, granulated sugar and water. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the cranberries have broken down slightly and the liquid has thickened to the consistency of a loose jam, about 14 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool for 30 minutes. Add the cranberry mixture to the apple mixture and stir to combine.
Let the dough stand at room temperature for 5 minutes. On a floured surface, roll out 1 dough disk into a round 3/16 inch thick. Brush off the excess flour. Using an apple pocket pie mold, cut out 8 of each shape (4 solid and 4 with the decorative cutout). Reroll the dough scraps, if necessary, and cut out more shapes. Repeat with the remaining dough disk.
Place a solid dough shape in the bottom half of the cutter and gently press the dough into the mold. Fill the center with 2 Tbs. apple-cranberry filling and brush the edges of the dough with some of the egg wash. Top with a shape with a decorative cutout. Press the top half of the cutter down to seal and crimp the edges of the pie. Remove the pie from the mold and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining dough and filling. Freeze the pies for 30 minutes.
Preheat an oven to 400°F.
Brush the top of the pies with egg wash and sprinkle with granulated sugar. Bake until the crust is golden brown and the filling is gently bubbling, 22 to 24 minutes. Transfer the pies to a wire rack and let cool for 10 minutes before serving. Makes 8 pocket pies.