We have a small obsession with pi and pie in our house. My son has been fascinated with the number pi for as long as I can remember. Few things in life are forever. I think the fact that this number goes on forever in some ways offers him an unmet challenge to memorize as many of the numbers as he can. Last year on a family vacation he memorized pi to fifty numbers, past the 3.14 most of us know. Ask him today and he will still be able to recite them back to you.
The pie obsession is my hubby’s. He was so fortunate to grow up with a mother that loved to bake and was gifted with stellar baking skills. Her particular talent was making beautiful pies with from-scratch crusts.
Then the poor guy met and married me, who couldn’t make a successful pie crust from scratch even if my life depended on it. Plus, being a dietitian and always trying to make healthy foods, I seldom get the notion to bake a pie. Needless to say, he gets jipped out of homemade pie most days of the year.
So in order to celebrate one of my son’s favorite numbers with one of my husband’s favorite desserts, I made pie for Pi Day: Apple and Toffee-Peanut Hand Pies. I can justify that these pies are healthy-ish in that they are filled with apples, lemon juice, cinnamon and peanuts, and are serving size appropriate.
I used refrigerated pie dough to avoid risking a baking flop. Rather than adding toffee chips and sugar as the original recipe suggests (Cooking Light), I used crushed toffee-covered peanuts purchased from the farmers market. Also, the recipe calls for fresh apples but I thought this would be a great recipe to use frozen apples from last fall’s harvest.
(To freeze apples for later use: slice or chop fresh apples, toss with lemon juice to coat and freeze in a single layer on a cooking sheet. Then transfer to a plastic freezer bag until ready to use.)
So this March 14th, I wish each of you a Happy Pi Day!
What is your favorite type of pie?
Apple and Toffee-Peanut Hand Pies
- 1 cup finely chopped Gala apples (frozen apples picked at Thierbach Orchards, Marthasville, MO)
- 1 tsp. fresh lemon juice (if using fresh apples)
- 1/3 cup chopped toffee covered peanuts (or crushed peanuts and toffee candy)
- 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1 package (15 ounce) refrigerated pie dough (both pie crusts needed)
- Cooking spray
- 1 egg, slightly beaten with 1 Tbsp. water (Sparks Farm, Warrenton, MO)
- 1 Tbsp. cold butter, cut into 9 cubes
- Preheat oven to 375. Spray baking sheet with cooking spray.
- In a medium bowl, mix together the apples, toffee-peanuts, lemon juice (if using fresh apples) and cinnamon.
- Roll out both of the pie dough portions. Using a drinking glass or 3-inch round cookie cutter, cut about 9-10 small dough circles. Save remaining dough scraps for another use or discard.
- Place half of the small dough circles on prepared baking sheet. Lightly brush with egg wash (egg and water mixed).
- Spoon about 1 Tbsp. of apple mixture onto each round, leaving about a 1/4 inch border around edges. Top each round with a small dab of butter, then with remaining round of dough. Seal edges with a fork.
- Brush egg wash over top of each round; bake at 375 for 25 minutes or until golden brown.