Fresh rhubarb and apples are cooked down and spooned into homemade pie dough in these fruity, sweet Rhubarb Apple Hand Pies.
Rhubarb can be a tricky vegetable to find where I live.
Especially when you’re looking for it in mid-April, when the growing season is late May and throughout June. Oops.
But, through a combination of calling every grocery store within walking, biking and public transit distance, I finally found a place that carried stalks of the most holy of vegetables-that-taste-like-fruit, also known as rhubarb. Also known as the anchor to these rhubarb apple hand pies.
Rhubarb is probably my favourite fruit (it’s sweet, let’s just call it like it is), though I’m still unsure if that’s because it’s incredibly seasonal and unlike North American staples like strawberries, raspberries, oranges and pineapple, it can’t be found on the reg even in the middle of winter. Or it could be that it’s just so damn good.
(But really, we need to up our hothouse game, Canada.)
Rhubarb, a vaguely bitter-tasting ingredient, can be a beautiful mixture of sweet and tangy once cooked down and mixed with a bit of sugar. For these rhubarb apple hand pies, you have to cook down the crisp Granny Smith apples and chopped fresh rhubarb stalks down to a muddy pulp, almost like applesauce. Does it look pretty when mashed? Heck no. Does it look like baby food? Why yes, yes it does. But does it taste AMAZING? You know it.
Trust me, even I was hesitant to taste a mushy filling inside the beautiful handmade puff pastry pie dough these rhubarb apple hand pies require. But I guarantee that the flaky, buttery crust and crunchy raw sugar top provides some texture to the cooked-down interior. It’s a delightful combination.
If you’re lucky enough to have some fresh rhubarb lying around, or you’re even luckier and have a thriving plant in your backyard, you NEED to try these hand pies. They’re adorable, sweet, and you can take them to school or work without having to wash any utensils. Less time wasting away in the staff kitchen = more time to eat another rhubarb apple hand pie. 😉
Check out CK on Instagram! If you try out one of my recipes, tag @CrumbKitchen so I can see your delicious creations. 🙂
Total Cost = $6.06 (Budget breakdown below recipe)
- 3 and ¾ cups all-purpose flour
- ¼ tsp. fresh grated orange zest
- 1 and ½ tbsp. granulated sugar
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 and ½ cups cold salted butter, cubed small
- ¾ to 1 cup buttermilk*
- ½ pound (225 grams) rhubarb stalks, chopped into ½ inch pieces
- ½ pound (225 grams) crisp peeled Granny Smith apples, chopped into ½ inch pieces
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 tbsp. water
- Raw sugar, to sprinkle
- In a large bowl, whisk flour, zest, sugar and salt. Add in butter and mix with a pastry blender or your fingers until the butter is course pea-sized crumbs. Stir in ¾ cup buttermilk to help the dough come together. Add in up to ¼ cup more buttermilk, if needed, to form dough.
- Knead 2-3 times in the bowl, then divide into two balls of dough. Flatten each slightly into a thick disk, then cover in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 1 hr.
- While dough is chilling, add chopped rhubarb, apples and sugar into a medium-sized saucepan and mix together. Cover and cook at low-medium heat for 15 minutes, until fruit is cooked down almost all the way. Stir, then remove from heat. Pour onto a plate in a thin layer and freeze or refrigerate for the remainder of the dough-chilling hour. Once cooled, scrape into a bowl to use.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and prepare the egg wash in a small bowl, beating until thoroughly combined.
- On a floured surface, unwrap 1 of the 2 dough disks and start to roll it out using a rolling pin. Go slowly and turn the dough often to avoid cracking. Keep rolling until dough is about ¼th to ⅛th of an inch thick. Using a drinking class or round 2-3 inch cookie cutter, cut out circles. Make sure you have an even number of circles. I had 14 circles (7 hand pies) for this ½ dough, because re-rolling the dough over and over again creates a tough, chewy dough that we want to avoid.
- With your egg wash, very lightly brush half of the circles to make your bases. For the other half, cut a small vent in the dough for the lids. In the centre of the bases, add a small dollop of rhubarb apple filling, about 2 tsp., maximum 1 tbsp. Do not overfill!
- Top each base with a lid and seal with your fingers or a fork. Transfer to prepared baking sheet and place in fridge to firm up.
- Repeat with second set of dough, then refrigerate for 10 minutes. Before each baking sheet goes in the oven, brush tops with egg wash and sprinkle with raw sugar.
- Bake both sheets separately for 15-18 minutes, or until hand pies have risen and are golden brown.
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen.
3 and 3/4 cups all-purpose flour = $0.46
1/4 tsp. fresh grated orange zest = $0.10
1 and 1/2 tbsp. granulated sugar = $0.02
1 tsp. salt = $0.01
1 and 1/2 cups cold salted butter = $1.40
3/4 to 1 cup buttermilk = $0.35
1/2 pound (225 grams) rhubarb stalks = $2.50
1/2 pound (225 grams) crisp peeled Granny Smith apples = $1.00
1/3 cup granulated sugar = $0.07
1 large egg = $0.15
1 tbsp. water = FREE
Raw sugar, to sprinkle