First things first… decide whether you want to make your apple pie pockets the homemade way or the faster, more convenient way. If you’re pressed for time, purchase ready made refrigerated pie crust from the grocery store. If you’re feeling more adventurous, you can make your pie crust from scratch. I highly recommend Smitten Kitchen’s All Butter, Really Flaky Pie Dough. Not only is her recipe amazing but she has a great step-by-step tutorial with tons of tips on how to make a buttery, flaky pie crust.
After you’ve decided on the pie crust you are going to use, the next obvious decision is what filling you are going to use. For my apple pie pockets, I used a delicious Caramel Apple recipe from The Purple Foodie. The apples were amazing but I ended up with a little bit more liquid than I wanted in my pockets. No big deal… I just poured some of it out and it worked out perfect. For other homemade apple pie filling recipes check out the below links:
As you prepare your apple pie filling, keep in mind you are making apple pie pockets so you will need to cut your apples into small pieces instead of quarters.
To create your apple pie pockets, start by rolling out your pie crust dough. Make sure that you roll your dough on a floured surface. I tried rolling the dough between wax paper, as I do with cookie dough, and ended up with a sticky mess! Also, roll the dough thinner than you would for a pie. You will have a top and bottom layer on each pie pocket so you don’t want the dough to be so thick that you take away from the taste of the filling. Stack the rolled out dough between sheets of parchment paper and chill in the fridge for 10 to 15 minutes to make cutting easier. While the dough is chilling prepare three small bowls: one with a beaten egg yolk, one with melted butter, and one with a mixture of half cinnamon and half sugar.
For pie pockets that are patriotic, I thought a star shape would be perfect, but you can use whatever shape you like to make these cuties. I also made some simple circles that I later decorated with star shapes.
Use a cookie cutter to cut your pie crust dough into shapes. You need one shape for the top of the apple pie pocket and one shape for the bottom. Use a knife to cut a small “x” in the center of the top shape to allow steam to escape when baking.
Set your bottom shapes on a parchment lined cookie sheet and scoop your apple pie filling into the centers (I added a little apple sauce to boost the apple flavor, a tip from The Purple Foodie). Using a pastry brush, line the edges of the dough with the egg yolk you prepared. This will help seal the edges of your apple pie pockets. Set your top shapes on top of your filling and bottom shapes. Press down around the edges of the pie pocket with a fork, creating indents into the dough. Finally, use a pastry brush to cover the top of each pocket with melted butter and sprinkle with your cinnamon/sugar mixture.
Once your apple pie pockets have completely cooled, you’re ready to add the red, white and blue! You will need:
Red, white and blue sprinkles or sparkling sugar
A small mixture of half meringue powder and half water
A small paint brush (clean and used only for baking)
The great part about decorating these is that it’s super simple! Use your paint brush to wipe your meringue powder/water mixture onto your apple pie pocket any where that you want your sanding sugar to stick. Then, use a spoon to sprinkle the sparkling sugar over the pocket. Set it aside to dry for just a few minutes and shake upside down to remove any loose sugar. If needed, you can use a clean dry brush to wipe off any excess sugar that you can’t shake off.
Don’t be afraid to get creative here! Try out different shapes and colors. If you want to use different colors on the same apple pie pocket, simply let one color dry completely before adding the next.
For more creative sweets that are perfect treats for summer barbeque, check out my roundup of Sweets That Look Like Hot Dogs.