Just wouldn’t be me if I didn’t do something for Valentine’s Day proper, so while everyone else is overloading on chocolate and strawberries, I’m making these little guys. Nom nom.
for the pastry
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/3 cup chilled solid vegetable shortening, diced
6 tablespoons (or more) ice water
for the filling
4 large apples, peeled and cored
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon bourbon
1 tablespoon cornstarch mixed with 2 tablespoons cold water
Blend flour, sugar and salt in processor. Add butter and shortening and cut in using pulses until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add 6 tablespoons ice water and process until moist clumps form, adding more water by teaspoonfuls if dough is dry. Gather into ball, then flatten into a disk. Wrap in plastic; chill a minimum of 2 hours or up to two days.
Meanwhile, make your filling. Peel and core apples. Dice them into tiny pieces. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Allow the butter to brown into a light golden color; about 1 minute. Add apples into hot butter; sprinkle with salt and both sugars. Cook, stirring occasionally, until apples are completely softened, about 8 minutes. Mix in cinnamon and bourbon; continue cooking until apples are soft and sticky, 1 to 2 more minutes. Stir in cornstarch slurry, mix well, and allow mixture to thicken; about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.
When you’re ready to make your pies, preheat the oven to 425F. Line a large baking sheet with silpat or parchment paper.
Roll the dough out into a 14″ x 14″ square. Using a straight edge or pastry wheel, cut out sixteen 4″ squares. Divide the apple filling among 8 of the squares, using about 2 tablespoons for each. Brush some of the beaten egg along the edges of each filled square. Cut a vent into the each of the remaining eight squares, using a decorative cutter of your choice. Top each filled square with a vented square, and press along the edges with the tines of a fork to seal. Brush the top of each pie with the remaining beaten egg, and sprinkle with sugar. Transfer the pies to the prepared baking sheet. Bake the pies for 18 to 20 minutes. Remove them from the oven, and let cool for 20 minutes before serving.