These deliciously seasonal pies may not get you drunk, but the addition of vodka gives you a nice crisp crust as it tenderises the gluten strands in the pastry meaning for a tender, flakier pastry.
Vegan apple hand pies with vodka pastry
By Alexander Willow-Harvey
For the pastry:
- 300g (2 1/2 cups) plain flour
- 225g (1 cup) diced vegetable shortening/ baking block
- 60ml (1/4 cup) cold vodka
- 3/4 tsp fine sea salt
- 2 Tbsp unrefined golden caster sugar
- 60ml (1/4 cup) ice-cold water
For the filling:
- 150g (3/4 cup) unrefined golden caster sugar
- 1 tsp cornflour
- Zest from 1 orange
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp mixed spice (apple pie spice)
- 4 medium apples, peeled, cored and sliced
- Preheat the oven to 200c/400f and line a baking sheet with baking paper.
- To make the pastry: combine the sugar, salt and flour in a mixing bowl. Rub in the fat. Mix in the vodka, then add the water a little at a time until you have a firm yet rollable dough.
- Wrap dough in cling film and place in the fridge to rest for 30 minutes.
- To make the filling: Simply mix together all the filling ingredients in a mixing bowl then toss the apple slices in the filling mix, set aside and roll out the pastry dough to 1/4 cm thick approx.
- Using a small bowl or plate as a guide, cut out 6-8 circles of pastry, re rolling the dough if necessary.
- Grab one of the circles of pastry and fill on half of it with the filling, leaving a few cm’s space from the edge to seal the pastry.
- Brush the edge of the pastry with plant milk and fold it over. Now either crimp the pastry with your fingers, or press the edges together with a fork.
- Place on the baking sheet and repeat with the rest of the circles of pastry.
- Once you have shaped all your hand pies, brush with vegan milk or water and slice a small cross in the top (to allow the hot air to escape) and bake for about 25 minutes, until the pastry has started to turn a golden brown and is nice and crisp.