Friday, May 4, 2012

Road Trip Apple Pies

Last weekend, my family and I took a mini-road trip from Chicago down to Springfield, IL, to engage in all kinds of nerdy, historical, Lincoln related tourism. (If you didn't already know this, I'm a HUGE history nerd. HUGE.) We mapped a route following the start of historic Route 66 and stopping any/all cheese-ball road side attractions. This included giant Bunyan/muffler-man style statues, small town museums, a 'metal menagerie', and various other roadside oddities. CLEARLY, a trip this awesome in nature needed equally awesome road snacks. Enter the road trip apple pie: a single serving pie wrapped in a driver-accessible, eat-while-driving wrapper. Though slightly tedious to wrap, these are super easy to make and they withstand the road with flying colors.

What's that? You want to see some road trip pictures??? OF COURSE YOU DO!!!!

Anyway, down to business-- here is the recipe!
The crust recipe I adapted from the pie crust recipe in the 1969 Betty Crocker cookbook referenced in my sidebar; the filling is a beast of my own creation.

Road Trip Apple Pies (Yield 8-10 individual sized pies)
(For a printable version of this recipe, click here)

The Filling

2 cups apples, peeled and chopped into thin pieces
1/4 to 1/3 cup sugar (depending on the sweetness of your apples)
1 1/2 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
(optional) 1/2 teaspoon fresh grated ginger

Mix all ingredients until apples are well coated. Though you can make your dough ahead of time, I do not recommended making the filling too early. I suggest mixing it just before you roll out the dough.

The Crust

2 2/3 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, chilled or frozen
2 tablespoons sugar (plus extra for dusting)
7-8 tablespoons ice cold water
2-3 tablespoons butter, room temperature (for filling)

Step #1 - Using a cheese grater, grate the butter so it looks like grated cheese. This works best if you are using frozen butter. You can also opt to just cut the butter in to one inch cubes if you'd rather not take the time to grate. Grating the butter will help it mix evenly in the dough.

Step #2 - Add flour, sugar, and salt to butter. Cut together with a pastry cutter, adding tablespoons of water as needed. I like to keep water with ice in a bowl and scoop out tablespoons as I go to ensure the water is as cold as possible. When done, all the ingredients should be well incorporated and the dough should have the consistency of very thick play dough. You may want to mix with your hands towards the end, as the pastry cutter will become difficult.

Step #3 - Chill dough for at least one hour. You can chill for as long as two days. (I did this batch over night.) If you are just chilling for an hour, you can cover the bowl with a lid or plastic wrap; if you are chilling the dough for longer, wrap the entire ball of dough in plastic wrap to prevent drying.

Step #4 - Preheat oven to 425* F.

Step #5 - Roll dough between sheets of wax paper until it is 1/8 of an inch thick. If you chilled the dough for more than an hour, it may be difficult to roll at first. You may want to set it out of the fridge for 15 minutes before attempting to roll.

Step #6 - Cut dough in to rectangles approximately 6x5 inches. (or to any size you like!)

Step #7 - Place rectangles on to a parchment covered cookie sheet and place 1/4 cup of filling on to one side of the rectangle. Slice a pat of butter (aprox. 1/16 of an inch thick) and divide into two pieces. Put both pieces on top of the filling. If you don't have parchment, grease/flour the sheet thoroughly.

Step #8 - Fold the dough over so a pocket forms, close the sides of the pocket with a fork. Using a knife, cut two vents in the top of each pie. (sorry the pictures are so shadowy-- I usually bake after work/in the evenings, so the light is not always cooperative and I'm not always in the mood to fight it.)

Step #9 - (Optional) Sprinkle sugar on the tops of the pies. I like to use larger grain sugar for sprinkling-- in this case, I used some organic cane sugar, but regular sugar will do just fine!

Step #10 - Cover with foil and bake at 425* F for 20 min. Remove foil and bake for an additional 15 min, or until brown and you can see the filling is bubbly at the vent holes. Don't worry about being fancy when covering the tray with foil-- I just lightly place the foil on top so that I can easily pull it off when the time comes. I use two small pieces as opposed to one large, this way, if I want to peek and see how the pies are doing, it's easier. Let pies cool before wrapping.

To Wrap The Pies....

Cut a rectangular sheet of wax paper slightly larger than twice the length of the pie. Place the pie in the center of the paper and fold the bottom of the paper so that it covers all but 1-2 inches of the top of the pie. (Think like you are making a pie pocket.)

Then, cut the sides off the top half of the paper, so that you end up with what looks like a chimney sticking out of the top of your wrapper. Once you've done this, flip the pie and the wrapper over so you are now looking at the back. The wrapper will look like a big T with a pie in the middle.

Now, fold the two 'side flaps' inward and secure them with a piece of tape.

Flip your pie back over and, TA-DA, you have a car-safe wrapper! Just fold the flap down and secure with either tape or a cuff. I made little cuffs out of old maps because I wanted to be cute. The cuffs were just one inch strips of maps secured in the back with tape. They slid right off so that the pies opened easily.

All done and ready to take on your adventure!!!!


  1. I love the map on the wrapping of these! Later this month I am roadtripping/moving across the country...and definitely in need of snacks. These are perfect :)

  2. Oh my gosh. You offer very good selection for your road trip.

  3. Mmmmmm, we love apple pie around here and to be able to take it with us, Yea! I love the cute packaging too :) Thanks so much for linking up to Creative Thursday this week. I can't wait to see what you link up next week. Have a wonderful weekend.


  4. What a great road trip treat. Delish! And I love the wrappers!

  5. Now that is a great road trip snack!!! I just might have to do something like that for this summer when we are driving! And I just love how cute you made the wrappers. Where did you find the old maps???

    1. I had some maps left over from a holiday project, but I'll totally admit that I got those free from AAA. If you are a member, you can go online and order them free or you can stop in one of their storefronts.

  6. Julie,
    Can these be made ahead of time and frozen?

    1. I haven't tried it, but I don't see why not!

  7. Hi, I love this idea, not only for road trips, but also having them handy for a snack. Thanks for sharing.