Tag Archives: Caramel

Recipe: Caramel Apple Hand Pies

Caramel Apple Hand Pies

Caramel Apple Hand Pies

Hand pies are a New Orleans tradition thanks to local business Hubig’s. Unfortunately, with Hubig’s currently not in operation due to a devastating fire (they promise to rebuild), I had to make my own hand pies to get my fix. But, all in all, I’m proud of how these Caramel Apple Hand Pies turned out.

I’m a huge fan of caramel apples so I whipped up some caramel and mixed it with the apples to create the caramel apple filling.


For the Caramel:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 6 TBSP unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup water

Caramel Apple Hand Pies

Caramel Apple Hand Pies encompass wonderful Fall flavors.

For the rest:

  • 4 pre-made pie crusts
  • 2 Granny Smith apples, finely chopped
  • 2 Honeycrisp apples, finely chopped
  • 2 TBSP cinnamon
  • 1 TBSP sugar
  • 2 egg yolks


For the Caramel:

  1. Heat sugar and water in a 3-quart saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring to dissolve sugar. When sugar comes to a boil, stop stirring.
  2. Boil until the liquid sugar turns a dark amber color then add all the butter. The mixture will foam up and thicken.
  3. Whisk until the butter has melted. Once butter has melted, remove pan from the heat.
  4. Add the cream (the mixture will foam up again) and whisk to incorporate cream and until mixture is smooth.
  5. Set aside caramel to cool.

For the Hand Pies:

  1. Preheat oven to 400F.
  2. Caramel Apple Hand Pies

    Making the caramel from scratch is worth the effort.

  3. Roll out pre-made pie crust dough and use a 4-inch circular pastry cutter to cut circles out of the dough. Repeat with each dough remains.
  4. Set dough circles aside on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
  5. Toss apples with cinnamon and remaining sugar.
  6. Once caramel has cooled, add apples to the caramel and stir to incorporate.
  7. Assemble hand pies by place a TBSP of caramel apple filling on a dough circle then placing a dough circle on top. Press edges with fork to seal. (Don’t worry if some filling spills out, keep pressing until sealed.)
  8. Using a knife, score an X into the top of each pie so filling can vent its heat out while baking.
  9. Once all pies are assembled (you may need to work in batches if you have one baking sheet), whisk egg yolks in a small bowl. Using a pastry brush, brush each hand pie with the egg wash. Sprinkle each pie with additional sugar, if desired.
  10. Bake hand pies for 12-15 minutes or until crust turns golden brown.
  11. Place on a wire rack to cool.

While my recipe is for hand pies, you can also go the traditional route and just make a caramel apple pie using two pie crusts. Either way, the filling in this recipe is a star.

Making the caramel from scratch really makes a difference. These Caramel Apple Hand Pies are perfect for Fall and Winter parties while apples are in season. Plus, they’re easier to eat. And I guarantee you will have very few left over when all is said and done.


Posted by on November 8, 2012 in Cookin', Desserts, Recipes


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Recipe: Pineapple-Coconut Upside-Down Cake

Coconut-Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

Coconut-Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

I was nervous when I made this Pineapple-Coconut Upside-Down Cake. Why? Admittedly, I’m not the best baker although I’m getting a lot better. Also, I was cooking this as a birthday cake for my mom so no pressure or anything.

Turns out my worrying was unwarranted. This cake is moist, delicious and full of tropical flavor. I made it while I was on vacation so I didn’t have access to my iron skillet, but I’m sure using it would have taken it to another level. That said, the level this cake is on is already pretty high.


For the topping:

  • 6 TBSP unsalted butter
  • 1 cup, packed light brown sugar
  • 1 can of pineapple rings in pineapple juice(you won’t use them all)
  • 2 TBSP Malibu coconut rum
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Coconut-Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

    Coconut-Pineapple Upside-Down Cake Close-Up

For the cake:

  • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp cardamom
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened pineapple juice
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup coconut flakes, plus another 1/4 cup toasted coconut flakes


  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. For the Topping: Melt the butter in a well seasoned 9” cast-iron skillet or pot (if using cake pan), over medium-high heat. Melt the brown sugar with salt, stirring constantly, until bubbling, about 6 minutes. Remove from heat, add pineapple rings in one even layer in skillet or round cake pan, and set aside.
  3. Coconut-Pineapple Upside-Down Cake Topping

    The topping for Coconut-Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

  4. Mix the butter in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Add the sugar and beat until creamy.
  5. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  6. Add 1/4 cup coconut flakes and stir in. Beat in vanilla and Malibu coconut rum.
  7. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, cardamom, baking powder, and salt. Add half of the flour mixture to the egg mixture and beat on low speed just until blended.
  8. Add the pineapple juice and mix to incorporate, add remaining flour mixture, beating until just incorporated.
  9. Spoon the batter over the pineapple/brown sugar topping, smoothing the top evenly.
  10. Bake on the center rack of the oven until golden brown and a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Remove from the oven and let stand for 5 minutes.
  11. To remove from the skillet, run a sharp knife around the edge to release the sides. Invert a cake plate or service platter over the skillet and invert the cake onto the plate, keeping pan and plate firmly pressed together. The cake should drop from the skillet onto the plate.
  12. Drizzle the cake with additional Malibu coconut rum, top with toasted coconut flakes, and serve.

I made this Pineapple-Coconut Upside-Down Cake while I was on vacation at the beach and it really fit the bill for a beach birthday.

If you’re a fan of coconut and/or pineapple this is the cake for you. I also envision this recipe making some great cupcakes if you place a single pineapple ring in each cupcake slot.


Posted by on September 19, 2012 in Cookin', Desserts, Recipes


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