Apple pie is one of my favorite desserts of all time. It's not only delicious, the smells, imagery and flavor bring back warm childhood memories of my favorite days of the year (Thanksgiving and Christmas). Although the kitchen was primarily my mom's domain, my stepdad would dawn an apron and tackle the kitchen for the holidays. A by-the-book kinda guy, he follows the hand scrawled recipes on tattered yellow recipe cards with fanatical precision. While he's the polar opposite of me in almost every way imaginable, he can bake one hell of an apple pie.
Unlike my stepdad, I bore easily with the status quo, and I'm always looking for new ways to do things. Whether it's as humdrum as a different route to the grocery store, or a new way of folding laundry, introducing change into my daily routine is what keeps me creative and sane. This also holds true in the kitchen where even Thanksgiving classics like turkey and cranberry sauce get reinvented every year. But alongside my need to explore, I also have lazy a streak, which is why I'm always looking for easier, faster ways of making things.
Pie making is not well suited for the impatient or inexact, which is why it doesn't get made much in my kitchen. Determined to come up with a faster, easier way to quench my desires for spicy apples and buttery crust, I started running through all the possible ways I could speed the process up.
I'd seen photos of an apple pie springroll on Pinterest a while back, but deep frying requires a certain amount of commitment and instead of a buttery crust, you'd end up with a crisp oily crust. That's around the time I started tossing around the idea of making an apple pie potsticker.
The buttery crisp wrapper gives way to a sweet juicy apple, redolent of cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice. As if that weren't enough (and it is), serving these with a vanilla caramel dipping sauce just takes this to a whole other level, melding beautifully with the nutty crust and tart spicy apples.
Dippable and poppable, these apple pie potstickers are perfect for a potluck buffet, but they could also be individually plated along with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a drizzle of caramel sauce.
- In a small bowl, combine the sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice and stir to combine.
- In another small bowl add some water.
- Peel, quarter and core the apples and then slice each quarter into 4 wedges. You should have 32 pieces of apple.
- Now take one of your potsticker wrappers out and test-fit the slice of apple. Depending on how big your wrappers and apple are, you may need to trim the wedges smaller to make them fit.
- Put the apples in a bowl, dust with the flour and toss to coat evenly.
- To wrap your potstickers, put one wrapper in your left hand (assuming you're right handed).
- Place an apple off to one side of the center of the wrapper.
- Dust with about 1/4 teaspoon of the spiced sugar mixture.
- Wet the entire rim of the wrapper by dipping your fingers in the bowl of water and running them around the edge of the wrapper.
- Fold the wrapper in half and seal. You can add a few pleats into the wrapper as you fold, but this is not necessary. Be sure the wrapper is sealed tight, otherwise it will leak when you cook them. Repeat until you've used all the apples.
- Measure out 1 cup of water in a liquid measuring cup and then add 2 tablespoons of dark rum.
- To fry the potstickers, you'll need to either use a very large pan or fry them in batches. How many batches you do will determine how much butter and water to use for each batch. For example if you plan to do it in three batches, use 1 tablespoon of butter and 1/3 of the water rum mixture.
- Heat a non-stick frying pan over medium high heat until hot. Add the butter (see step 12 for how much butter to add) and swirl to coat the pan and then add the potstickers, flat-side down.
- When the wrappers start to take a little bit of color, add some of the rum water (see step 8 for how much water to add) and immediately cover with a lid.
- Turn down the heat to medium and let the apple potstickers steam for about 4 minutes, or until the water has mostly evaporated.
- Remove the lid and let any moisture evaporate.
- Continue frying the potstickers until they are golden brown and crisp on the bottom.
- Serve crisp-side up with some vanilla caramel dipping sauce.