The head dessert chef at Little Rock’s Big Orange restaurants shares her secret for an all-American treat
Birthday cake milkshakes and espresso cookie sandwiches with cardamom fudge are just a couple of the mouthwatering desserts baker Autumn Hall has brainstormed for Little Rock’s Big Orange restaurants. The popular burger joint, which opened its first location at Little Rock’s The Promenade at Chenal in 2012, recently expanded to a second space in the Midtowne Shopping Center.
Hall splits her time between the restaurants, creating imaginative and tasty desserts like these apple hand pies. “Hand pies are good for any occasion,” she says. “They aren’t fried, perfect for kids and are easy to take with you to events.”
Big Orange’s Apple Hand Pies
Recipe yields approximately 20 pies
2 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup butter,
cut into small cubes and frozen for 5-10 minutes
1/4 cup ice water
1/4 cup vodka
1 pound Granny Smith apples, peeled and diced
1 pound Honeycrisp apples, peeled and diced
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon apple brandy
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg yolk
2 tablespoons cream
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. For the dough, combine first four ingredients using a food processor. Add butter and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Slowly add the water and vodka while pulsing the dough in the food processor until slightly wet and sticky. If you press the dough together and it crumbles, add more liquid. Separate into two balls and wrap each in plastic wrap. Let the dough rest in the refrigerator for an hour.
For the filling, combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and toss until apples are coated. Whisk together egg wash ingredients and set aside.
Roll out one of the balls of dough on a floured surface. Using a large round cookie cutter, cut out circles and brush egg wash onto the edges of one half of each circle. Add one to two tablespoons of filling to that half of the circle and fold over, using a fork to crimp and seal the edges. Repeat until filling is gone, rolling out the second ball of dough as needed. Brush egg wash onto the pies and make a few cuts with a knife for steam to escape during baking. Place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for 20 to 30 minutes or until golden brown.
Big Orange, Midtown, (501) 379-8715, West, (501) 821-1515, bigorangeburger.com