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A father-daughter book and recipe!

Apple Hand Pies

Hand Pies apple.jpeg

Our first father-daughter book and recipe! Sarah Koslosky and Steven Kresena own The Ovenbird Café in Austin Texas:  "Simple food, simply done."  They offer pastries and Eastern European Old World delights.


Sarah was generous enough to share her Apple Hand Pie recipe with us. A similar dessert was mentioned in the last story of her father’s book, A Week at Surfside Beach, where Sarah went each summer, cooking with her mother from an early age. In a way, Sarah is part of these stories! Recipe is below.

Photo: Steven Kresena

Foodie Lit

A  Week at Surfside Beach.webp

Pierce Koslosky's A Week at Surfside Beach is a collection of 16 stories in the exact same space, a beach rental. The week spent at this South Carolina family vacation spot brings out conflicts, fights, heartaches and possibility. From an 84 year old John escaping his children’s wish to put him in a senior facility to a ne’er do well son who saves his father from a rip tide, the plots and characters are well developed, intriguing in a beautiful and overwhelming landscape that forces introspection and transformation.

Apple Hand Pies


Yield: 9 Handpies

Oven Temp: 350     Bake Time: 25 min     Shelf Life: 3 days


8.5 ounces all-purpose flour

12 grams white sugar

6 grams salt

8 ounces unsalted butter, cut into cubes

1 egg

1 ounce milk

Egg wash



1. Whisk together the flour, sugar, and salt. Work in the butter with your fingers, pastry blender or food processor until pea-sized lumps of butter are still visible and the mixture holds together when you squeeze it. If food processor is used, transfer the mixture to a large bowl.

2. Whisk egg and milk together and stir them into the dough, mixing just until everything is cohesive.        

3. Divide the dough in half and shape each portion into a smooth rectangle, around 3×5 inches. Roll immediately, or if too warm, place in fridge to chill until firm enough to roll. Dough can be stored in fridge for up to 2 days.


1. If the dough has been chilled, remove it from the refrigerator and allow it to soften at room temp until easier to work with, about 15 to 30 minutes.  

2. Place one piece on a lightly floured work surface and roll it into a rectangle big enough that you can trim it to an even 9″ x 12″. 

3. Repeat with the second piece of dough. Cut each piece of dough into thirds – you should have nine 3″ x 4″ rectangles. Place dough in fridge until ready to assemble pastries  

4. When ready to assemble, take egg wash and brush it over the entire surface of the first dough. This will be the “inside” of the pastry - the egg is to help glue it shut. 5. Place a heaping tablespoon of filling into the center of the rectangle, keeping a 1/2-inch edge around it. Place a second rectangle of dough on top of the first and using your fingertips press firmly around the edges of the filling, sealing the dough on all sides. Press the tines of a fork all around the edge of the rectangle. Repeat with remaining pastries. Freeze until ready.

6. If baking straight away, allow to chill in the fridge for 30-60 minutes until firm.


1. Preheat Oven to 350 (if removing pastry from freezer there is no need to thaw) place pastry on sheet trays at least an inch apart and brush with egg wash. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Cool fully before topping with icing.


Apple Filling                


Yield: 9 pastries worth of filling;  Time: 30 minutes;  Shelf Life: 7 days

1.5 pounds Granny Smith apples, peeled and chopped

66  grams white sugar

1.5 grams ground cinnamon

15 grams lemon juice

1 Combine apples, cinnamon and sugar together and cook over medium heat until softened and bubbling, mix with immersion blender until only slight chunks remain - then add lemon juice.

2. Taste and adjust seasoning. Cool completely before using.

Expandthetable suggestions

Lessen the sugar: Substitute Stevia in place of sugar, following package measurements.

Dairy Free: Use a non-dairy milk, such as almond milk. Use a non-dairy margarine in place of butter.

Sarah Koslosky.jpeg
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