For Filling, combine apples, brown sugar, water, lemon juice and raisins in 2-quart saucepan. Cover and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes until apples are just tender. Meanwhile, in small bowl, mix flour, sugar, salt, and spices together well, and add liquid from cooking apples to make slurry. Then, add all to pan with apples and continue to cook, stirring constantly, until thickened, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla and butter. Set aside to cool.
Meanwhile for Pastry, measure flour, sugar, salt and cinnamon into large bowl and with pastry blender, fork or two knives, cut in butter and shortening until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add water, 1 tablespoon at a time, tossing after each addition until flour is moist and dough just holds together. Turn onto lightly floured surface; knead together and shape into flattened disk. Divide into 4 equal pieces; wrap separately in plastic wrap or wax paper and chill for at least 1/2 hour.
Preheat oven to 375°F. On lightly floured surface, roll out pastry dough, one piece at a time, and cut each piece into 4 small rounds with 3-1/2 or 4-inch cookie cutter. Place 1 scant tablespoon Raisin Apple Filling just below center on each piece; moisten edges and fold over, sealing edges with fork. Arrange on baking sheet and prick tops of each handheld pie in several places with fork or cut one small slit with sharp knife. Beat 1 egg with pinch of salt for egg wash and brush onto pies. Bake at 375°F for 20 to 25 minutes until lightly browned. Cool and serve.
Notes: McIntosh (cultivar) apples recommended.
Raisin Apple Filling
- 11/2 cups chopped tart apples*
- 1/2 Cup brown sugar
- 2 Tablespoons water
- 2 Teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- 3/4 Cup California raisins
- 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 Tablespoon granulated white sugar
- 1/2 Teaspoon salt
- 1/2 Teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/8 Teaspoon ground nutmeg
- Pinch ground cloves
- 1/2 Teaspoon vanilla
- 11/2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
Blue Ribbon Pastry
- 2 Cups all-purpose flour
- 1 Teaspoon white granulated sugar
- 1/4 Teaspoon salt
- 1/4 Teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/3 Cup cold unsalted butter, cut into chunks
- 1/3 Cup vegetable shortening
- 4 to 5 tablespoons cold water
- 1 egg
- Pinch of salt