Hollow Dawn Recipes: Mini Hand Pies and Apple Upside Down Cake

Today we have two recipes in store from the kitchen of Rhiannon Williams ! A perfect one, two punch of savory, sweet and portable for those long walks in the forest, or when you're on the run from the First Lich (which is a futile attempt, but may as well be satisfied while running!),


Mini Hand Pies

To start with, you’ll need either your favorite pie dough recipe, or, if you’re a cheater like me, you can use a pre-bought dough. I used GOYA empanada wrappers, which were a little crispier than pie dough, but worked well to keep the filling in, and were already the right size! These pies can be made with any ground meat you’d like, though red meats like beef, elk, venison, or lamb work best, or you can skip the meat altogether and bulk up on potatoes for a hearty, satisfying vegetarian version, reminiscent of samosas. Makes 10 pies.


  • Enough dough to make 10 small pie crusts, or 2 packets of pre-made empanada wrappers

  • 1lb ground meat (I used beef)

  • ½ lg onion, finely diced

  • 1 zucchini, finely diced

  • 6 mushrooms, finely diced

  • 2 med potatoes, finely diced

  • 2 carrots, finely diced

  • few dashes of Worcester sauce

  • ¾ tsp Curry powder

  • ¼ tsp cumin

  • ¼ tsp ground ginger

  • ½ tsp turmeric

  • 3 cloves finely minced garlic

  • salt

  • black pepper

  • olive oil

  • (optional) 1 egg, beaten thoroughly


Press pie crust into 10 VERY LIGHTLY oiled muffin tins. Dock dough (poke w/ a fork on the bottom), line with tin foil, and fill with pie weights or rice. Blind bake at 350*f for about 10 minutes, until dough starts to turn in color, but is not yet cooked. Remove from oven and allow to cool while prepping filling:

In a large skillet, par-boil the potatoes and carrots in just enough water to cover them. Once the water has evaporated, add a drizzle of olive oil, and saute until the edges are just golden brown and lightly crispy. Remove these to a separate bowl.

In your skillet, brown onions, zucchini, and ground meat. Add diced mushrooms, potatoes, and spices. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally. Fill your pie crusts and cover in additional dough, crimping at edges and cutting a vent in the top. Continue to bake at 350* for an additional 15-20 minutes or until pie crust is golden brown and looks delicious. Remove from oven and allow to cool before attempting to remove from muffin tin. Good warm or cold, will keep for a week or so in the fridge (longer with no meat!).

Apple Upside Down Cake

You can make the design on this cake as intricate or as simple as you’d like - I like to slice the apples very thinly, and arrange them from the center out in rings to resemble rose petals! Also, this cake recipe is specifically for high altitude - if you were making it at sea level, I’d just substitute any yellow or white cake recipe and add the spices.


For the topping:

  • ¼ cup butter

  • 3 tbs brown sugar

  • ¼ tsp cinnamon

  • ¼ tsp ginger

  • dash nutmeg

  • 2 thinly sliced apples

For the cake:

  • 1/4 cup butter, room temp and soft

  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil

  • ¾ cups sugar

  • 2 eggs, room temperature

  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract

  • 1 ½ cups flour

  • ½ tsp salt

  • 1 tsp cinnamon

  • ½ tsp ginger

  • ⅛ tsp nutmeg

  • 1 ¼ tsp baking powder

  • just over 1 cup buttermilk - this one is tricky: eyeball about ⅙ of a cup?


Preheat the oven to 325 and lightly grease a 9” cake tin. In a small bowl, melt the butter and stir in the brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. Pour this into the bottom of the cake tin, and arrange your apple slices, set aside. CAKE:

In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter and oil until homogeneous. Slowly add the sugar, beating until the mixture is light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, scraping bowl in between. Add vanilla and beat on high for 3 minutes to incorporate as much air as possible.

In a separate bowl, sift your dry ingredients together, mixing thoroughly to combine. Alternate mixing the dry ingredients and the buttermilk into your butter/sugar/oil mixture, starting with buttermilk and ending with the flour. Be careful not to over-mix - a few lumps are okay. Pour your batter over the apple topping, bake for 30 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before turning out onto a tray and enjoying warm. Don't burn down your house trying these out!

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