This is definitely a bit laborious and I learned alot in the process. I'd make them again and you could use anything for filler in a hand-pie.
I was able to eke out almost 24 pies out of a full recipe of pate brisee. If I did it again I would only make 16.
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
2 sticks unsalted butter - cold and cut into pieces
1/4-1/2 cup cold water
In a cuisinart blender together the flour, salt and sugar. Add the butter and pulse about 5/6 times until the butter is crumbly. Add the water and pulse until the dough gets wet. It might not form a total ball but you can see that the crust is wet. Divide in two and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for a few hours.
8 Apricots - cut in half and pitted
2 cups water
3 strips of lemon peel
1 small piece of ginger - peeled
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 vanilla bean split and seeds scraped
Bring the water, sugar, lemon peel, ginger, cinnamon and vanilla beans to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for about 10 minutes. The liquid should get a little thicker.
Put the apricots in a large frying pan with the skin side up. Then take cheesecloth and wet it under cold water. Then place it over the apricots so they are totally covered with cheese cloth. Pour the liquid over the apricots and bring to a simmer. Let them simmer for about 5 minutes or until soft. Take off the heat and let cool. I put this and the liquid (don't forget the liquid) in the refrigerator for a day before using.
Roll out one half of the dough and cut into 16, 3-inch rounds. Put them on a parchment lined cookie sheet in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 425
Roll out the other half of the dough and cut into 16, 4-inch rounds. These rounds have to be a little bigger or it is a total hassle.
Take the cold rounds out of the refrigerator. Brush cold water around the edges. Take the apricot (half) and soak up the juice with a paper towel. Place is on the cold round. Take one 4-inch round and place it on top and crimp the edges. Repeat this with all 16.
Use a knife and cut open an x on top to let the pie breathe. Brush cold water on top of each pie, not a lot and then sprinkle sugar over the top.
Bake for about 10 minutes then reduce the heat to 325 and bake another 15 minutes until browned.
Serve warm or room temperature.