Apple Hand Pies
Homemade apple hand pies are a great apple dessert to make any time of the year. Watch the quick step by step video to learn how to make these mini apple pies.
When I did the fall recipe call on instagram, a popular suggestion was apple hand pies.
Hand pies aren’t a typical thing I would pick to make, but I’m really glad you guys suggested it because they were a lot of fun to make! And so tasty.
I did a fall recipe call for a few reasons..
1. I can get stuck in my own recipe patterns, meaning I stick to what I’m comfortable with. That means lots of chocolate. But you guys encourage me to go outside my comfort zone!
2. You’re my audience and what better way to see what types of recipes you’d like to see then ask you!
3. Sometimes my creativity runs low and you guys are a great source of inspiration!
So, this recipe is extra special, and just for you my friends!
How to Make Apple Hand Pies
- Make the apple filling. The filling can be made ahead of time and stored in the fridge.
- Make the dough. Use a 3 or 4 inch circle cookie cutter to cut circles.
- Place pie filling in the center of each circle, then top with another pie crust circle. Pinch the sides together with a fork.
- Refrigerate the mini pies for 30 minutes before baking. This allows the butter to become cold, creating a flaky crust when baking.
- Apply egg wash and bake.
Tips for Making Hand Pies
- You’ll need a 3 inch circle cookie cutter. Anything smaller than 3 inches may be too small. I didn’t have a circle cookie cutter, so I used the closest thing – a christmas ornament cookie cutter! You could also use a 4 inch circle.
- You do need to pre-cook the apple filling. The apple mixture won’t get soft enough during the baking time, that’s why you need to soften the apples ahead of time.
- You can make the filling ahead of time. I made the apple filling the day before I assembled the rest of the pies. Store it in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Why Chill Pie Dough?
It’s the same reason people suggest chilling cut out sugar cookie dough before baking – to help the dough maintain its shape and not spread as much while baking. You want the fat (butter) to be firm when it goes into the oven because the quick melting of the butter creates the signature flaky crust.
But instead of chilling the dough in a ball right after making it, I found it best to chill the dough after the little pies are formed. Assemble the pies with filling and crimp the edges, then place them on a silicone lined baking sheet and refrigerate for 30 minutes before baking. When the time is up, pop the whole baking sheet in the oven!
More Apple Desserts
Apple Hand Pies
- 2 heaping cups finely diced apples
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter
- ⅓ cup packed brown sugar
- 1 ½ tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp nutmeg
- ¼ tsp cloves
- 2 cups all purpose flour, we’ve also used King Arthur’s Gluten Free Flour with awesome success!
- ½ cup powdered sugar
- 2 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- 12 tbsp cold butter, cut into small cubes, 1 and 1/2 sticks
- 2 large egg yolks
- 2 tbsp cold milk
- Combine the diced apples, butter, brown sugar and all spices in a skillet over medium-low heat on the stove. Stir occasionally while mixture simmers, 5-7 minutes or until the apples are tender. Note: you can make the apple filling up to 3 days ahead of time and store in the fridge until ready to use.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, powdered sugar, baking powder, and salt.
- Using your fingers or pastry cutter, cut in the butter until the mixture is crumbly.
- Add the egg yolks and milk, mix with spatula until the dough is just combined.
- It may be easier to divide the dough in half while rolling it out – its up to you! On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to about 1/8 inch thick. Use a 3 inch (or 4 inch) circle cookie cutter and cut out as many circles as you can. Re-roll the dough and cut more circles as needed.
- Place the bottom crust of the hand pies on a silicone lined baking sheet about 2 inches apart. Add 1 & 1/2 to 2 tablespoons of apple filling to the center of each crust.
- Before adding the top crust, use a butter knife to create air vent holes. The pattern of vent holes is up to you.
- Place the top crust over the filling and use your fingers to crimp the edges, sealing the bottom and top crusts together.
- Use a fork to create the decorative detail on the edges of the pies.
- Place the baking sheet in the fridge for 30 minutes to chill the dough before baking!!
- After 30 minutes, preheat the oven to 350º F.
- Brush each pie with egg wash (1 egg mixed with 1 tbsp of water) and sprinkle with sanding sugar or sugar.
- Bake for 18-22 minutes or until the pies begin to turn golden. Serve warm or cold.
How long do the hand pies last after baking? Can you store the pre made hand pies in the fridge for up to 3 days before baking?
Yes, I would think that would be fine!
What tempurature and for hoe long?
350ºF for 18-22 minutes
Do you need to cook the apples, or if they’re diced small enough can you skip this step and still have cooked apples at the end? Thank you.
Hi Sharon! Cooking the apples ahead of time ensures that the filling will be soft! The apples may not be softened enough during the baking time.
How many pies does this make?
These are super cute! I froze some to save for later and they bake wonderfully from frozen!
Did you freeze them after baking, or before? In either case how long did you then bake them and did you defrost first?
I defrosted them in the fridge first and then baked according to the recipe adding for time as needed!
Have you ever used a pre-made pie crust to make these?
I haven’t, but I believe it would work just fine!
I use premade pie crust but roll it out with a rolling pin until the original thickness has thinned to 1/6-1/8th inch. Also, after baking and cooling, I freeze most of batch in doubled plastic freezer bags. I defrost then on “soften” setting of the microwave.
Really love having them on hand for drop-in company or grandkids. Add a little vanilla ice cream for a special treat.
Do I use ground cloves or whole cloves?
Store and reheat suggestions?
Store in an air tight container on the counter for 1-2 days, for longer storage, store in the fridge. Reheat in the microwave.