We are turning a fall classic into a mini version with these Apple Hand Pies! All the flavors you love packed into a bite size pie you can happily hold!
Y’all. I love pies. Especially in the fall. And what is more fall, more classic, more holiday-like than apple pie?!
We are putting all the classic flavors of apple pie but into a bite-size version that you can hold with your hands.
Or one for each hand preferably!?
What is Different About Apple Hand Pies?
Just the size. That’s it. Apple hand pies are everything you love about traditional apple pie but in a bite-size version that you can hold in your hand. We are taking our pie crust and instead of making it in a traditional pie dish, you cut them into large circles and place the filling inside, fold over, and bake. Like a mini calzone - but with apple pie filling!
It all starts with the apple filling.
- brown sugar
- white sugar
- lots of cinnamon
- splash of lemon juice
It is really quite simple and doesn’t need to be overly complicated.
What Kind of Apples are Best to Use?
I prefer to stick with granny smith apples when baking with apples for any recipe. They have a nice tart flavor that isn’t overly sweet and are quite firm - which allows them to hold their shape while baking and not turn to mush.
No one wants mushy apples. Unless you’re eating applesauce. Then I suppose those mushy apples are acceptable. 🙂
I also used Honeycrisp apples in this recipe and they worked beautifully as well. Any one of those two will be a great choice.
I don't recommend using apples like red delicious, McIntosh, or Golden Delicious.
How to Make Hand Pies from Scratch
To start the filling you will need to peel and finely dice the apples. Since these are going to be basically a mini pie, the apples need to be diced quite small. Otherwise, you won’t be able to fit big chunks of apple filling into the delicate pie crust circles.
Add in your sugars and spices. Stir and let sit while you prep your pie crust. As it sits, the flavors will start to marry together creating this delicious filling that is perfectly tart and sweet!
How to Make Your Homemade Pie Crust
Now, one word about pie crust.
I am a firm believer and maker of homemade pie crust. I don’t think anything else should exist.
BUT - if you are under time constraints OR just don’t want to make your own (but why?!?!) then the store-bought crust will be just fine. You will need to get the sheets and not the crust in the pie shell. That kind won’t work.
If you want to try your hand at making homemade pie crust….I love you! It’s not that hard and you will never go back.
- In a large bowl, add in flour, salt, cold butter, and lard.
- Using a pastry cutter (*affiliate link), cut butter and lard into the flour until the mixture resembles small pea size shapes. If the butter and lard and gotten too warm in the process, pop into the freezer for 5 minutes to chill before continuing.
- Fill a large glass with water and ice. Using a tablespoon measure, spoon in 5 tablespoons of the ice water into the flour and butter mixture. Using a fork or spatula, mix well. You may need to add in more water if still floury and needed. You want the dough to just begin to come together. Do not add too much water.
- Sprinkle flour out onto the counter and spoon out dough on top. Roll around flour so that all sides are covered and bring together into a ball shape.
- Roll out with a rolling pin until about ¼ - ⅛ inch thick.
- Cut out circles with a large cookie cutter. You will want the circles to be about 4" in diameter -roll out the circles a little more if needed to get to that size.
A couple of pro tips:
- You want to roll our your crust into a thin layer (about a quarter of an inch thick - ish - I didn’t actually measure 😉 )
- Use a large circle cookie cutter (* affiliate link) to cut out as many rounds as you can. Making sure to use all the dough. So bringing the scraps together after you’ve done one round, rolling out, and repeating until all the dough has been used.
- You want your circles to be about 4” in diameter. Once my circles were cut, I rolled them out a little bit more making them slightly larger.
How to Assemble the Hand Pies
- Scoop about a tablespoon of the apple mixture into the middle of the pie crust circle
- Fold over in half
- Using a fork, crimp the edges of the crest shape to seal
- Place on a baking sheet and repeat until all the apple mixture is gone
- Brush with an egg wash - sprinkle with sugar - bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes
That’s it! But do you want to know the best part about this recipe?
Although they do require a little bit more prep work at the beginning - apple hand pies freeze beautifully and can be made ahead of time!
How Do I Freeze and Prep Ahead of Time?
- Follow the recipe below and stop before brushing with egg wash and baking.
- Place all of the finished pies on a baking sheet and place in the freezer. Freeze for about 30 minutes until they are all frozen and solid.
- Remove off the baking sheet and place in a freezer-safe zip-top bag or vacuum seal and store in the freezer for up to 6 months (or up to 2 years if vacuum sealing). Um hello, Thanksgiving time! You can make these tomorrow and they’ll be done for Thanksgiving before November is even here. #WINNING!
To bake, remove from the freezer and place on a baking sheet. Brush with the egg wash and sugar and bake at 350 for 45 minutes.
So although they do require a little bit more work upfront, you can make these weeks ahead of time and be ready to roll when you need them - leaving you with hardly any work the day of!
These are great hot or at room temp so no need to stress about baking right before if needed.
Serve alongside Homemade Whipped Cream and your holiday table will be complete!
More Delicious Fall Desserts You Will Love!
- Apple Bundt Cake with Bourbon Caramel Glaze
- My Mom’s Apple Pie Recipe
- Brown Butter Apple Bars
- Old Fashioned Pumpkin Loaf with Cream Cheese Frosting
- Pumpkin Cookies with Brown Butter Icing
- Dark Chocolate Zucchini Bread
- Carrot Cake Loaf with Maple Glaze