Easy Apple Hand Pies

apple hand pies

Hand pies-the cupcake of the pie world. Easy, portable apple hand pies made with store bought crust (to make it easy) and sweet homemade apple filling!

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apple hand pies

We want these hand pies to be easy, quick and relatively painless. They only require you to have 2 apples sitting on your counter and we’re going to use a store pie crust. Can you use homemade pie crust-of course! But my life right now feels like the shortcut of rolled up store bought crust is necessary.

What is a hand pie?

I’m glad you asked.  Quite simply, it’s a pie you can carry in your hand (duh).  Sometimes known as turnovers, they are a pastry crust with pie filling in the middle, but small and portable. Which makes them ideal if you’re just not feeling the effort of a whole pie. Plus kids think it’s cool that they can just grab one and go. (Same goes for boyfriends, as it turns out).

cutting pie crust leaves

What you need to make these Apple Hand Pies:

  • Apples-two large ones. Or three small ones. This recipe is a little loosey gooesy but 2 large apples peeled and diced up small will serve you well.
  • Lemon juice-to keep the apples from browning and to add a little tartness into all of that sweet. If you don’t have lemon juice, you can use lime juice or apple cider vinegar.
  • Granulated sugar-to keep things sweet
  • Brown sugar-to add a little extra. If you don’t have both kinds of sugar, one or the other will do, just be sure you use 4 total tablespoons of sugar. Honey would also work here.
  • Flour-to be our thickener
  • Cinnamon and Cloves-warming spices
  • Box of Pie Crust-I’m talking about the chilled rolled up pie dough you find in the grocery store by the biscuits, not the frozen stuff by the Cool Whip.
  • Egg-we’re going to beat the egg and add a little bit of water and brush it on top of our finished crust to get a golden shiny look. We also may need to use it as glue to keep our pies together
fililng the apple hand pies

What is a good apple for baking pies?

My personal favorite apple for pie baking is a Granny Smith apple. Granny Smith’s are easy to find in the store, hold up well to baking (they don’t turn into a pile of mush) and add a nice little pop of tartness to contrast all the sweetness from the sugar. I used to use a combination of apples in my pies, but found after time, most people couldn’t tell there were multiple types of apples in the pie and it saved me from trying to decide which apples to buy. Now, I just stick with Granny Smith’s. Other apples that are also good choices in your hand pies (or any apple pie) are: Jonagold, Honeycrisp, Braeburn, Crispin, Winesap, and Pink Lady.

Should I peel my apples to make pie?

Yes. It seems like it would be an excellent shortcut to not peel the apples but when they’re cooked, the apple flesh gets tender and the apple skins get tough. So, if you leave the skins on, you have tough chewy bits in your apple pie. Not the best choice. Now for these hand pies, you could MAYBE get away with not peeling the apples if you dice them in small enough chunks but I still recommend peeling your apples.

making apple hand pies

How to make Apple Hand Pies:

  1. Peel and dice the apples. Mix with lemon juice, brown sugar, granulated sugar, flour, cinnamon, and cloves. Allow to sit at least 30 minutes or covered overnight (in the fridge if overnight). We want the apples to release their juices.
  2. Unroll the pie crust. Using a round (or really and shape you desire-I used leaves) cookie cutter, cut out an even number of shapes. You can ball up the dough and re-roll it to get more pies. (Don’t have cookie cutters? No problem-use a round drinking glass to cut out your crust).
  3. Spoon a tablespoon of filling onto half of the crust circles, leaving a little room all the way around the edge. Brush a bit of beaten egg around the edge of the circle. Lay the other circle on top of the filing. Using a fork or your fingers, press around the edges of the pie, sealing it. Brush additional egg wash over the top crust. Poke a few steam vents.
  4. Lay your finished pies on a baking sheet that is lined with parchment paper. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until the crust is golden brown.

How do you crimp a hand pie?

I find it easiest to crimp a hand pie closed with a fork. Take your bottom crust loaded with filling. Brush some beaten egg around the edges. Add on the top piece of crust. Take fork tines and press the two pieces of crust together. The egg wash will act like a glue to keep everything closed. If you don’t like the look of a fork crimped crust, you can pinch the edges together with your fingers.

stack of apple hand pies

Could I use canned apple pie filling instead?

Heck yeah! I personally love the flavor of homemade better, but canned pie filling is perfectly fine and will make this recipe even EASIER. The only thing with canned filling, you will have to further dice the apples, they come in pretty big chunks that won’t fit into your hand pies very easily.

Why do we poke holes in the crust?

We poke holes in the crust (or dock the crust) to release steam. Because the steam is going to come out one way or another and if you don’t give it a place to release, it will make it’s own and split open your pies. Which is also ok, but less pretty.

leaf shaped apple hand pie

How long do they last?

Once baked, these pies last about a week on the counter. Maybe two if you put them in the fridge. If your crust gets a little soggy from being in the fridge, pop them in the oven at 350 degrees for a few minutes to revive them.

Can I freeze them?

Yes! After you finish putting these hand pies together but before the egg wash, wrap them tightly in plastic wrap and then place in a freezer safe container for up to three months.

To thaw: don’t thaw, simply take them straight from the freezer and place on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Egg wash and bake as usual, adding an extra 5-10 minutes onto your baking time.

Apple Hand Pies

Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings 15 hand pies
Author Heather

Ingredients

  • 2 Granny Smith Apples large
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon cloves
  • 1 egg lightly beaten
  • 1 box pie crust 14.1 ounces

Instructions

  • Peel and dice the apples. Mix with lemon juice, brown sugar, granulated sugar, flour, cinnamon, and cloves. Allow to sit at least 30 minutes or covered overnight.
  • Unroll the pie crust. Using a round (or really and shape you desire-I used leaves) cookie cutter, cut out an even number of shapes. You can ball up the dough and re-roll it to get more pies.
  • Spoon a tablespoon of filling onto half of the crust circles, leaving a little room all the way around the edge. Brush a bit of beaten egg around the edge of the circle. Lay the other circle on top of the filing. Using a fork, press around the edges of the pie, sealing it. Brush additional egg wash over the top crust. Poke a few steam vents.
  • Lay your finished pies on a baking sheet that is lined with parchment paper. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until the crust is golden brown.

It would not be the wrong answer to drizzle these apple hand pies with a little bit of homemade salted caramel sauce and eat them with a scoop of ice cream!

Looking for other apple options? You should try these whole wheat caramel apple cookies or maybe this easy apple tart (this is my favorite weeknight apple dessert choice!).

Did you make this recipe? Tag me @bakincareofbusiness on Instagram so I can see what you made!

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To make things a little easier in the kitchen, I’ve created a handy printable conversion chart (cause honestly, who can remember how many teaspoons are in a tablespoon?). Sign up below and I’ll send it to you!

*This post was originally published back in 2012.

Happy Baking!

Sources:

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