Apple Hand Pies

Apple hand pies on a sheet tray.

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With juicy, perfectly spiced apples encased in the flakiest pie dough, these handheld pastries are great to put together to celebrate the arrival of fall; or, anytime you find yourself with a lot of apples in the kitchen.


For Pie Dough:

For Apple Pie Filling:

  • 1-1/2 pounds (about 3-4 apples) baking apples, peeled, cored and sliced thinly
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup (50 grams) packed light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons (25 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Big pinch kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon (7 grams) cornstarch
  • 1/3 cup + 2 tablespoon fresh apple cider, divided
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter

For Egg Wash:

  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon water


  • Raw sugar (for the tops of the hand pies, optional)


  1. Make pie crust following these instructions. Rest in the refrigerator preferably overnight, or at a minimum of 4 hours.
  2. Make the filling: Add apples, lemon juice, brown sugar, granulated sugar, cinnamon, salt, and nutmeg to a heavy bottom pot. Stir together and let macerate at room temperature for about 15 minutes. Add 1/3 cup of apple cider to the pot, and stir the apples one more time. 
  3. Turn the heat to medium and begin to cook the apples, stirring occasionally to make sure the apples cook evenly. Cook until the apples have softened, about 10 minutes, making sure not to cook off all of the liquid. If the liquid does cook off quickly, add a splash more apple cider to the pot.
  4. Create a slurry by whisking together the cornstarch and remaining the 2 tablespoons of apple cider together in a small bowl.
  5. Pour the cornstarch slurry into apples and stir together until dissolved. Continue cooking until the mixture is thickened, about 2-3 minutes. 
  6. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla and butter. Let the apple mixture cool completely, preferably overnight.
  7. Make egg wash by whisking together the egg and the water together in a bowl.
  8. Line a 12x18” sheet pan with a piece of parchment.
  9. Roll out 1 disk of pie dough to about ⅛” thickness. Stamp out at least six 4” circles from the dough. Pile the dough scraps on top of one another and roll out one more time, enough to get at least 1-2 more circles. Repeat this process with the other dough disk to yield roughly 16-18 dough circles.
  10. Assemble the hand pies: Brush the egg wash around the edges of 1 circle of pie dough. Place about ¼ cup of cooled apple filling in the middle. Place a circle of pie dough over the top and press down on the edges to seal the two pieces together. Crimp the edges of the bottom to the top to further seal the pie and to add a decorative touch.
  11. Place the pies on the sheet pan. Repeat with the remaining dough circles. When finished, place the sheet pan inside a freezer to chill, while the oven preheats.
  12. Preheat the oven to 400ºF and set a rack to the second-lowest position in the oven. Remove the pies from the freezer, brush the tops with an egg wash and sprinkle with raw sugar.
  13. Bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes, or until the hand pies are lightly golden all over.


Want to make these gluten-free? Use this gluten-free pie dough recipe.

The apple filling can be made up to 7 days ahead of time.

If at any point your pie dough is getting too warm, simply place it in the refrigerator or freezer to chill until it is easy to work with again

Filling the hand pies is a delicate balance of not overfilling them, and not underfilling them. If you find that you are having trouble closing the hand pies, then use less filling.

It's best to chill the hand pies briefly before baking as the instructions direct, or you can chill them overnight and bake the next day!

These can be frozen, unbaked, for up to 3 months. Freeze them flat on a sheet tray for 24 hours. Then, transfer to a bag with as much air removed as possible. The pies can be baked from frozen. Follow the instructions, but the total baking time will increase by about 10 minutes.

Keywords: Apple Hand Pies