These Apple Hand Pies are the perfect hand-size sweet treat filled with warm apple pie filling and then coated with sanding sugar or a sugar glaze, making them ideal for dessert, tea time, or whenever you’re in the mood for a sweet baked pastry!
30 minutes is all you need to make these flaky golden brown hand held apple pies. Make them ahead of time, ready to be reheated for a convenient midweek dessert with vanilla ice cream or to be enjoyed fresh out of the oven.
With so many options of canned pie filling to use, this recipe is versatile enough to cater to varied preferences! Easy hand-held pastries are my favorite – try these Strawberry Rhubarb Hand Pies for a delicious deep fried alternative.
Table of contents
What are Hand Pies?
Hand pies are small pie dough rounds (cut out from refrigerated pie crust roll or homemade pie crust dough) that contain either a sweet or savory filling and are crimped together to hold the filling. They’re ideal as a snack, light meal or side dish, depending on their filling.
In this case, this apple hand pie recipe offers a sweet treat without being overly decadent or rich.
Apple Hand Pie Ingredients
- can apple pie filling or homemade fried apples
- Double crust pie dough recipe you can also use refrigerated pie crust (2)
- egg yolk – for getting that gorgeous rich golden sheen on the baked pie
- water and sanding sugar
How to Make the Apple Hand Pie Recipe:
Roll out the crust and cut 4″ rounds form the dough. Place a scoop of the fried apples or apple pie filling in each pie crust. Moisten the perimeter of the crust with beaten egg yolk to help the dough seal together. Then fold the pie crust round in half and use a fork to crimp the edges of the dough together.
Brush the crimped hand pies with the egg wash and place them on a cookie sheet or oven-proof pan. Sprinkle the pies with sanding sugar, if desired. Bake the pies until they are deep golden brown.
Tips For Making Apple Hand Pies
- The egg wash provides a lovely golden brown finish to the pies and also helps to seal the edges of the pie dough so that the pie filling doesn’t spill out during baking or eating. Make sure that the edges of the dough are clear of any excess flour or pie filling to ensure that a good seal is achieved.
- Different egg wash sheens can be achieved by using: an egg white wash, a whole egg mixed with a teaspoon of water, a brush with milk, or a brush with vodka!
- You’ll only need a couple tablespoons of filling mixture. Any more will overfill the pie.
- Your pie dough needs to be thick enough so that it doesn’t split while baking. If you can handle your unbaked pie without the dough splitting then it will hold up while baking.
- You can seal the edges of your hand pie dough by pinching the edges with your fingers or crimping with a fork. If you use a fork, make sure that you get a good press to properly seal the crust edges without puncturing the pie dough.
- Mixed powdered sugar and a few drops of water can be used as a sugar glaze to coat the hand pies instead of sanding sugar garnish. To get that nostalgic hand pie look, add several layers of glaze to the baked pie crust, allowing the layers to dry between the coats.
- The pie crust used should be at room temperature to make it more pliable for easier assembling. At the same time you don’t want your dough too warm. Remove the pie crust from the refrigerator while preparing the other ingredients for it to be at an ideal temperature to work with after about 15 minutes.
Variations and Substitutions
- This recipe is ideal for an array of different canned pie fillings. I don’t recommend using traditional fresh apple filling unless you simmer the apple mixture on the stovetop with plenty of sugar and a bit of water.
- Baked apple hand pies can be coated in course sugar or drizzled with a simple sugar glaze or even something more decadent like caramel sauce!
- Add in some warm spices such as cinnamon and nutmeg for added flavor.
- If you are making your own filling from scratch, you can use Honeycrisp apples, Gala apples, or Granny Smith apples for this recipe.
- Use a large skillet to fit more hand pies if you intend increasing the recipe.
- Stir in a drop of lemon juice to the apple pie filling or the sugar glaze to balance the sweetness.
- If your apple pie filling isn’t sweet enough, add in some brown sugar.
- I’ve used a small bowl as a pastry cutter but you could use a large cookie cutter instead.
These Apple Hand Pies are the most delicious when eaten straight away although you do have the option of storing them in an airtight container at room temperature or in the refrigerator for up to 2-3 days.
When ready to enjoy, simply reheat them in the oven or a toaster oven.
Yes, definitely! To extend the shelf life of your hand pies, store them once fully assembled and baked in the freezer for up to 4 months.
I prefer to freeze my apple hand pies by first placing them on a baking sheet uncovered for about 2-3 hours till frozen. Once frozen, you can either store them in a freezer bag or in an airtight container.
Thaw overnight on the countertop and then reheat them in the oven or a toaster oven.
Yes, you can! These hand pies can be cooked in the air fryer for 6-8 minutes when set at 400℉. It’s as simple as assembling your pies as you would to bake in the oven, lightly spray the air fryer basket with nonstick cooking spray and place your hand pies in the air fryer.
Make sure that the hand pies are not layered on top of each other. Depending on how many you intend on making and the size of your air fryer basket, you may need to make your apple hand pies in batches when using the air fryer.
More Yummy Sweets to Try
Apple Hand Pies
- 1 21 oz. can apple pie filling or 1 cup Fried Apples
- 1 Double crust recipe you can also use refrigerated pie crust (2)
- 1 egg yolk slightly beaten
- 1 tablespoon water
- 2 tablespoons coarse sanding sugar
- Preheat the oven to 450°F.
- Prepare pie crusts. If using pre-made crust, remove from packaging. Roll one crust out at a time – it should be AT LEAST 1/16th inch thick. It is important to keep the crusts thick enough to hold the pie filling. For pre-made crusts, do not roll any thinner than they came in the package. Use a bowl (4-inch diameter used here), placed upside down, to cut out circles from the dough. Gently gather together the scraps, roll out just enough to cut additional circles of the same thickness.
- Place three crust circles onto a baking sheet sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.
- Place a scoop of the apple pie filling into the center of the circle.
- Use a fork to beat the egg yolk slightly and mix with 1 tablespoon of water.
- Brush a bit of the egg wash around the edge of the circle to help the sides seal. Fold the pie crust in half to form a half circle shape. Press down (work from the outer edge in) and then crimp with your fingers or a fork to seal the edges.
- Brush the exposed sides of the hand pie with the egg wash. Sprinkle desired amount of coarse sugar over the egg wash.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes or until the pies are golden brown and the crust is crispy. (The filling does not need to be cooked so we’re really just cooking the crust here.)
- Best if eaten right away. Leftover hand pies can be stored in an airtight container on the countertop or in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. Reheat in the oven or in a toaster oven for best results.
- Can be cooked in the Air Fryer – 400°F for 6-8 minutes – do not use egg wash.
- The egg wash gives these hand pies a lovely golden sheen. Be careful not to overfill the hand pies when assembling.
- The crust shouldn’t be rolled too thin otherwise it can split while baking.
- Pinching the crust edges seems to work better than crimping with a fork.
- Add a simple glaze to the tops of the baked hand pies by mixing powdered sugar and a few drops of water.
- Allow the raw crust to sit a room temperature before rolling out so that it’s more pliable.
- Be careful not to poke holes into the assembled hand pies while crimping with a fork or the filling will ooze out.
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