The only thing better than apple pie is cute little apple hand pies!!! Featuring apple shaped homemade pie crust and gooey apple pie filling, these individual apple pies bake up in about 15 minutes! The perfect apple hand pies to for share with loved ones this holiday season.
Apple Hand Pies
Here in the Hudson Valley, Fall is in full swing! And it has me feeling inspired to bake all things apple! Starting with these mini apples pies.
I picked up the a few pounds of apples at the Rhinebeck Farmers Market on Sunday, and was thrilled to see several of them still had leaves attached. So pretty, right?
To make the pies themselves extra adorable, I used an apple shaped cookie cutter to cut out the pie crust, and a mini heart shaped cookie cutter to make the vent on top of the pies. But if you don’t have said cookie cutters on hand, you can simply cut the dough into squares! They won’t be as cute, but they’ll still be a super delicious apple hand pie recipe! If you cut them into squares, they’ll look a lot like these cinnamon apple bourbon hand pies.
Apple Hand Pie Filling
fresh apples: you can use almost any apple to make apple pie, but my favorites are Granny Smith and Honeycrisp apples! Jonagold, Golden delicious, and Northern Spy are also great choices! No matter what the variety, you’ll need to peel, core, and dice the apples. You should dice the apples pretty fine.
butter: I prefer using unsalted, but salted butter will definitely work in a pinch! It will just add a touch of saltiness to the filling. But it’s such a small amount it won’t be very notable.
spices: Apple pie spice is the easiest way to add apple pie flavor. But if you don’t have any on hand, just add 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon, and 1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg, and allspice. Both options add warmth and depth of flavor!
lemon juice: Cuts the sweetness with a pop of acidity. Don’t worry, you won’t taste the lemon!
sugars: Dark brown sugar and granulated sugar add sweetness and depth of flavor. 1/4 cup of each is the perfect combination!
flour: our thickening agent! be sure not to add this too soon, or the apple pie filling will be lumpy.
You’ll cook the apple pie filling over medium heat and it will take about 10 to 12 minutes in total.
Pie Crust Recipe
Our hand pie crust is made with common pie crust ingredients like flour, butter, sugar, and salt. And a few unexpected ingredients like baking powder and sour cream. The combination? A dream come true! It’s quite easy to work with, but if you’re completely new to pastry, check out the recipe video for my cherry hand pies which has a step by step tutorial on making the crust (it will load at the top of the page) .
P.S. The pie dough does need to be chilled for at least an hour before being rolled out! So be sure plan according time wise.
Assembling your Apple Hand Pies
- Preheat your oven! And line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Roll pie crust out into a large square. About 18×18 inches.
- Using a pastry cutter or cookie cutters, slice the rolled dough into 16 squares or shapes. You may be able to get 18 if you roll the dough thin enough!
- Divide the apple filling among 1/2 of dough pieces. About 1 Tablespoon is a good amount of filling. Too much and it’ll seep out and burn in the oven.
- On the other half cut a small vent in the center. You can use a tiny heart shaped cookie cutter like I did! Or use a paring knife to create a tiny X like I did with these blueberry hand pies.
- Brush the edges of apple filled pies lightly with egg wash, then top each filled pie dough with a vented piece of pie dough. Use the tines of a fork to crimp the edges shut.
- Bake until golden brown! About 15 to 20 minutes.
These are delicious warm or at the room temperature! But my favorite way to serve is fresh from the oven with a giant scoop of ice cream! The perfect Fall treat and so much easier than making a whole pie!
More Apple Pie Recipes:
- Apple Pie Doughnuts
- Overnight Apple Pie French Toast
- Salted Caramel Apple Pie
- Cinnamon Apple Bourbon Hand Pies
- Apple Pie Calzones
- Old-Fashioned Apple Pie
Serving a Crowd?
If you’re baking these apple hand pies for a larger gathering or celebration, may I make a tiny suggestion? DOUBLE THE RECIPE! Because trust me when I say these fly off the dessert table. And I’ve seen people eat 2 or 3 in one sitting!!! Thankfully this recipe can be doubled or even tripled. Just make 2 or 3 portions of the crust and double the apple ingredients. I do recommend making the crust one at a time to avoid overworking the dough. But thankfully it can be make up to 3 days in advance and stored in the fridge. You can also pop it in the freezer for up to 2 months. Just be sure to remove the night before you want to use it and thaw in the fridge overnight. The apple pie filling can be made up to 48 hours in advance and stored in the fridge.
Cute Little Apple Hand Pies
For the Crust:
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 and 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 cup (8 ounces) unsalted butter, VERY cold, cut into cubes
- 1/2 cup FULL FAT sour cream, cold
For the Apple Pie Filling:
- 4 large apples, peeled and cored
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup white sugar
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons apple pie spice
- 2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
For the Egg Wash:
- 1 large egg, beaten
- sparkling sugar, optional
For the Crust:
- In a large bowl whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder, and sugar.
- Add the butter, working it in with your hands or a pastry cutter, until it's a coarse meal. The butter should still be in large, pea-sized pieces.
- Using a rubber spatula, stir in the sour cream. The dough will be very shaggy at this point. Turn it out onto a well floured work surface, and bring it together with a few quick kneads.
- Pat the dough into a 10 inch log, then roll it out into a 12" x 14" rectangle. Dust both sides of the dough lightly with flour, and starting with the shorter end, fold it in three - like a letter. Flip the dough over, and roll it again into a 12" x 14" rectangle. Fold it in three again. Wrap the dough in saran wrap, and chill for 1 hour.
For the Apple Pie Filling:
- Peel and core apples. Dice them into tiny pieces and set aside.
- Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Allow the butter to brown into a light golden color; about 1 minute.
- Add apples into hot butter; sprinkle with salt and both sugars. Cook, stirring occasionally, until apples are completely softened, about 8 minutes. Mix in apple pie spice and lemon juice and continue cooking until apples are soft and sticky, 1 to 2 more minutes. Sprinkle the flour on top and mix well, allow mixture to thicken, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool for at least 15 minutes.
- When you're ready to make your pies, preheat the oven to 425 degrees (F). Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- Roll the dough out into a 16" x 16" square. Using apple cookie cutters, cut out sixteen apples. Or use a pastry well to slice the dough into 16 squares.
- Divide the apple filling among 8 of the squares, using about 1 heaping tablespoon for each. Brush some of the beaten egg along the edges of each filled square.
- Cut a vent into each of the remaining eight squares, using a small knife or heart shaped cookie cutter.
- Top each filled square with a vented square, and press along the edges with the tines of a fork to seal.
- Brush the top of each pie with the remaining beaten egg, and sprinkle with sparkling sugar, if using.
- Transfer the pies to the prepared baking sheet. Bake the pies for 15 to 18 minutes, or until crust is golden brown and filling is bubbling.
- Remove them from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes before serving.
Hi!I want to make these beauties but I don’t have baking powder, can I substitute with baking soda or not?
You can but not 1:1. A teaspoon (5 grams) of baking powder can be replaced with a 1/4 teaspoon (1 gram) baking soda and a 1/2 teaspoon vinegar.
So happy I came across these. I just made a test round before thanksgiving and OMG they are delicious!! Thank you for sharing 🙂
P.S. I wish I could share a photo of mine I’m so proud of them haha I’m so not a baker but this was easy!
Hi! These look amazing. I can’t get sour cream where I live. What can I substitute?
Full-fat Greek yogurt might work!
Deb Priedhorsky says
Does it work to make the hand pies (but not bake them) & then freeze them to bake later? Thanks!!
In my experience, the crust becomes soggy when doing this. You could make the filling in advance (up to 3 days) and the crust (also up to 3 days), and store them in the fridge. To save even more time. you could cut out all of the pie rounds in advance so they’re ready to assemble.
If I can’t find apple pie spice how can I make my own?
You can mix together a 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon, and 1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg, and allspice.
This looks like an interesting recipe! I’m quite new to pastry, so I have a question…why do we add sour cream and baking powder in this pie crust? I am going to use your all butter pie crust recipe for a couple of pies I’m about to bake. Hope they turn out good.
hi! The sour cream adds moisture and the baking powder gives it a nice puff 🙂
Your crust recipe sound wonderful. Could you use it to make regular pies, like pumpkin, apple, or chocolate?
HI Connie. This recipe is specifically designed for smaller hand pies, but you could try! I would recommend using my foolproof all-butter pie crust for larger pies. https://bakerbynature.com/foolproof-all-butter-pie-crust/
Can I use store bought crust
Jacqueline Vasquez says
If I was to make this as a full pie vs small ones how will the receipt change? How much more of everything?
Let’s say a 10inch pan.
I would recommend using a full-size pie recipe. This was specifically deigned for hand pies and won’t yield good results baked in a 10″ pan.
Hola!!!muy emocionada intenté hacer la receta pero mis pasteles se expanden se riegan en el horno y no quedan bonitos que puedo estar haciendo mal?
Hi, these sound delicious and I am going to try them! I was wondering if these can be frozen? I’d like to make and freeze some for reheating during school so I was wondering if these can be frozen. Thank you, and I’ve been enjoying your recipes for a while, you are a very talented baker!
Do you ever post nutritional info? I have to watch sodium.
Kay Kearly says
I want to make these but plan to use puff pastry instead of the pastry in the recipe. Has anyone tried doing the same?
I love all of your recipes. I am also very interested in your vegan recipes as well
I made these for a Halloween get together and people were raving about them. One friend texted his grandma (who is a baker) and told her she needs to step her game up! I unfortunately didn’t plan ahead, so I didn’t have the apple cutter, but I cut them into rectangles and they were delicious. It definitely is a bit of work making, rolling, cutting/shaping the dough, but very worth it.
Ashley Manila says
Ha! This comment made my day! So happy you enjoyed them, Nicole!
I see this question already asked but not sure if you answered it. I am NOT a baker so can I use a store-bought pie crust? Please, please, please tell me yes. 🙂
Ashley Manila says
I haven’t tried it with store-bought, but it should work!
I seen where someone else had asked this question, but did not get an answer. Can a person use a store bought crust or 2 to make these? TIA
It looks like there’s a coarse sugar on top but I don’t see anything about this in the recipe.. is this added before baking or after? Thanks!
2 questions…when the dough is chilled for an hour do you use it right from the fridge?
Also I plan to use store bought pie dough so can I use it straight from the fridge as well or do I need to thaw out?
Ashley Manila says
I let it rest for 5 minutes, but yes, then I use it right away. It really depends on the crust brand. I’ve never used store-bought pie crust for this recipe so I would suggest following the package directions.
I made these tonite. I couldn’t find an Apple cookie cutter, but I did find a pumpkin! This crust is soooo delicious! I found it took about 10 minutes longer for these to bake than the recipe time stated- I watched closely! They are so good! Thanks for a great recipe!
Excellent! These turned out absolutely delicious. The pastry was so flaky.