Apple pie is an all American classic but want to really blow it out of the park? Make these darling apple hand pies for your guests! These beautiful little pies are the perfect easy-to-snack-on individual size and great for any gathering!
Originally, I shared my simple recipe for apple hand pies on oh, sweet basil. Check out their blog full of fantastic desserts as well! For the full post click here. And continue reading on for the recipe!
This apple hand pie recipe uses a 3-inch cookie cutter. If you don’t have one, here are some of my favorite round cutters with easy-to-use handles!
What Kind of Apples are Best for Hand Pies?
Green Granny Smith: These apples are our favorite for apple pies! Perfectly sour & sweet when baked in a flakey pie.
Honeycrisp: The crisp texture allows these apples to hold firm while baking.
Braeburn: Superbly crisp apple with a concentrated taste. Bakes up juicy, not mushy.
Mutsu (Crispin): Firm-fleshed, less tart option. Similar in flavor to a Golden Delicious. Mutsus are great for pies or other recipes that call for gentle cooking.
Winesap: Intensely flavored with deep cider-y notes, these apples resist breaking down during cooking and deliver great complexity to baked goods.
Pink Lady: Balanced between sweet, tart, and tannic notes. It will retain its distinct shape when cooked.
How to make Apple Hand Pies
To make these hand pies, you’ll first need to prepare the dough. I have a visual guide for making a dough here. If you prefer a store-bought dough, you can use that instead. I’ve used store bought dough a few times and the pies still tasted great (just don’t tell my mom I said that), but nothing beats a homemade flakey, crispy, buttery crust.
Helpful baking tips
- Always work with a cold dough. If it gets soft, put it back into the fridge for a few minutes to cool back down.
- Brushing the tops with an egg wash (mixture of egg and water) will give the apple hand pies that shiny, pretty look. You can use heavy cream or milk instead, too.
- Chop the apples into very small cubes to make sure they’re cooked in the short 15 minute cook time.
Can you freeze pie dough?
Yes! To freeze pie dough, wrap the unbaked pie crust tightly with heavy duty aluminum foil or plastic freezer wrap or place in a freezer bag and seal tightly. There’s no need to thaw the unbaked crust – you can bake it straight out of the freezer. For best results, use the frozen pie dough or frozen pie crusts within 3 months.
More delicious apple recipes
- Caramel Apple Pie: With a buttery, flaky crust and rich caramel apple filling, this is a perfect apple pie that’s sure to please year after year. It’s simple to make and perfect for fall – and a guaranteed crowd pleaser!
- Apple Pie Bars: These apple pie bars taste just like apple pie but in simple-to-make bar form. Made with buttery shortbread crust, layers of juicy apples, and crunchy, cinnamon streusel, these apple pie bars are the perfect fall dessert!
- Caramel Apple Cheesecake: Caramel apple cheesecake is the perfect holiday dessert! It’s made with caramelized apples layered with buttery, cookie crust and rich and creamy, autumn-spiced cheesecake filling. It tastes amazing and is simple to make!
- Apple Crumble: This is my favorite apple crumble recipe – sweet and tender apples topped with crispy, crumbly, streusel. It’s so easy to make! I bake this recipe every year around the holidays and of course, top it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.
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Apple Hand Pies
Classic apple pie, but in individual hand-held servings. Easy pie recipe!
- 2 ½ cups (350g) all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 cup (2 sticks, 227g) cold butter, cut into small cubes
- ¼ – ½ cup (60-120ml) very cold water
- 2 cups small diced apples, peeled, cored (2 medium apples)
- 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- ¼ cup (50g) granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Brush and Sprinkle
- 1 egg, beaten with 1 Tablespoon water
- coarse (turbinado or demerara) sugar for sprinkling
Make the dough
Process flour, salt, and sugar in a food processor for a few seconds until combined. Add butter and pulse until mixture becomes crumbly and resembles coarse meal, about 15 pulses. Add ¼ cup water and keep pulsing, adding more water as needed, one tablespoon at a time, until the dough isn’t dry and starts to clump together. Do not process to the point that a large ball of dough is formed, rather the dough should be quite crumbly with large clumps.
Turn the dough to a floured surface and form into a ball. Divide ball in half, then flatten each half slightly with your hands to form a thick disc. Wrap each disc with a plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour until firm.
Make the filling
In a large bowl, toss together apples and lemon juice. Add all other filling ingredients and mix to combine. Set aside.
Assemble the pies
Preheat oven to 425F/220C. Roll out the dough: Working with one disc at a time, take dough out of the fridge and let it sit on the counter for a few minutes to soften slightly for easy rolling. On a floured surface, roll out the dough to ⅛ inch thickness. Using a 3-inch cookie cutter, cut out as many circles as you can. Reroll the scraps of dough and repeat.
Transfer half of the circles to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and brush the edges with egg wash. Place 1 heaping tablespoon of the filling in the center of each circle, leaving a border around the filling. Place the remaining circles on top to form a pie. Using a fork, crimp around the edges to seal. Cut a small x-shaped slit in the center of each pie center to let steam escape while baking. Brush tops with egg wash and sprinkle with sugar.
Bake until golden brown and filling is bubbling, about 15 minutes. Let cool on baking sheet for 15 minutes, then transfer pies to a wire rack and allow to cool completely.
Store pies in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Serve warm or at room temperature. Apple hand pies can be frozen for 3-4 months in an airtight container as well!