There’s no better dessert than a delectable Apple Hand Pie. These mini pies are made with buttery flaky pie crust (store-bought shortcut), delicious filling and apple pie spice. Use your favorite apples for baking to and enjoy an apple pie recipe in a delicious way!
Traditional Apple Pie is a cozy, homey dessert everyone loves. When you don’t want to make a full pie these Apple Hand Pies are the perfect mini apple pies and everyone gets their own!
Little hand pies are delicious and a favorite dessert. They can be made any time of year but are especially fun in the fall during apple season. Instead of a regular pie crust store-bought pie crust is cut into dough circles with an easy apple pie filling added to middle of each one. It’s a time saving shortcut that makes the recipe even easier!
Flaky crust, warm spices, sweet apple filling that tastes straight out of an apple orchard make this handheld dessert so special. They are the perfect option when making a classic apple pie isn’t in the cards.
Try our Apple cookies and Apple Crisp recipes too!
What is a hand pie?
They are small sealed stuffed pies that can fit in your hand and don’t require cutlery to eat them. The original hand pies were savory (called meat pies or pasties) and trace back to 19-century England.
Recipe Ingredients Notes
Refrigerated premade (store bought) pie crust. You’ll need 14 to 16 ounces of premade pie crust. Regular or gluten-free pie crust may be used. You’ll need two pie crusts. Pillsbury ready made pie crust contains two crusts per package. If desired you can use homemade pie crust too. We recommend our All Butter Pie Crust recipe.
Green apples. Use 2 large green apples, peeled, cored and diced. We used Granny Smith apples which are delicious when baked. Any apples that work well for baking can be used.
Butter. Two tablespoons of salted butter will be used. It can be cold since or room temperature; it will be melted for cooking the apple filling.
Brown sugar. Dark brown sugar or light brown sugar can be used. Two packed tablespoons will be used.
Egg. One medium or large egg is used to make the egg wash.
- 3-inch round cookie cutter (or biscuit cutter)
- Rimmed baking sheets
- Parchment paper
- Pastry brush to apply the egg wash
- Saucepan to cook the apple filling
How to make Apple Hand Pies
STEP 1. Make the filling
Place the diced apples, butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg into a saucepan. Stir gently while over low heat. Allow the butter to melt and the sugar and spices to blend together with the apples (photo 1).
Simmer for 5 minutes over low heat until the apples have softened. Remove from the sauce pan and allow the apples to cool (photo 2).
STEP 2. Prepare the crust
While the apples are cooling, line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.
On a separate piece of parchment or a silicone mat unroll the pie crust dough.
Using a 3-inch round cookie cutter, cut out circles of pie crust dough (photo 3). Remove the remainder of the dough from around the circles. Set the pie crust scraps aside and save them (photo 4).
Repeat this process with the second pie crust to create more hand pies. Take the remaining pie crust scraps, combine them and pat or roll them back out to create a new piece of dough to cut out additional crust circles.
Place half (6) of the cut pie crust on a prepared baking sheet spacing them about 2 inches apart (photo 5). These will be the bottom of the hand pies.
STEP 3. Make the hand pies
Place one tablespoon of the cooled apple filling mixture in the center of each circle (photo 6).
Using a wet finger dab a bit of water around the edge of the pie crust. This will help the top piece stick to the bottom piece.
Top each filled crust with a second circle of pie crust dough. Press your finger around the edges to seal or use a fork to gently crimp the edges (photo 7).
STEP 4. Egg wash
In a small bowl, whip the egg with two teaspoons of milk to create an egg wash.
Using a small pastry brush gently brush the egg wash over the top of each filled hand pie (photo 8).
STEP 5. Chill
Place the baking sheets with the assembled hand pies in the refrigerator for 10 minutes to chill the dough. This will allow the hand pies to retain their shape when baked.
While the hand pies are chilling preheat the oven to 375 F.
STEP 6. Bake
Remove the pies from the refrigerator and, using a sharp knife, cut an X into the center of the top of the hand pies to allow steam to escape (photos 7-8).
Place the baking sheets into the oven and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until the pie crust is golden brown. Allow the pies to cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes before serving.
Keep the pie crust cold. It’s easiest to work with chilled pie crust. When it warms it doesn’t hold its shape as well and tends to tear. Keep the second pie crust and scraps in the refrigerator while assembling the first batch of hand pies. Then take it out when ready to prepare the second half of the batch.
Frequently Asked Questions
Not all apple varieties are great for baking. Some become very soft and won’t hold their form when baking in a traditional apple pie or these individual apple pies. We love Granny Smith apples which are tart with great texture. Other varieties that will work well include: McIntosh, Honeycrisp apples, Braeburn, Cortland, Fuji, Winesap and Golden Delicious.
To help prevent leaking chilling the hand pies once they are filled helps. The chilled pie crust will hold its shape better and will prevent leaking out of the edges. You can also make sure that the edges are well crimped with a fork or your fingers.
Yes you can swap out the brown and granulated sugar for another type of sugar. Use all brown sugar, all granulated sugar, coconut sugar, demerara sugar, etc. Do not replace with equal amounts of liquid sweeteners such as honey and agave syrup as it will not become a thickened sugar syrup when cooked.
Hand pies and turnovers are very similar. The biggest difference is in the type of crust that is used. Turnovers are often made with a square of puff pastry dough. Occasionally you will see apple turnovers made with pie crust instead of puff pastry. Hand held apple pies, like these, are made with pie crust. They can come in different shapes depending upon how the pie crust is cut. Apple empanadas are a type of hand pie and are often made from a single piece of round dough that has been filled and folded in half.
How to Store
Place any leftover hand pies in an airtight container and store in refrigerator for 3 to 4 days.
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Apple Hand Pies
- 14 to 16 ounces refrigerated premade (store bought) pie crust (you'll need 2 crusts); regular or gluten-free
- 2 large Granny Smith apples peeled, cored and diced
- 2 tablespoons salted butter
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar packed; dark or light
- 1 tablespoon white granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 medium egg
- 2 teaspoons milk
Make the filling
- Combine the diced apples, butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg into a medium saucepan. Stir gently while over low heat. Allow the butter to melt and the sugar/spices to blend together with the apples.
- Simmer for 5 minutes over low heat until the apples have softened. Remove from the sauce pan from heat and allow the apples to cool.
Make the hand pies
- While the apples are cooling, line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- On an additional piece of parchment or a silicone mat unroll the store-bought pie crust dough.
- Using a 3-inch round cookie cutter, cut out circles of pie crust dough. Remove the remainder of the dough from around the circles. Set the pie crust scraps aside and save them.
- Repeat this process with the second pie crust and the scraps to create more hand pies. There should be 12 dough circles in total.
- Place 6 of the cut pie crust on a baking sheet spacing them about 2 inches apart. These will be the bottom of the hand pies.
- Place a tablespoon of the cooled apple filling mixture in the center of each of the 6 pie crust circles.
- Using a wet finger dab a bit of water around the edge of the dough circle. This will help the top piece stick to the bottom piece.
- Top each filled crust with a second circle pie crust dough. Press your finger around the edges to seal or use a fork to gently crimp the edges.
- In a small bowl, whip the egg with two teaspoons of milk to create an egg wash. Using a small brush gently brush the egg wash over the top of each filled hand pie.
Chill, Bake and Cool
- Place the baking sheets in the refrigerator for 10 minutes to chill the dough. This will allow the hand pies to retain their shape.
- While the hand pies are chilling preheat the oven to 375 F.
- Remove the baking sheets with the hand pies from the refrigerator and, using a sharp knife, cut a 'X' in the center of the top crust for vent holes to allow steam to escape.
- Place the baking sheets into the oven and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until the pie crust is golden brown. Allow the pies to cool for 15 minutes on a wire cooling rack before serving
- Pillsbury pie crusts come with 2 pie crusts per package.
- Regular or gluten-free pie crust can be used.
Delicious! I think these are the perfect Fall dessert!
Diane V says
So happy I found this recipe, these are so easy to make!! And delicious too. Thank you!
I love these little hand pies! So good and so easy.
We grow organic apples in our yard and loved using them to make these hand pies.
These were the best hand pie I have ever had. so flavorful and so delicious and the texture was on spot.
Gina Abernathy says
These Homemade mini pies are the bomb! I love how they are easy to grab and go. Perfect for those fall hikes through the woods.
Delicious pies and I love the added flavour of cinnamon which makes them perfect for Autumn. Will be making these again.