Who doesn't love a good old fashioned apple pie? Especially when they're in mini form! These apple hand pies are made with a super rich and flaky homemade pie crust (although you could also use store bought!) with a perfectly spiced apple filling. And the best part? They're ready in less than half the time it takes to make a regular pie!
the best apples for apple pie
My absolute favorite apples to use for pie are Granny Smith! They're the perfect balance between sweet and tart, and hold their shape perfectly when cooked.
Other great apple options include Braeburn, Fuji, Golden Delicious, or Honey Crisp apples. Steer clear of Red Delicious apples - they don't hold up well to cooking and lead to a grainy and mushy filling!
how to make homemade pie crust
You caaaan make this recipe using store bought pie crust, but if you have some extra time and energy to burn, I highly recommend trying homemade! It's just unrivaled in flakiness and buttery goodness - and it's not at all difficult to make!
1. Cut together butter and dry ingredients. You can do this by hand with a fork or in a food processor. The 2 keys here are 1) keep the butter chunks on the larger size for a flakier crust and 2) work kind of fast to keep everything as cold as possible.
2. Mix cold water into dry ingredients until you have a dough. And that's literally it! You've officially made pie dough!
3. Chill until firm. Divide the dough in 2 and shape into rough disks. Wrap each disk in plastic wrap and chill. The crust needs about 1 hour in the fridge or 30 minutes in the freezer to firm up enough to roll.
If it's your first time making pie crust, be sure to check out my detailed homemade pie crust recipe for more tips and tricks!
how to make apple hand pies
1. Combine the apple filling ingredients in a large skillet.
2. Cook filling ingredients until soft. Sprinkle over flour and cook until thickened.
3. Cool the filling completely before shaping the pies!
4. Roll, cut, and fill dough. The dough should be rolled to about a ¼ inch thick. If using pre-rolled, store bought pie crust, you can skip this step.
Use a round cookie cutter to cut out bottom and top crusts for the mini pies. Arrange half of the pie crust cutouts on a baking sheet and spoon about 1 tablespoon of apple filling in the centers. Top with another piece of cutout dough and use a fork to seal the edges.
Cut little steam holes on top and brush with your egg wash. If you want some added crunch and sparkle, sprinkle some turbinado sugar on top of the pies before baking.
5. Bake until puffed and golden brown. These hand pies are best served warm or room temperature!
apple hand pie tips
if making homemade pie dough, keep the butter chunks larger: it creates extra flaky layers! They should be about 2x the size of a pea.
cook the filling & cool completely before using: warm filling can melt the butter in your pie dough. That not only makes it more difficult to seal the pies, but also results in a less flaky crust.
keep everything cold: whether you use homemade or store bought, cold pie dough will yield the flakiest pie! Keep any portions of dough that you're not working with in the fridge.
use a cookie cutter that's at least 3 inches large: otherwise you won't be able to fit enough filling in the pies. Just keep in mind that the larger the pies, the longer the bake time will be. The bake time I outline below is for 3-4 inch round pies.
chill the dough scraps before rerolling: nothing more annoying than trying to reroll soft pie dough - annnnnd again, it results in less flaky pies. The key is to keep everything cold until it's time to bake!
make ahead & storage
You can prep the pie dough and filling ahead of time. Keep the components covered and stored in the fridge for up to 3 days.
You can also shape and fill the pies up to 3 days in advance. Again, keep the shaped pies stored in the fridge in a single layer on a parchment lined tray. The bake time will remain the same!
As for the baked pies, they're best served the day they're made, but they'll keep for up to 3 days at room temperature. Keep them covered, and feel free to reheat them in a 350°F oven for 5 to 10 minutes if you find they've gotten a little soft!
check out these other recipes!
Apple Hand Pies Recipe
For the homemade pie crust (skip if using store bought)
- 2 & ½ cups (300g) all-purpose four, spoon and leveled
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (2 sticks / 225g) cold unsalted butter, cubed
- 6 to 8 tablespoons ice cold water
For the apple filling
- 2 & ½ cups (300g) peeled, cored, and diced Granny Smith apples, about 2 medium apples *see notes
- ¼ cup (50g) packed brown sugar, light or dark
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
For the egg wash:
- 1 large egg
- 2 tablespoons heavy cream or milk
- turbinado sugar (optional - for sprinkling on top)
- Make the pie crust (if using homemade): In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, sugar, salt, and butter cubes. Using a fork or pastry cutter, mash the butter until the pieces are about double the size of a pea. You can also do this in a food processor, pulsing on and off.2 & ½ cups (300g) all-purpose four,, ½ teaspoon baking powder, 1 tablespoon sugar, ¼ teaspoon salt, 1 cup (2 sticks / 225g) cold unsalted butter,
- Add 6 tablespoons cold water to the dry ingredients and mix together. You should have a shaggy dough that sticks together if you squeeze it with your fingers. If it's too dry, mix in more cold water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until it comes together.6 to 8 tablespoons ice cold water
- Divide the dough in half and shape into disks. Wrap each disk in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or until firmed up.
- Make the apple filling: In a large skillet, combine diced apples, brown sugar, butter, and cinnamon. Cook, stirring often, over medium heat until simmering and the apples soften (about 3 to 5 minutes).2 & ½ cups (300g) peeled, cored, and diced Granny Smith apples,, ¼ cup (50g) packed brown sugar,, 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Sprinkle flour over the apple mixture and continue cooking until thickened (about 1 to 2 minutes). Transfer to a heat safe bowl and set aside to cool completely to room temperature before using.1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- Roll and cut: Take one of the chilled pie dough disks out of the fridge (leave the other in the fridge while you work). Unwrap and place onto a floured work surface. Roll the dough out into about ¼ inch thickness.
- Use a 3 to 4 inch round cookie cutter to cutout circles. Gather and reroll the scraps (if the scraps are too soft to roll, rewrap and chill them until cold enough to roll and cut). Keep any dough you're not working with in the fridge to keep cold. Repeat the rolling and cutting process with the other dough disk.
- Preheat your oven to 375°F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Make the egg wash: Whisk together egg and heavy cream in a small bowl. Set aside.1 large egg, 2 tablespoons heavy cream or milk
- Fill and shape the pies: Arrange half of your dough circles on your parchment lined baking sheets, leaving at least 2 inches of space between each one. Spoon about 1 to 2 tablespoons of the cool apple filling onto the center of each circle, leaving a small boarder around the edges. Lay a second pie dough cutout on top and use a fork to seal the edges.
- Use a sharp knife to cut small steam holes on the top crust of the pies. Brush the tops with the egg wash and (if using) sprinkle turbinado sugar over each pie for added crunch.turbinado sugar
- Bake the pies in the center of your preheated 375°F oven for 25 to 30 minutes, or until puffed and golden brown. Serve warm or at room temperature.