Small-batch Apple Hand Pies have all the joys of pie without the long cooking and cooling time. Gooey apples and cinnamon wrapped up in a flaky pie crust with a brown sugar and butter glaze over the top.
Happy Wednesday! How is your week going so far? I feel like mine is going by way too fast. I have an out of town wedding this weekend, and then I’m leaving the country next Thursday, so I’ve been running around, finishing up posts so you’ll still get new recipes while I’m traveling, and stress drinking enough coffee to eat a hole in my stomach–seriously, someone should probably take my coffee maker away from me now…
But I’m slowing down for a couple of minutes to chat a little about today’s recipe, Small-batch Apple Hand Pies, because I’ll always make time for pie, especially these ones.
Look how cute they are! I love them so much.
These hand pies start with a classic flaky pie crust. It’s simple to make and totally delicious. Inside of the pies is a mixture of apples, brown sugar, and cinnamon that you’ll really just want to eat with a spoon. They bake up all crispy and flaky on the outside and warm and gooey in the middle.
You can leave the hand pies naked if you want, just grab them from the pan and start chowing down as soon as they cool enough not to scald the roof of your mouth, but I like to add a brown sugar and butter glaze. It adds just this nice bit of crinkly, buttery sweetness on top of the pies and it’s basically perfect.
If you’re feeling like pie, but don’t want to wait all day for one bake and cool, these are the solution. You get all the joys of pie, but don’t need a fork to eat them and they bake up super quick. What’s not to love about that?
This recipe makes five 4-inch hand pies. They’ll stay fresh at room temperature for a couple of days, or you can freeze them. They freeze and reheat exceptionally well. Just pop the frozen pies on a plate and microwave for a couple minutes and the next thing you know, you have a hot sizzling pastry ready to be enjoyed.
More Apple Desserts
Small-batch Apple Hand Pie Recipe Tips
- If you have a preferred pie dough recipe, you can use your own. You need 1 9-inch crust worth of dough. I also LOVE making these with My Favorite Buttermilk Pie Crust. It gives you extra flaky pies and is a little bit easier to work with than traditional pie dough.
- Flour measurement is very important in this recipe. Too much will mess with the dry to liquid ingredients ratio and your dough won’t come together. Be sure to measure by weight or using the spoon and sweep method, as detailed in the recipe notes.
- If at any step your dough becomes difficult to handle, return it to the refrigerator for a few minutes. It will firm back up and be much easier to work with.
- You can substitute apple pie spice for the spices in this recipe. Replace the cinnamon and nutmeg with ¾ teaspoon of apple pie spice in place of the cinnamon and nutmeg.
- You will probably have a bit of leftover pie dough. See my post What to Do With Leftover Pie Dough for ideas to use up the leftovers.
Small-batch Apple Hand Pies With Brown Sugar and Butter Glaze
- Pastry blender optional but nice to have
- 4-inch biscuit cutter optional but nice to have
- Pastry brush
- 6 tablespoons (3oz) unsalted butter cut into 1/2-inch chunks and chilled
- 3 tablespoons (36g) vegetable shortening chilled
- 1 1/2 cups (180g) all-purpose flour measured using a scale or the spoon and sweep method*
- 1 tablespoon (12g) granulated sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar optional
- 1/4 cup ice-cold water plus more, if needed
- 2 large Granny Smith apples peeled, thinly sliced and slices cut in half
- 2 tablespoons (25g) brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon (12g) granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon (1/2oz) unsalted butter
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/8 teaspoon salt or to taste
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon milk
Brown Sugar Glaze
- 1 tablespoon (1/2oz) unsalted butter melted
- 2 tablespoons (25g) brown sugar
- 1/2 cup (60g) powdered sugar sifted
- Pinch of cinnamon
- Pinch of salt
- 1 tablespoon milk plus more as needed
- Before you start prepping your ingredients, place your butter and vegetable shortening in the freezer so they are very cold when you are ready to work with them.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, and salt. Add chilled, cubed butter and shortening and use a pastry blender, 2 knives, or your fingers to cut the butter and shortening into the flour until no pieces larger than a pea remain.
- In a small cup, combine apple cider vinegar and the ice-cold water and then slowly drizzle the liquid into the dry ingredients stirring with a fork. Continue to stir until dough clumps and comes together. Add a little more cold water if necessary, but be careful not to add too much. Your dough should not be wet or sticky!
- Gather the dough and wrap tightly in plastic wrap, squishing the dough into a 1-inch thick disk. Refrigerate for an hour, up to 2 days.
- In a medium pot, combine all the filling ingredients and bring to a simmer. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 6 minutes, until apples are softened and juices begin to caramelize. Set aside to cool for at least 15 minutes.
- Take pie dough out of the refrigerator and allow it to sit at room temperature for 5 to 10 minutes to soften just slightly so it doesn't crack when you roll it out. Preheat your oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone baking mat.
- Whisk together egg and milk for the egg wash and set aside.
- Flour your work surface and rolling pin, and roll pie dough out to 1/4-inch thick. Cut out 5 4-inch rounds, gathering and re-rolling the dough scraps as necessary. Place each of the rounds on your prepared baking sheet as you cut them out. If at any time you feel like the dough is getting difficult to handle, place it in the refrigerator for a few minutes.
- Brush egg wash around the outer 1/2 inch of the rounds. One at a time, top half of each round with cooled apple filling (don't overfill or you won't be able to close them--you might have leftover filling), leaving at least 1/4-inch of space around the edge, and fold dough over. Crimp edge with a fork and repeat with remaining rounds and apples.
- Cut 3 slits in the top of each hand pie and then lightly brush the pastries with egg wash. Bake for 12 to 16 minutes until golden. Cool for 10 minutes before glazing.
- In a small bowl, whisk together all glaze ingredients. Add more milk by the 1/2 teaspoon until glaze reaches a drizzling consistency and brush or drizzle over pies. Allow to set for 5 minutes and enjoy!
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Alia @ Everyday Easy Eats says
Mmmmm your Apple Hand Pies look and sound delish! Love that gooey apple-cinnamon filling!! 🙂
Thank you, Alia!!
the filling looks so juicy and delicious. the flaky pie crust looks perfect!
Thank you, Sabine!!
These hand pies looks SO mouth-watering! The glaze on top is gorgeous. Thank you so much for allowing me to include them in my apple round-up, Tracy! Have a great day!
Thank YOU, Michele!
Great recipe! I used pineapple instead and it turned sour well. Great crust recipe for small batches
I love that idea!!
I was wondering if I don’t have unsalted butter can I use salted?
I can’t wait to make this recipe.
Absolutely. Just cut the added salt by half. Hope you enjoy them!!