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Small-batch apple hand pies on a cooling rack.

Small-batch Apple Hand Pies With Brown Sugar and Butter Glaze

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.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 45 minutes
Servings 5 hand pies
Calories 484kcal
Author Tracy


Special Equipment

Pie Crust

  • 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

Apple Filling

  • 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

Egg Wash

  • 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


Pie Crust

  • 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.

Apple Filling

  • 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!


*Correct flour measurement is very important in this recipe. For best results, measure by weight or the Spoon and Sweep Method (stir the flour in your container to fluff it up and then spoon it into your measuring cup, swipe excess off with the flat of a knife).


Calories: 484kcal