Apple Hand Pies – A Cozy Kitchen


These classic Apple Hand Pies are the epitome of cozy fall flavors. Each bite is filled with apples cooked with brown sugar, lemon, cinnamon, and nutmeg that are encrusted by a deliciously flakey and buttery crust. I like to think they’re the breakfast version of my Homemade Apple Pie and my Easy Apple Cobbler.

apple pies with icing on top.

Ingredients You’ll Need for Apple Hand Pies

  1. Apples – I love honey crisp apples for this. They’re easy to find and absolutely delicious in salads or in baking recipes.
  2. Lemon zest –
  3. Lemon juice
  4. Spices (cinnamon and nutmeg) – We can’t have fall autumnal treats without our favorites: cinnamon and nutmeg.
  5. Brown sugar – The added hint of molasses always adds the best flavor hints to baked goods.
ingredients in small bowls for apple hand pies.

See the rest of the ingredients in the recipe card.

diced apples being cooked in pot.

SECRETS TO PERFECT PIE CRUST

  • I love making my pie dough the night before because it’s an easy way to split up some of the work. It also allows the gluten in the dough to rest or relax, which means there’s less shrinkage in the oven. 
  • If my house is really warm, I like to also put the flour mixture bowl in the fridge to cool down a bit before grating my butter. Warmth is your enemy when you’re making pie crust.
  • Use a box grater to grate the butter instead of dicing by hand. I find that this makes the butter so much easier to work with and incorporate into the flour.
  • I learned the envelope folding method from Erin McDowell, shout out to her! I think it’s a great way to create lovely layers with not a lot of effort. I like to do a few folds.
butter being grated in bowl on top of flour.
pie dough in a block.
dough being cut into rectangles.

PERFECT APPLE PIE FILLING

  • Most apple pie recipes use a tart apple like Granny Smith or Pink Lady. I like the texture of an Envy or Honey Crisp more. So to balance the sweetness of the apple, I add both lemon juice and lemon zest to my apple pie filling. Acid is a necessary component to add brightness to your filling
  • Apple Hand Pies are in the oven for much less time than a traditional apple pie. This is why it’s important to cook your apple filling for a short time in a saucepan. This gives the apples time to cook down a bit which then allows you to add more apples to each hand pie.
  • I am partial to the molasses and caramel notes that brown sugar adds to the filling, so I use mostly brown sugar. But feel free to go all granulated if that’s your vibe. 
apple hand pies being filled with apple filling.
apple hand pies being brushed with egg wash before oven.

HOW TO MAKE APPLE HAND PIES:

  1. Make your pie crust. Let it rest overnight to make sure it all comes together nicely.
  2. Prepare your apple pie filling. Toss your apples together with the sugars and spices and cook for a bit on the stovetop. Don’t forget to let it cool before you proceed to the next step.
  3. Roll out each piece of dough until it’s 9 inches by 12 inches. Cut it into 9 3-inch by 4-inch pieces. Place 9 pieces, evenly spaced on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  4. Place 3 tablespoons of apple filling in the middle of each rectangle. Brush some egg wash around the edges.
  5. Roll each top piece out just a little to accommodate all the filling. Crimp all edges together with a fork. 
  6. Freeze the whole baking sheet for 15 minutes. I like to do this to ensure a flakey crust. Brush the tops of the pies with egg wash after removing them from the freezer.
  7. Bake! I baked mine for 20 minutes but it’ll vary slightly from oven to oven. 
  8. Cool and top with icing!
apple hand pies warm and baked on baking sheet.

TIPS AND TRICKS:

  1. I always make the pie crust the night before. This breaks up some of the work and allows your dough’s gluten time to relax. This makes it easier to work with and prevents shrinking. 
  2. You can also make the apple pie filling the night before. Transfer to an airtight container and chill in the fridge overnight. This helps the flavors to infuse into the apples and make the mixture easier to work with. 
  3. Egg washing is an important step. You want that golden brown crust and without the egg wash, your hand pies will look pale.
  4. Don’t skip out on chill times. This is important for a beautiful flakey crust.
overhead shot of apple hand pies on serving platter.

What to Serve with these Hand Pies

If you tried these Apple Hand Pies or any other recipe on my website, please leave a 🌟 star rating and let me know how it went in the 📝 comments below. Thanks for visiting!