Apple pie is as classic and delicious as dessert gets but sometimes you don’t need a whole pie. Sometimes you might want something a little more handheld, a little more casual… maybe a little cuter. And that’s when you need Apple Hand Pie.
Tiny pies might seem tedious but these are far easier than anything this cute and tasty has a right to be. All you need is some apples, cinnamon, sugar, a biscuit cutter, and some basic pie dough and you’re good to go. (And we even used storebought!)
You’ll want to make your filling first so it has some time to cool before you start assembling the pies. (Hot filling on cold pie crust = bad combination.) You only need two apples and just like with a full apple pie, you’ll want to choose good sturdy baking apples. My favorites are: Braeburn, Gala, Fuji, or Granny Smith (though there are plenty of other great options too). Dice ’em (no need to peel) and then cook them down a bit with some butter, cinnamon, and brown sugar. You want to let that filling cool for about ten minutes before you actually assemble the pies.
Now for assembly!
You can use your favorite pie dough, homemade or storebought. You need the same amount as you would for a 9-inch pie — this makes nine small pies. Just roll out your dough and then use a cup or a biscuit cutter to cut eighteen rounds that are about three and a half inches in size. You might have to re-roll your scraps to get enough dough.
Then, spoon a little of the apple filling on half of the circles, but leave a border around the edge. Wet your finger and run it around that border to dampen it and then place another circle of dough on the top. Press the dough together on that border and then crimp with a fork. So easy.
A little egg wash helps these brown up nicely and I can’t resist a sprinkle of sugar on sweet double-crust pies, but it’s not totally necessary if you’d rather not. They take only about twenty minutes in the oven.
These have a high ratio of flaky crust to filling and that’s just one of the things that I love about them. They’re great for parties or any gathering where you might want an autumnal treat but don’t want to be confined to a table.
Easy Apple Hand Pies
Yield 9 pies
15m prep time
30m cook time
- 2 9-inch pie crusts
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 cups apples, finely chopped
- 1/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 1 tablespoon milk
- Coarse sugar, for topping
- Preheat oven to 400°F and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.
- In a large skillet over medium heat, melt the butter. Stir together brown sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a bowl, then add to skillet along with apples.
- Stir to coat apples, then cover skillet and reduce heat to medium-low. Let apples simmer until just beginning to turn tender, about 5 minutes.
- Transfer filling to a bowl to cool at least 10 minutes.
- While filling cools, work on the pie crust:
- On a lightly floured surface, roll out pie crusts to 1/8-inch thick. Cut out into circles using a cookie cutter or cup, about 3 1/2 inches in size. Reroll scraps and cut again as needed.
- Arrange circles on prepared baking sheets.
- Top half of the pie crust circles with cooled apple filling, leaving a border around the edge. Use some water to dampen the border, then place a pie crust circle on top. Crimp edges with a fork.
- In a small bowl, stir together the egg and milk, then brush the top of each hand pie with the mixture.
- Sprinkle pies with coarse sugar, then cut 3 slits in the top of each pie to vent steam.
- Bake until pies are golden brown, about 20 minutes.
- Let cool slightly before serving. Enjoy!
Recipe adapted from Live Well Bake Often.