Apple Hand Pies Recipe – Step by Step Guide

Apple Hand Pies Recipe – Step by Step Guide: If you have been reading my blog for a while, you may know what I always do on July 4th. 🙂 I share a new apple pie recipe every year around July 4th. This is the sixth year! I love apple pie more than any other treat. It’s an American standard. I posted my first recipe in 2013 and have done so every year since:

Table of Contents


  • Homemade Pie Crust (makes 2 crusts, use both)
  • 3 medium apples, peeled and diced into small bite-size pieces (about 2 and 1/2 cups, or 300g, diced)
  • 1/3 cup (70g) granulated sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons (28g) unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • egg wash: 1 large egg beaten with 1 Tablespoon (15ml) milk
  • optional: homemade salted caramel for topping
Apple Hand Pies Recipe - Guide
Apple Hand Pies Recipe – Guide


Preliminary note: You may shape hand pies as you wish. I use a 3.5-inch circular cookie cutter. Small pies can’t fit much filling, therefore I don’t recommend them. Shape into rectangles too. Take my homemade brown sugar cinnamon pop tarts as an example.

I cut them into 3×4-inch rectangles using a ruler. Hand pie size determines bake time; bake until crust is golden brown. Use the same oven heat.

  1. The crust: Prepare my pie crust recipe through step 5. The dough must chill for 2 hours in the refrigerator. You can make pie dough ahead, see instructions below.
  2. The filling: Combine the diced apples, granulated sugar, butter, cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice together in a medium saucepan or skillet over low-medium heat. While occasionally stirring, bring to a simmer. Allow to simmer for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool uncovered at room temperature for 30 minutes. You can make filling ahead, see instructions below.
  3. Roll out the pie dough: The following stages are illustrated in my video above. Keep one cold dough disk in the fridge and roll out one on a lightly floured board. After many rolls, quarter-turn the dough. If it sticks, add flour and continuing rolling. Roll out to 12 inches in diameter and 1/8–1/4-inch thick. Use a cookie cutter to cut circles. Reroll scraps and cut circles. Keep cut circles cold in the fridge. Colder formed dough is simpler to work with. Repeat with second pie dough and chill cut circles for 15 minutes before filling hand pies.
  4. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 375°F (191°C). Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
  5. Fill the hand pies: On prepared baking sheets, place half the rounds 3 inches apart. This is the bottom crust. Slit the remaining circles with a sharp knife. Top crusts. The slots vent steam while the hand pies bake. Center each bottom crust with 2 tablespoons filling. (Or as much as fits without covering the edges.) Put top crust on top. Press fingers around edges to seal, then crimp pie crust edges with a fork. Form a circular circle with your hands if the hand pies have lost shape. A little filling juice leak is fine. Lightly brush egg wash mixture on pie crust. Add coarse sugar if desired.
  6. At this point the hand pies can be baked, but if they don’t feel cool to touch anymore, freeze for 10 minutes before baking. The colder they are going into the oven, the better they’ll hold their shape.
  7. Bake for about 28–32 minutes or until they’re golden brown on top and around the edges. Rotate pans halfway through baking. Remove from the oven and allow the hand pies to cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool until ready to handle. You can serve warm or at room temperature. If desired, serve with a drizzle of warm salted caramel.
  8. Cover leftovers and store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

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