Handheld Apple Pies

Handheld Apple Pies

The Spruce Eats / Diana Rattray

Prep: 35 mins
Cook: 45 mins
Total: 80 mins
Servings: 16 servings
Yield: 16 pies
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
307 Calories
13g Fat
47g Carbs
3g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 16
Amount per serving
Calories 307
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 13g 16%
Saturated Fat 8g 38%
Cholesterol 54mg 18%
Sodium 175mg 8%
Total Carbohydrate 47g 17%
Dietary Fiber 3g 10%
Total Sugars 25g
Protein 3g
Vitamin C 4mg 21%
Calcium 25mg 2%
Iron 1mg 7%
Potassium 140mg 3%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

These mini apple pies are designed to be eaten out of hand and are a fun dessert or after-school snack. Made with a homemade flaky all-butter crust and a chopped apple filling, these handheld treats will taste so much better than the familiar fast-food version. You can make the filling and dough the day before so assembling and baking the pies will be a snap, and even freeze some before baking to enjoy another day.

The ingredient list may seem long, but you most likely have everything you need on hand; just be sure to cut the butter into pieces ahead of time and place it in the freezer to chill. This recipe calls for shaping the pies into rectangles; there is less waste and no need to reroll the dough. However, if you prefer, you can cut out rounds to make half-moon shapes.

Ingredients

For the Apple Filling:

For the Pastry:

  • 2 3/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons (13 ounces) all-purpose flour

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1 tablespoon sugar

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla powder

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces, chilled in freezer

  • 6 to 11 tablespoons ice water

For Egg Wash and Topping:

  • 1 large egg yolk

  • 2 teaspoons light cream, or milk

  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon sugar, or vanilla sugar

Steps to Make It

Make the Filling

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Peel the apples, then core and dice. In a bowl, toss the apples with the lemon juice.

  3. In a large saucepan over medium heat, combine the brown sugar, granulated sugar, and cornstarch; stir to blend. Add the apples, nutmeg, pinch of salt, and cinnamon.

  4. Bring to a simmer, stirring constantly. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring frequently, for 20 to 30 minutes, or until the apples are tender and the mixture is very thick. Stir in the vanilla extract and remove from the heat.

  5. Let the filling cool.

Make the Pastry

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, sugar, and vanilla powder.

  3. Add the butter pieces to the flour mixture and mix, using a pastry blender, fingers, or a food processor, just enough to make a crumbly mixture with some pea-sized pieces of butter still intact; this should take 8 to 10 pulses using a food processor.

  4. If using the food processor, transfer the flour and butter mixture to a large bowl. Add about 6 tablespoons of the ice water and toss together until moistened. Continue adding small amounts of water until the mixture begins to form clumps.

  5. Turn the mixture out onto a lightly floured surface and knead a few times until a dough is formed. If necessary, moisten your hands a few times, but don't overwork the dough or add more water than is necessary to hold it together.

  6. Shape the dough into 2 rectangles about 12 ounces each and 1 inch thick. Wrap each in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 30 to 45 minutes.

  7. Roll out each piece of chilled dough into rectangles about 16 inches by 12 inches. With a pizza cutter or knife, cut 8 rectangles, about 4 inches wide and 6 inches in length, from each piece.

Assemble the Pies

  1. Put about 2 heaping tablespoons of apple filling in the center of the bottom half of one of the rectangles.

  2. With your finger, dab a little water around the edge of the dough. Fold the top over the filling and pat gently to seal. Take a fork and crimp the entire edge with the tines.

  3. Set on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and repeat with the remaining dough rectangles. Refrigerate the baking sheets for 20 to 30 minutes.

Bake the Hand Pies

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 F. Take the pies out of the refrigerator.

  2. In a small bowl or measuring cup, make the egg wash by combining the egg yolk and cream. Brush the mixture lightly over each pie.

  3. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar or vanilla sugar and cut a vent or two in the top of each pie.

  4. Bake for 24 to 30 minutes or until nicely browned and the filling is bubbly.

  5. Serve when cool enough to handle and enjoy.

Recipe Variations

  • For a quick version of this recipe, you can use premade pie crust or puff pastry.
  • These handheld pies can be filled with other fruits as well, including peaches, blueberries, and a combination of strawberry and rhubarb.

Tips

  • Make sure to cut a couple of slits in the top of each pie before baking for the steam to escape.
  • Don't skip chilling the butter; cold butter melts more slowly and creates a flakier pie crust.

Make Ahead

  • If you're not making the pies right away, store the filling in the refrigerator for up to two days. The filling may also be frozen for up to nine months.
  • You can freeze all or half of the prepared pies (before adding the egg wash and sugar) on the baking sheet, wrap them individually, and transfer them to freezer bags. Arrange them on a parchment-lined baking sheet on baking day and continue with the recipe.