Cooking Desserts Cooking Desserts

Apple Hand Pies

I absolutely love these pies. You can’t leave me alone in the house with them or I swear I will eat them all. They are the perfect individual apple pie. You can pick them up and eat them with your hands. They are a great treat for after school snacks, or as an after dinner treat. And they will be the hit of your school’s fall fundraiser if you show up with them. I’ve even done them in miniature, inserting lollipop sticks in them, and created apple pie pops with this recipe.

Apple Pie Pops

This post really isn’t about this cute little molds I got from Williams Sonoma, but I’ll show you here how easy they are to use. In searching for the link to them, I see that they have added a new one this year. A cute little heart mold.

For this post though I used the apple-shaped one I had bought last year, along with two others that I bought that I would not recommend.The pink and blue ones below are made by Tovolo with the name “Petite Pie Mold”. I personally did not feel that these molds worked nearly as well as the Williams Sonoma ones. They did not seal the crusts together very well, and there was too much crust at the edge and not enough room for filling.

You cut the dough out using the backsides of the mold. One side cuts a plain shape out and the other cuts out one with a decorative steam hole in it. Place the non-vented piece of dough in the mold, brush the edges with water, and fill it with the apple filling (it holds quite a bit of filling too), place the vented pastry top over that and press gently around the edges. Fold over the mold and press to crimp and seal the edges. The pie taps easily out of the mold. Brush with an egg wash if desired and bake as directed. When slightly cooled you can put the apple glaze on.

You don’t need to buy these molds to make hand pies though, you can cut out small rounds of dough, maybe 4″ to 4-1/2″, vent the top piece of dough, fill, and crimp the edges with a fork. These molds do make quick, easy work of the task though.

Apple Hand Pies

Makes 12-16 pies. If you have some apple filling left over you can freeze it to use another day.

Pie crust recipe, below, doubled

Pie Filling

  • 8 Granny Smith apples  (about 3 1/2 pounds), peeled, cored, and diced into 1/3” dice
  • 8 Golden Delicious apples  (about 3 1/2 pounds), peeled, cored, and diced into 1/3” dice
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter , melted and cooled
  • 6 tablespoons Minute Tapioca
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 egg for egg wash


  • 1 cup reserved apple juice  (from filling)
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter , softened
  • 1 1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar

For the pie: Combine apples, 1 cup sugar, and salt in colander set over large bowl. Let sit, tossing occasionally, until apples release their juices, about 30 minutes. (I have carefully covered the bowls with plastic wrap overnight and it was fine. Just remember if you are going to do this to sprinkle the apples with some lemon juice and toss to coat before covering to prevent browning. Press gently on apples to extract liquid. I helped this along by placing a plate over the apples and weighting it with a large can. Reserve 1 cup juice.

Toss the diced apples with the sugar and salt.

Place apples in a colander set over a large bowl.

Place a plate on top and weight it down with some cans or something heavy for about 30 minutes until apples release their juices.

Toss drained apples with tapioca, cinnamon, and lemon juice and remaining 1/2 cup of sugar. If you let the apples drain overnight and used lemon juice to keep them from browning, use a little less lemon juice now.

Toss apples with remaining 1/2 cup sugar, melted butter, tapioca, cinnamon and lemon juice.

Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. If you are using the pocket pie molds above, follow those directions for assembly. If you are making them by hand, roll out dough to about 1/8” thick and cut out pastry into 4” rounds with a cutter. The first time I made these I used a small oak leaf to cut a steam hole on one side of the pastry, but in hindsight the hole was too large and the next time I will use the end of a straw and make a few small round vent holes instead. Stack the circles as you make them. Re-roll the scraps and make as many rounds as you can. Place the stacks of dough rounds on a plate and refrigerate, covered, until you are ready to use them.

Brush edges of dough with water. Spoon about 2 tablespoons of the apple mixture onto the plain side of the dough round. Carefully fold over the dough and meet the edges together. Press the edges together with your finger, and adjust filling as necessary to evenly distribute. Carefully Use fork to crimp and seal outside edge of pie. Lay pies on parchment-covered baking sheet about 2” apart. Brush the pies with an egg wash. Bake until pie is golden brown and juices are bubbling, approximately 25 minutes. Transfer to wire rack and let cool.

For the glaze: While pie is cooling, simmer reserved apple juice in saucepan over medium heat until syrupy and reduced to 1/4 cup, about 6 minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in confectioners’ sugar. Stir in lemon juice and butter and let cool until it is just warm. Brush glaze evenly over warm pie. Let pie cool completely, at least 1 hour longer. Serve.

Apple juice from the strained apples.

Bring reserved apple juice to a boil and, over medium heat, simmer until juice is syrupy and reduced to about 1/4 cup, about 6 minutes.

Whisk in confectioners sugar.

Stir in lemon juice and butter and let cool until it is just warm.

Brush warm glaze over pies.

Make Ahead: The pie can be made up to 24 hours in advance and refrigerated. Bring to room temperature before serving or frozen on parchment-covered baking sheets. Once they are frozen you can remove them from the sheets and store in tupperware container or ziploc freezer bags until ready to bake.

The Best Pie Dough – Double Crust 8- or 9-Inch Pie

For a double-crust 8- or 9-inch pie. Published September 1, 1994, Cook’s Illustrated.

In search of the best pie dough recipe, we found that all-butter crusts have good taste, but they are not as flaky and fine-textured as those made with some shortening. All-shortening crusts have great texture but lack flavor. We experimented with a variety of combinations and ultimately settled on a proportion of 3 parts butter to 2 parts shortening as optimal for both flavor and texture. You can make a pie dough recipe by hand, but the food processor is faster and easier and does the best job of cutting the fat into the flour.

The following pie dough is one in a series for different size pies. When rolling out the dough, roll to a thickness of about 1/8-inch thick (about the thickness of two quarters).

2 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon table salt
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
11 tablespoons unsalted butter , cold, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
7 tablespoons vegetable shortening , chilled
4 -5 tablespoons ice water

Mix flour, salt and sugar in food processor fitted with steel blade. Scatter butter pieces over flour mixture, tossing to coat butter with some flour. cut butter into flour with five 1-second pulses. Add shortening and continue cutting in until flour is pale yellow and resembles coarse cornmeal with butter bits no larger than small peas, about four more 1-second pulses. Turn mixture into medium bowl.

Sprinkle 4 tablespoons of ice water over mixture. With blade of rubber spatula, use folding motion to mix. Press down on dough with broad side of spatula until dough sticks together, adding up to 1 tablespoon more ice water if dough will not come together. Shape dough into two balls with your hands, one slightly larger than the other. Flatten into 4-inch-wide disks. Dust lightly with flour, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for 30 minutes before rolling.

Print This Recipe Print This Recipe

Speak Your Mind


Cooking Desserts