Apple Hand Pies

I'm obsessed with anything encased in dough.  I love the idea of pierogi, ravioli, empanadas and hand pies.  The possibilities are endless as to what you can enclose in dough.  Here of course is a common filling, a delicious apple pie.  Try it for yourself and experiment with different fillings on your own.  Remember to share your results if you do.


Ingredients for the crust

3 cups all purpose flour

1 Tbsp. granulated sugar

1 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

7 oz. cold unsalted butter, cubed

2/3 cup cold buttermilk

Ingredients for the filling

2 Tbsp. unsalted butter

3 baking apples, peeled and chopped (such as Granny Smith)

1 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice

1/4 cup packed light brown sugar

2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg

1 large egg, lightly beaten with 1 Tbsp. water

Method for the crust

In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade, pulse the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt to combine.  Drop in the cubed butter and scatter over the top of the flour mixture.  Pulse several times, until pieces are the size of peas.  Drizzle half of the buttermilk over the flour mixture and pulse 4-5 times to combine.  Add more buttermilk 1 Tbsp. at a time, pulsing after each addition, just until the dough begins to hold together in moist clumps (you may need all the buttermilk).

Transfer the dough to a large piece of plastic wrap and shape it into a ball.  Flatten into a disk and wrap tightly in plastic.  Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Method for the filling and making pies

Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add the apples and lemon juice and until the apples start to soften.  Remove the pan from the heat and transfer the apples to a bowl or sheet pan to cool.  Mix together the brown sugar, flour, cinnamon and nutmeg in a small bowl.  Once the apples have cooled, stir in the brown sugar mixture and toss to combine.

Remove the dough from the refrigerator onto a clean work surface dusted with flour.  Roll out the dough to a 1/16" thickness.  Cut circles in the dough.  I used a lid from a wide mouthed jar that was 5" in diameter.  You can use a biscuit cutter, a small bowl or cup, or a lid of similar size.  Re-roll the dough scraps to keep cutting circles until all the dough has been used.  Place the dough rounds on baking sheets with parchment paper.  Brush the edges of the rounds with the egg wash. (reserve the egg wash) Place about 2 Tbsp. of the apple mixture in the center of each round.  Fold in half to enclose the filling.  Pinch the edges together to seal and crimp with the tines of a fork.  Or practice some fancy folds if you're feeling adventurous.

Place pies, on baking sheets in the freezer for 30 minutes.  Meanwhile position racks in the upper lower and thirds of the oven and preheat to 375 degrees.  Remove the pies from the freezer and brush the tops with the remaining egg wash.  You can leave the tops plain or sprinkle with a little granulated sugar (and cinnamon) if you like.

Using the tip of a sharp knife, cut 2 or 3 slits in the top of each pie.  Bake in a preheated oven for 25-30 minutes switching positions of the baking sheets halfway through until the pies are puffed and golden brown.  Cool sheets on wire racks for 10 minutes then drizzle with glaze (recipe below).  


2 cups confectioner's sugar

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

1-2 Tbsp. milk

Place the 2 cups of confectioner's sugar in a bowl with the cinnamon and add the 1 tsp. of vanilla extract and stir.  Add cold milk a little at a time and continue to stir until you have the consistency your desire.  Drizzle the glaze onto the pies and enjoy warm or at room temperature.