Homemade Apple Hand Pies

A sweet and comforting recipe for homemade apple hand pies, with a buttery, flaky crust and spiced brown sugar apple cinnamon filling, these handheld apple turnovers are a favorite way to bake up freshly-picked apples. Perfect for fall baking!

Homemade Apple Hand Pies via forkknifeswoon.com | @forkknifeswoon

Easy apple hand pies

I had promised him a pie that perfect day in the apple orchard. We collected a small basket’s worth of apples – a few varieties for snacking, but mostly for baking. The Honey had to cut me off; we already had two crisper bins full of colorful apples waiting for us at home. My eyes, as always, were too big.

Apple pie was one of the very first desserts that I learned to bake as a teenager, carefully following the classic recipe – the page always marked with that red ribbon – from our smudged and fading copy of the original Joy of Cooking. Over time I could recite the ingredients from memory, and learned to adapt, adding a little more or less of this and that as needed for each pie. The flavors ingrained.

When we got back from Asheville, it was clear that Fall had settled in for good. Cashmere socks and piping hot tea seem continuously in order. Dreary days are brightened by the intoxicating aroma of fall baking and slow-braised soups and stews.

I’ve been adding apples to everything lately – baked into desserts, swirled into ice cream, tossed with cinnamon atop steamy oatmeal in the morning, roasted with butternut squash to create a savory soup – the list goes on.

Instead of a traditional pie, I decided to make miniature hand pies; all the classic apple pie flavors – sweet apple, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves – in convenient hand-held form.

Apple Hand Pies | Fork Knife Swoon
Apple Hand Pies | Fork Knife Swoon

Why you’ll love these apple hand pies

Hand pies, miniature apple pies, apple turnovers – whatever you call them, these little pastry pockets of apple goodness are irresistible!

They combine all the flavors and elements of classic apple pie – buttery, flaky pie crust, and brown sugar apple cinnamon filling – but they’re easy to make, easy to share, and perfect for fall and holiday baking.

Apple Hand Pies | Fork Knife Swoon

The ingredients you’ll need for apple hand pies

These miniature apple pies combine mostly pantry staples to create irresistible pastries that bely their simplicity. Here are the ingredients you’ll need to make them:

  • pie pastry: this easy pie crust is made with flour, sugar, salt, butter, vegetable shortening, and ice water, and comes together quickly in a food processor.
  • apples: of course! I like to use a mix of firm, sweet-tart varieties such as Honeycrisp, Pink Lady, Fuji, or Braeburn.
  • brown sugar: adds sweetness and caramel notes.
  • butter: for flavorfully cooking the apples before filling the pastry.
  • cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves: these cozy, warming spices are the perfect complement to the sweet apples.

Find all the exact measurements and full recipe instructions below.

Homemade Apple Hand Pies via forkknifeswoon.com | @forkknifeswoon

Apple hand pie filling

These apple hand pies are one of my favorite ways to highlight one of my favorite Fall ingredients: sweet, in-season apples!

The apple pie filling is super simple. Diced apples are sautéed with butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves, then tucked into little pockets of pie dough. This initial cooking reduces some of the apple’s natural liquid, lightly caramelizes the brown sugar, and ensures the apples are tender in the finished tarts.

Look for a firm, sweet and tart variety of apple (a mix is even better), and for the best texture, be sure to peel your apples and dice them into small, bite sized pieces.

Apple Hand Pies | Fork Knife Swoon

The best pie crust for mini apple pies

These apple hand pies begin with a flaky, buttery pie crust. While I typically use a tried-and-true all-butter pastry for my pies, the dough that I used in this recipe is the “Good For Almost Everything Pie Dough” from Dorie Greenspan’s wonderful baking book – Baking: From my home to yours. It’s a mix of butter – for flavor – and vegetable shortening – which makes the dough very easy to work with.

It’s a great, all-around, flexible dough, that holds its shape through baking and is lovely in this recipe (as well as any number of other pies and tarts). If you already have your own go-to pie dough, feel free to use that here, but if not, I highly recommend this version.

I make mine with a food processor, which works quickly and keeps the butter and shortening cold (key for flaky pastry), but you can also go the traditional route and use a pastry blender.

The dough needs to rest for at least an hour in the refrigerator before you roll out your crusts, which allows the gluten in the flour time to relax and the butter and shortening to fully chill and firm up. This reduces potential for dough shrinkage or sticking, and makes for super buttery, tender, flaky pie crust.

How to make apple hand pies

While there are several steps to making these apple turnovers, once you get organized, they’re actually quite simple. There are three main components to tackle: making the pie dough, cooking the apple filling, and assembling the mini pies. Then, bake and voila!

  1. Make the pie pastry: Use a food processor or pastry blender to combine flour, sugar, and salt with very cold butter and shortening until they form a chunky crumbly mixture. Add ice water a bit at a time and pulse/mix until the dough comes together. We’ll divide the dough into two disks so it’s easier to work with, and let it rest in the refrigerator.
  2. Cook the apple filling: When you’re ready to make the pies, saute the apples in a large skillet until the butter and brown sugar are melted and the apples are tender.
  3. Assemble the apple hand pies: Next, working with half the dough, the chilled and rested pastry is rolled out into 5-inch circles. The apple cinnamon filling is layered in the center, and the edges are folded over to make a turnover. Crimp the edges with a fork, and for a golden, bakery style shine, brush the pastry with a milk or egg wash. You can also top with sanding sugar or simply leave the tops plain.
  4. Bake until golden and the filling begins to bubble.

Don’t worry if your apple turnovers aren’t exactly round or the edges are wonky or uneven. As long as the pastry folds around the edges and holds the filling in place, you’re fine. I promise you, when the pastries emerge from the oven, golden and flaky and filled with delicious, caramelized apple goodness, no one will mind a little asymmetry.

Also key? Serving with a dusting of powdered sugar or creamy vanilla ice cream on top. Happy baking!!

Apple Hand Pies | Fork Knife Swoon

Homemade Apple Hand Pie FAQs

Do I have to use shortening?

Nope. The shortening in the pie crust is recommended because it makes the pastry super flaky, easy to work with, and helps the pies hold their shape while baking. However, you can use all butter or another favorite pie crust recipe instead.

What kind of apples are best for apple pie filling?

You want a crisp, sweet and tart apple that will hold up during baking. Use your favorite variety such as Honeycrisp, Braeburn, Pink Lady, Northern Spy, Jonagold or even better, a combination.

Do you need to cook the apples first?

For the best texture, it’s important to cook the apple filling before forming the pies. This ensures that the apples are soft and tender, and reduces some of their natural moisture.

Can you make hand pies ahead of time?

Yes. You can make and assemble the hand pies, then freeze just before baking. Bake from frozen, and add a few minutes to the baking time.

Can I make the pie crust ahead of time?

Making the pie crust in advance is a major shortcut and lets you have homemade pie whenever the craving strikes! You can make it up to 2 days ahead of time and keep it wrapped tightly in plastic in the refrigerator or for up to 3 months in the freezer. When you’re ready to use the dough, let it thaw in the refrigerator overnight.

How do you store hand pies?

These apple turnovers are best warm from the oven the day they’re made. However, the pies can be stored at room temperature for the first day, then covered in the refrigerator for up to 2 days (after which the pastry crust may start to get soggy). You can also freeze them.

How do you freeze baked apple hand pies?

Wait until the pies are completely cooled, then individually wrap the pies tightly in plastic wrap, and freeze in a freezer storage bag for up to 2 months.

Other easy and delicious apple recipes to bake right now:

If you make these apple hand pies, be sure to tag me on Instagram with the hashtag #forkknifeswoon and leave a comment and rating below letting me know how you liked them! ★★★★★ Star ratings are especially helpful because they help others find my recipes too. xo, Laura

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Apple Hand Pies | Fork Knife Swoon

Homemade Apple Hand Pies


Description

A sweet and comforting recipe for homemade apple hand pies, with a buttery crust and spiced brown sugar apple filling, these handheld apple turnovers are a favorite way to bake up freshly-picked Fall apples.


Ingredients

Scale

Pie Pastry

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 11/2 tsp fine sea salt
  • 11/4 cups (21/2 sticks) unsalted butter, very cold, cubed
  • 1/3 cup all-vegetable shortening, very cold or frozen, cut into small pieces
  • 67 Tbsp ice water

Apple Pie Filling

  • 5 cups diced apples, peeled
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup (packed) brown sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves

For Topping

  • 1/31/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • demerara sugar (or other coarse sanding sugar)

Instructions

Make the pie pastry

  1. In a food processor fitted with a metal blade, pulse together the flour, sugar and salt until well-combined. Add the butter and shortening to the flour mixture and pulse a few times until the butter and shortening pieces are evenly dispersed, with the largest pieces about the size of large peas. Be careful not to over-mix.
  2. Add the ice water, a tablespoon or two at a time, and pulse to combine, until the dough is evenly moistened. Pinch a bit of dough together between two fingers to test – the dough should stick together. If the dough seems dry, add a few more teaspoons of water and pulse again.
  3. Transfer the pastry to a clean, well-floured work surface, and divide the dough in half. Gather each half of dough into a ball, then flatten into a round, disk, and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least an hour before you begin to roll out the dough.

Make the apple pie filling

  1. Heat a large skillet over medium-heat. Add the diced apples, butter, brown sugar and spices to the pan and stir to combine.
  2. Cook until the butter is melted and the apples are just soft, but not mushy, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat, and transfer the apple filling to a mixing bowl to cool. Set aside and let come to room temperature.

To bake the pies

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 ℉. Line two sheet pans with parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. Remove one of the dough disks from the refrigerator. Roll the dough out on to a generously-floured piece of parchment paper, until it is about 1/8-inch thick.
  3. Using a 5-inch-diameter cookie cutter or saucer (my preferred method), cut out six circles. Re-roll the dough as necessary to achieve all six.
  4. Lay the pastry circles on one of the sheet pans and top with half of the apple mixture, being sure to reserve as much of the apple liquid as possible. Adding too much liquid to the pies will get messy, quickly.
  5. Fold the dough circles in half, and use your fingers to gently press the edges together. Using the back of a fork, gently press down to create a fluted seal along the edge.
  6. Lightly brush the top of each pastry with the cream, and sprinkle generously with the demerara sugar. Cut a small x-shaped slit in the top of each pie, and repeat these steps with the second dough disk.
  7. Bake for 20-30 minutes, until the pies are golden brown and cooked through. Let cool for 10 minutes on a baking rack. Serve warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Enjoy!!
  • Category: Baking, Dessert
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: apple hand pies, apple tarts, pastry, apple cinnamon, apple turnovers, mini apple pies

Apple Hand Pies | Fork Knife Swoon

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88 Comments

  1. 10.8.21
    Dori Haverty said:

    Hi,
    Do you think I can use the GF King Arthur measure for measure flour with this recipe?

    • 10.8.21
      Laura said:

      Hi, Dori! I haven’t made these pies with gluten free flour, but I have used that GF King Arthur Flour many times before for other recipes with good success so I’m guessing it would work here too. Be sure to let me know how it turns out!

  2. 9.29.21
    Susan L said:

    I have made this so many times and this is indeed the best hand pie recipe. Follow it to a T and you will be successful. See my previous comment about freezing them prior to baking. They come in handy.

    • 9.30.21
      Laura said:

      Thank you so much, Susan!! And thanks for the tips of freezing them 🙂

  3. 11.10.20
    Nat said:

    This will be my first time making this. Any tips so they turn out well for thanksgiving? Also, can the be refrigerated overnight?

    • 11.11.20
      Laura said:

      Hi Nat! This is a pretty forgiving recipe. My biggest tips are to use very cold butter/shortening for the pie pastry, be sure to let your dough rest, and to make sure you don’t overfill the pies or add too much liquid (which can leak and burn). You can make the pie crust a day or two in advance (double wrap tightly in plastic and keep in the fridge or freezer) to get that out of the way. I like these best right out of the oven, but if you want to make them entirely the day before you can do that too. They’ll keep at room-temp overnight, or longer in the refrigerator. If you go that route, I would probably pop them in the oven again right before serving so they’re warm and gooey in the middle. Hope you have a delicious Thanksgiving!!

      • 11.12.20
        Nat said:

        What I was planning on doing was assembling them the day/night before and leaving them in the fridge. Would it be better to only do that with the dough? Should I drain the liquid? All of most of it? Also, the shortening is usually in the pantry. Should I put it in the fridge the night before I make the crust? I’m sorry for asking so many questions, I just don’t want to mess up.

        • 11.13.20
          Laura said:

          I think the pies will get too soggy if you assemble them fully the day before. You can absolutely make the dough early though. Or, if your schedule the day of is too full, you can freeze the pies too. For the apple juices, I don’t drain the liquid, I just try to be careful to scoop mostly apples onto the pastry (there will be liquid leftover when you’re done). You just don’t want to have a huge excess of liquid or it will leak out the edges and burn. I would put the shortening in the fridge or freezer the night before – the key to a flaky crust is starting with cold butter/shortening because it will then expand in the oven and puff up to create all those lovely layers 🙂 And any questions you have or trouble you run into, I am more than happy to answer!! Happy baking!

      • 12.13.20
        Carli said:

        I can’t wait to try this recipe. I want to give them as a gift to my niece who loves my apple pie but could not join for holidays this year due to Covid. Any suggestions for gifting? I’m thinking keeping them refrigerated and then telling her to warm them in the oven before eating? Will they keep in the refrigerator for a week?

        • 12.14.20
          Laura said:

          Hi, Carli! Are you thinking of mailing them or just making them in advance? If you’re going to make them a week before gifting, I would freeze them instead because they’ll likely get soggy in the fridge after that long. You can assemble the pies, wrap tightly before freezing, then brush with the cream before baking. You can then either gift them fresh/warm or they’ll keep at room temp for a day or two (and she can reheat). Hope that helps! Happy baking!

  4. 11.8.20
    Alex said:

    Hi! I was wondering how I could make these with crispier apples in the filling – I’m not super fond of soft cooked apples, and really like the crunch of raw apples. Thanks in advance!

    • 11.11.20
      Laura said:

      Hi, Alex!! So that’s an unusual question! I would try simply not cooking the apples before filling the pies. I would still melt the butter and brown sugar and just stir in the fresh apples once it’s off the heat. Hope that helps and please let me know if you try it 🙂

  5. 10.27.20
    Cindi said:

    These looked so good, and had such great reviews, I decided to make them – A Lot of them for a Brunswick Stew event. I ended up making about 100 – the recipe completely threw me off with the butter – so it took me way longer, as I had to go back and fix the butter issue. They were really good – and have received many good comments from customers. The apples and crust are not sweet – exactly what I was looking for!!! I ended up with many extra apples – so I’m making a pie to freeze. Next time I’m using a tortilla press instead of rolling individually. Wish me luck!! 🙂

    • 10.31.20
      Laura said:

      Wow, that’s an impressive number of pies! So happy my recipe could be a delicious part of your event. Thank you so much, Cindi!!

  6. 10.13.20
    Susan said:

    This. Is. A.M.A.Z.I.N.G!
    Thank you for sharing.
    The crust is delicious and texture was the right crisp for a pie shell and the filling had the perfect texture, not too soft or too hard.
    We froze it and baked it half of them the next day. It was so good!
    We used yellow eggs yolks as the wash as family tradition and came out shiny golden.
    Do you have other filling recipes, i.e. blueberry, cherry or other fruit filling? Thanks, again.

    • 10.25.20
      Laura said:

      Thank you so much, Susan!! So happy to hear these were such a hit! You can use many different fruits for the filling (or even jam). These ginger pear pies are a favorite for this time of year too: https://www.forkknifeswoon.com/ginger-pear-hand-pies/

      • 11.13.20
        Susan said:

        Thank you, Laura. Will try those one day. Last night, I made some unbaked hand pies and laid them on a baking tray to freeze it for 1-2 hours. Then I continued to freeze them but in a container. When I am ready to have them like this morning (Yes! for breakfast), I place a few on a baking tray and bake it at 425 for the first 15 minutes, then lower the temp to 350 to bake for another 10-15 minutes. The hand pies was incredibly good! Thanks again for sharing this great recipe!

        • 11.13.20
          Laura said:

          So happy the pies are a hit! And Thanks so much for this “save for later” tip!! 🙂

  7. 9.4.20
    Anjali said:

    Thanks for sharing apple pie recipe!
    And the vanilla ice cream touch in the end is awesome.

    • 9.5.20
      Laura said:

      Thanks so much, Anjali!! 🙂

  8. 6.14.20
    Michelle said:

    This is my second time making this recipe and it is just delicious. Passed on the recipe both times. Did make rhubarb pies also and they were a hit! I made a rhubarb sauce and used that so they wouldn’t be too juicy. Thank you!!

    • 7.28.20
      Laura said:

      Thank you so much, Michelle!! And thank you for sharing the recipe!! 🙂

  9. 2.20.20
    Suzanne Rea said:

    I am confused about the butter. Do I add 1 cup butter or 1 1/2 cups butter? Two sticks is 1 one cup but in the parentheses it says 1 1/2 cups.

    • 4.29.20
      Laura said:

      Hi Suzanne! Yes, there was a mistake in the ingredients list – it should be 2-1/2 sticks of butter or 1-1/4 cups or 10 oz. Sorry about the confusion!

  10. 12.30.19

    Love these. A pinch of cardamom adds a nice note if you’re looking to add a bit of mystery.

  11. 12.21.18
    Cin Wong said:

    Hi Laura, Someone mentioned she used all butter for the dough, no shortening . Does this work? Also, should we add some flour in the apple mixture in order not to make a mess with the liquid?

    • 12.22.18
      Don said:

      You can use butter, I use all butter. Its a bit more tricky to work with though. And I add a tbsp of flour to my sugar mixture, and sometimes a bit more depending on the apples.

  12. 12.9.18
    Solveig said:

    The pie dough was really great to work with, and goes in my book. Much more pliable than my usual recipe, but also more fiddly. The filling was good too, a very “American” taste due to the cinnamon and brown sugar. It brought me back to my exchange year, 28 years ago. I made tiny little pies that looked like English mince pies. I added a teaspoon of corn starch to the juice, and put it right back in with the apple pieces. This solved the mess problem. Next time I will try to make it more Scandinavian style, with less (white) sugar, no spices, maybe a little lemon juice if the apples are very sweet. Oh! And come spring, these would be great with rhubarb!

  13. 10.16.18
    Cathy said:

    Love this! I used all butter since I didn’t have shortening, and the crust turned out great. They are delicious and fall-like!

    • 10.17.18
      Laura said:

      Thanks, Cathy!! Glad to hear the all-butter version worked just as well!

  14. 9.24.18
    Dea M said:

    Made this for a group of friends and they all loved it! Some ate it with ice cream, and others just used their hands. The crust was a huge hit, so this is very much a keeper! Thanks also for the quick answer on whether to defrost before baking.

    • 9.24.18
      Laura said:

      So happy everyone loved these! They’re such a favorite around here 🙂

  15. 5.13.18
    Melissa said:

    Made these today. Excellent. Will definitely make these again!

    • 5.16.18
      Laura said:

      So happy to hear that, thanks, Melissa!!

  16. 11.16.17
    Patsy said:

    Hello! I am just a bit confused about the instructions, where it says “Lay the pastry circles on one of the sheet pans …. being sure to RESERVE AS MUCH LIQUID AS POSSIBLE. Adding too much liquid to the pies will get messy”. Does that mean I am reserving as much liquid OUT of the pie? Or what am I reserving it for? Thanks.

    • 11.16.17
      Laura said:

      Hi Patsy! Sorry for the confusion – yes, you’ll want to keep as much liquid as you can out of the pie filling. Otherwise they’ll leak out quite a bit when baking. It’s yummy stuff, and you can reserve the liquid for something else or discard (you won’t need it again in this recipe). Hope that helps! Enjoy! 🙂

  17. 11.13.17
    Sarah said:

    The pastry can be made without using a food processor too right? And is there a big difference if I don’t brush the cream on top before baking?

    • 11.14.17
      Laura said:

      Hi Sarah! Yes, absolutely. It will take a little bit longer, but you can absolutely use a pastry blender, or a large fork, or even your fingers in a pinch. Just be sure to work quickly so that the dough stays cold. The cream gives the pies a nice shiny, golden crust, but you can omit if you’d like to. Enjoy!

  18. 10.16.17
    Maureen K. Cosentino said:

    Can these be frozen? If so, how do you defrost them so that the dough won’t be wet? Thank you.

    • 11.14.17
      Laura said:

      Hi Maureen! You’ll actually want to bake them from frozen for the best results. Assemble the pies, wrap tightly before freezing, then brush with the cream before baking. Hope that helps! 🙂

      • 9.21.18
        Dea M said:

        when baking from frozen, should they be defrosted first?

        • 9.23.18
          Laura said:

          Nope! Just bake from frozen.

  19. 8.11.17
    Dawn said:

    I always put some scoops of ice cream on the top!

  20. 6.25.17
    Jen Zalucky said:

    I bake. A. LOT.
    My kids and extended family tell me I should go on a baking show. (I’m not quite that good but good enough.) My great grandmother gave me a rolling pin and pie plate for my 12th birthday and I was taught the art of making pie dough. Every single recipe I’ve ever tried uses a ratio of flour:fat with less fat than this one. They’re all wrong. For hand pies, this is far and away the best recipe I’ve ever used. I worked it with my hands a little more than I typically do (never a food processor), and I split the dough into 2 separate disks for chilling. I baked on a parchment lined HIGH QUALITY aluminum pan at 350*. Even my brother, who has eaten a lot of my pies, announced, “this is money, right here.”
    It will go to the front of my recipe book, for sure. DELICIOUS.

  21. 11.23.16
    eve said:

    Thank you for saving my thanksgiving. I made this pie with apples we dried at the end of summer. I couldnt believe I made this from scratch. My mother in law can’t wait to test these pies. The crust was soon good. Thanks again for sharing

  22. 10.30.16
    Rebekah said:

    Made these today and they are out of this world! The dough is light, flaky and flavorful. Apples were perfect.
    made the mistake of building them before apples were fully cooled so tore the pastry a bit. Next time I will TRY to be more patient. Thanks for sharing!

  23. 7.31.16
    Ashley said:

    Hello! I just wanted to say, that this recipe turned out great! The dough is awesomely delicious – after trying and buying a dozen different tasteless doughy crusts, this one finally is a winner! It’s super tasty, enough so that my husband was actually eating some of it raw! 🙂

    I threw in some cinnamon, clove and allspice into the dough to spice it up a little and mixed it by hand with a pastry cutter since I don’t have a large enough food processor. In addition to the apple filling, I also used some blueberry and cherry pie filling I canned last year. I noticed the dough was a tad crumbly, next time I’ll add a bit more water as mentioned in the recipe, and perhaps even chill the dough overnight like I do for my sugar cookie recipe.

    At any rate, these were awesome and it’s definitely a recipe I’ll be making again. Thank you so much for sharing!!

  24. 10.19.15
    Ma Toscano said:

    I loved this whole recipe but the crust was by far the best I have ever made!
    As I got the ingredients together I was a bit hesitant with the 2.5 sticks of butter required – my reaction was “this crust better be worth it”. It was even better than I expected!
    The dough was so easy to work with and the taste was great.
    I notice you said it could be used as a pie crust – I am assuming it would be good for a 2 crust 9 inch pie?
    Thanks so much for sharing!

    • 10.19.15
      Laura said:

      Thank you so much, Ma Toscano! Yes, the pie pastry recipe also works for a 9-inch double crust pie.

  25. 7.23.15
    Kathy said:

    Look great – can you bake ahead of time and keep them – for kids lunches – some what like the Hostess pies

  26. 7.20.15
    Steph said:

    What r the nutrion facts for this recipe.

  27. 11.14.14
    Sharon said:

    These would be gorgeous on a Thanksgiving dessert table. I wondered if I could make them now and then freeze them to bake right before the big day.

    Your photography is beautiful!

    Sharon

  28. 11.6.14
    Brenda said:

    Can the hand pies be sent through the mail? If so, how would you package them?

    • 11.6.14
      Laura said:

      Hi, Brenda! I would honestly be really nervous to mail these. They aren’t terribly fragile, but I don’t know how you would keep them from getting smashed. Also, depending on how far you send them, they may not keep fresh…

  29. 10.25.14
    Robn said:

    I am having a party for 50 people and would love to make the dough and apples ahead of time and then bake the day before the party. Do you think I could make the dough and then keep in the refrigerator for 4-5 days, prepare the apple filling, refrigerate and then use it a few days later? Would you reheat the apples or could I just use them cold?

    • 10.28.14
      Laura said:

      Hi Robn! You can definitely make the dough in advance – although I would freeze it if you plan to make it more than a day or two before baking. Wrap it very tightly in a couple of layers of plastic wrap. The day of, place it in the fridge and proceed with the rest of the recipe. As for the apples, I’ve never prepared the filling in advance, and I probably wouldn’t make them any sooner than the night before (they will release a lot of liquid). They can be used cold, no need to reheat. Hope that helps! I’d love to hear how they turn out!

  30. 10.18.14

    These apple hand pies are perfection. I could eat one of these hand pies for dessert every meal of the day. And your photography is gorgeous!

  31. 10.9.14

    Love your photos. What lense do you use? Thanks.

    • 10.10.14
      Laura said:

      Thank you so much, Leanne! I believe those were shot with a Nikon 35mm/f1.8g (dx) lens… I’ve since upgraded my camera/lenses, but that was mostly what I was shooting with then. Email me if you have other questions!

  32. 9.17.14
    Erin said:

    You put “1/4 sugar” in your crust recipe. Do you mean 1/4 cup?

    Can’t wait to try these!!

    • 9.17.14
      Laura said:

      Yes, it should say 1/4 cup of sugar. I’ve corrected the recipe 🙂 Hope you love them!

      • 9.20.14
        Erin said:

        They are delicious! Love love love the crust.

        • 9.21.14
          Laura said:

          Yay! So glad you love them! That crust is great with other pastries too…

  33. 3.16.14
    Kelsey said:

    These were amazing! I used all organic ingredients and honeycrisp apples… I had no nutmeg so I did cinnamon and vanilla extract with a pinch of clove and it still came out delish! Thanks for sharing 🙂 I will forever use your crust recipe!

  34. 3.3.14
    rachel said:

    I am planning a baby shower for my sister. We will have about 40 people. I make pie a lot and thought these hand pies would be cute on my rustic wood and iron cupcake stand! I have to make a lot and I have 3 little boys! Will store bought pie crust work too??

    • 3.3.14
      Laura said:

      Hi, Rachel! Store-bought pie crust will work. I would just double check the package directions in case there’s anything different than my instructions. Hope you all love them!

  35. 12.21.13
    Alisha said:

    Hello, I’m new to this baking thing. When you say cream what do you mean? Really want to try this. Thanks xx

    • 12.23.13
      Laura said:

      Hi Alisha! I’m referring to heavy whipping cream, to brush the tops of the pies with before baking. I’ve updated the wording on the recipe… Let me know if you have any other questions and how they turn out! Merry Christmas!

  36. 11.5.13
    Karen said:

    Yes, I love them – hand pies! Not quite the commitment of a whole slice of pie. They look so fresh and homey. Your photos pop – beautiful work!

  37. 10.30.13
    Analida said:

    These look delicious. Apple pie is a great reason to love fall, and so is the ice cream accompaniment.

    • 11.1.13
      Laura said:

      Thank you, Analida! I love apple pie just about ANY time of year! 🙂

  38. 10.30.13
    Tasha said:

    How do you store leftovers?

    • 11.1.13
      Laura said:

      Hi Tasha, I just put the leftovers in a big air-tight tupperware. For a day or so I think they’re fine at room temperature, but any longer and I would refrigerate them.

  39. 10.30.13
    Haley said:

    These look absolutely divine! Quick question: a friend of mine who makes perfect pie crust recently gave me her recipe. However, she puts egg in her pie crust. Do you think using her recipe with egg in it would work ok for these hand pies? I’m new to this whole thing so I have no idea! Just wanted to get your thought….thanks!

    • 11.1.13
      Laura said:

      Thank you, Haley! Definitely feel free to use your friend’s recipe – I don’t think the egg in the dough will be an issue. I would just make sure to watch the pies ever so often while they’re baking, just in case her dough bakes faster/slower… Let me know how it turns out! 🙂

      • 11.8.13
        Haley said:

        Ok so they turned out fabulously! I doubled the recipe and made half of them apple and the other half blueberry. Everyone loved them! Thanks!

        • 11.8.13
          Laura said:

          Yay! I’m so glad you liked them! What did you do for the blueberry filling?

  40. 10.25.13
    Christina said:

    Looks delicious. My son is allergic to eggs so always on the lookout for egg free desserts. Is it 2 1/2 sticks of butter or 2 1/2 cups butter or is that the same thing as you have 2 1/2 sticks (cups) in the recipe. Also, what apples would you recommend?

    • 10.26.13
      Laura said:

      Thanks, Christina! Sorry for the confusion, I omitted the number of cups! It should be 2 and a half sticks of butter, which translates to 1.25 cups.

      I used a combination of apples – Pink Lady, McIntosh, and Jonagold I believe – but feel free to use whatever apples you have available. I generally look for firm, tart and sweet apples, that can hold their own through the baking process. Let me know how it goes! 🙂

      • 4.26.20

        I think this question has been recently asked regarding the butter amount, but I too find myself confused! If it’s 1.5 cups of butter, it’s 3 sticks, right? If it’s 2 and a half sticks of butter, that’s 1.25 cups of butter…when you get a chance, can you make a clarification in the ingredients for the crust? Thanks!

        • 4.29.20
          Laura said:

          Hi! Yes, there was a mistake in the ingredients list – it should be 2-1/2 sticks of butter or 1-1/4 cups or 10 oz. Sorry about the confusion!

  41. 10.25.13
    Dina said:

    the pies look delish!

  42. 10.24.13
    Laura said:

    These are such gorgeous pictures! How do you reheat after freezing the pies, do they just go back in the oven?

    • 10.25.13
      Laura said:

      Thank you so much, Laura! You have to plan ahead slightly if you know you are going to freeze the pies… I know there are some different schools of thought, but what works for me is to make the pies according to the recipe, but freeze them right before you would brush them with the cream wash/sugar. Then thaw them overnight (in the refrigerator) and add the cream/sugar step and bake as you would normally.

      I know with some pie recipes, you can bake directly from frozen, but I haven’t tried that so I’m not sure how that would turn out… Also, if you’re working with especially juicy apples, sometimes adding just a few teaspoons of flour to the filling keeps it from getting too watery/runny during the freezing/de-thawing step. Let me know if you try them! 🙂

  43. 10.24.13

    These pictures are so beautiful Laura! There’s nothing like apples in the fall, is there?? 🙂

    • 10.25.13
      Laura said:

      Oh, thank you so much, Nicole! I am seriously obsessed with apples at the moment! 🙂

Hi! I'm Laura, the food-obsessed cook, writer, and photographer behind Fork Knife Swoon, where you'll find mostly sweet, seasonal recipes and stories from my Northern Virginia kitchen.

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