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Apple Spice Hand Pie Recipe

apple hand pies

It’s finally Fall y’all! This is my favorite time of year, the nights get chilly and the leaves are turning beautiful colors. I also start to get excited for the Holiday season, though it may look a little different this year for lots of us. For me, I know I will still be cooking and baking for at least 4 people this year. Which is my favorite part about the holidays, and nothing gives me the holiday feels quite like apple pie and apple spice! 

I’m so excited to share this recipe! It gives you the classic apple spice flavor you know and love, and puts it in a neat, hand-held package. For us colder weather people, we start to spend more time outside in the fall. This time of year my husband and I get out hiking more, and I love that these pies travel so well. They make wonderful desserts for picnics, or a hearty pick me up on a long hiking trail. I had lots of fun making these and hope y’all do too!

Apple Spice Hand Pies   

        Yield: 9 six inch round pies        Prep Time: About 1.5 hours 

        Inactive prep time: 2 hours        Cook Time: 25-30 minutes    

Dough Ingredients 

3 ¾  All Purpose Flour   

1 ½  tsp. Salt   

3 tsp. Granulated Sugar

1 ½ c. (3 sticks) Very Cold Unsalted Butter

½ – 1 c. Cold Water  

Filling Ingredients

4 Medium to Large Apples (I suggest a mix of half tart & half sweeter apples) 

1 ¼ c. Granulated Sugar (divided) 

2 Tbsp. Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice

¼ tsp. Nutmeg 

2 tsp. Cinnamon (divided)

1 tsp. Ground Ginger

¼ tsp. Garam Masala 

⅛ tsp. Allspice

3 Tbsp. Corn Starch

1 egg (for egg wash)

Making the Dough

In a large bowl mix the flour, salt, and sugar with a fork. Cut the butter into cubes and add to the flour. Using a fork or your hands start to work the cold cubed butter into the flour mixture. I find using my hands to be the easiest way. 

After mixing for a minute or two start to add in the cold water. Start with ¼ c. then mix for another minute, see how the dough is coming together. If there are still bits of flour at the bottom of the bowl add more water, being sure to add small amounts at a time.

Once all the flour at the bottom is mixed in, stop adding water and divide the dough ball in half. Flatten each half into a disc shape, wrap each disc with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight. 

  • If you want to make the dough ahead of time it will last for up to 5 days in the fridge and 2 weeks in the freezer. 

Making the Filling

Once your dough has been chilling for at least 2 hours go ahead and begin the filling. Peel and core the apples, then cut into slices and cut the slices into thirds horizontally.

Add the apples to a medium sized pot along with the nutmeg, ginger, allspice, garam masala, corn starch. 1tsp. Cinnamon, 1c. Sugar, and lemon juice. If you don’t have garam masala on hand, increase the allspice to ¼ tsp. 

Mix with a wooden spoon on medium-high heat until the apples are coated. Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally until the mixture has thickened to a jelly-like consistency, about 5 minutes.

Take the pot off of the stove and set it aside to cool for about 15 minutes. At this time also pull the dough from the fridge and let it warm up just a bit. If using frozen dough make sure to thaw it at room temp for a couple of hours before using.

Assembling the Apple Spice Hand Pies

Alright, here’s where it all comes together! 

Lightly flour a clean work space as well as your rolling pin. Take your first half of dough and roll it out to about ⅛ of an inch thick. Using a large 6 inch round cookie cutter, or if you don’t have one a small bowl turned upside down and a paring knife work well also. Cut 4 circles out and place them on a parchment lined cookie sheet. In a small bowl add a splash of water to the egg and beat with a fork until mixed and set aside.

Put about 2 heaping spoonfuls of filling in the middle of each circle, leaving a ½ inch border. With a pastry brush, paint a thin ring of egg wash along the border. Fold one side of the dough over, taking care not to push out any filling. Press the edges together first with your fingers, then with a fork. Repeat this until all of the dough and filling is used up. Place all of the pies spaced 1 inch apart on 2 cookie sheets and set the remaining egg wash aside. 

You can also do smaller pies, if you choose to do this make sure to not overfill the pies. This results in the pies popping open and oozing out during baking, also increases the chance of soggy dough. 

Once all the pies are filled and sealed, place the cookie sheets in the fridge and let the pies chill for about 10 minutes before baking. During this time you can preheat your oven to 375℉.

Before putting the pies in the oven take a knife and cut 3 slits in the tops of the pies, you can do any pattern or design you choose. Take the remaining ¼ c. sugar and teaspoon of cinnamon and mix them together in a bowl, if you have Raw or Turbinado sugar on hand use that instead of the granulated.

Then, brush the tops of the pies with the egg wash. Be sure to brush over the sealed edge as this helps create a better seal. Sprinkle the tops with the cinnamon-sugar mix as heavily as you choose. Put the trays in the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, rotating them halfway through baking. If baking on 2 separate racks, swap racks halfway through as well. This ensures an even bake and lowers the risk of burning one side.

When the apple spice hand pies are golden brown on top and lightly browned on the bottoms, take them out and let them cool on the trays for about 5 minutes. Then transfer pies to a wire cooling rack or serve them hot. If you do this I recommend using a fork to eat them as the filling may be too hot to bite into. 

  • I found they stay freshest when wrapped individually in plastic wrap. They can be stored at room temp for up to a week. 
  • This filling and dough recipe will also make enough for a 9-inch pie, just change the bake time to 30-45 minutes.
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