These puff pastry apple hand pies are a quick and easy shortcut to satisfy a pie craving with flaky buttery puff pastry enveloping sweet and gooey apple pie filling.
Tell me I’m not the only one out there that thinks that the name “hand pie” suggests some weird cross between the famous American Pie scene, a sexual act and just good old fashion pie.
I mean, I get it. They’re a pie that fits in your hand and you eat them with your hand, unlike regular pie. But, it just feels wrong as it coms out of my mouth. Sometimes people refer to them as turnovers, empanadas or a pasty. Honestly, I much prefer any of those names to hand pie.
Anyway, let’s talk about these glorious little, albeit weirdly named things called apple hand pies.
Here’s the deal in a nutshell:
- They’re the perfect lazy man’s pie.
- They’re incredibly quick and easy to make
- You can pretty much fill a hand pie with whatever you want and you don’t have to fuss with a crust because store-bought puff pastry is the perfect option.
Sounds good, right?
My husband has a love affair with apple pie. So being the good wife that I am, I thought I’d make him something I know he loves when he came home from a recent four day trip.
You could put ten pounds of chocolate in front of the man and he’d pay it no attention (I’m not sure how I overlooked this obvious flaw when agreeing to marry him) but an apple pie in that same situation would be demolished in about a day and a half.
So, I figured with plenty of apples on hand, I’d create my own little apple hand pie treat for him using the convenience of puff pastry.
The puff pastry is as easy as thawing, rolling out and cutting circles with the rim of a glass — or a round cookie cutter.
The apple pie mixture is as easy as finely chopping and throwing every fall spice you have in a sauce pan. Your house will pretty much smell like the best seasonal candle you can imagine except the result will be edible.
A little egg wash on top makes them deliciously golden brown and the result are perfect little bites of wannabe apple pie also known as the apple hand pie.
Ingredients to make puff pastry apple hand pies
- Sheet of thawed puff pastry
- Lemon juice
Want to know a secret to make these hand pies even easier? You could absolutely use apple pie filling from a can instead of making your own. Much like these pumpkin pie bites though, I always prefer spicing and sweetening my own fillings to taste but these shortcuts can be helpful in a time crunch.
*Pro tip — Did you forget to thaw the puff pastry ahead of time? Don’t worry, it’ll come to room temperature in about 45 minutes. Don’t attempt to thaw it in the microwave!
How to make apple hand pies
Preheat the oven to 375°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone baking mat.
Roll out the sheet of puff pastry until it’s about half its original thickness. Use a round cookie cutter or the rim of a glass to cut out circles.
Combine the cornstarch and water in a small bowl and stir until dissolved. Set aside.
In a small sauce pot over medium heat, add the apples, sugar, lemon juice and spices. Stir to combine and cook until the apples start to soften, about 5-7 minutes. Pour the cornstarch mixture into the pot and stir until the apples start to thicken. Remove from the heat and set aside.
Spoon about a tablespoon of the apple pie mixture into the center of the puff pastry rounds. Fold the puff pastry over and pinch the sides together. You can also use the tines of a fork to seal the puff pastry around the edges.
Brush the tops and edges of each apple hand pie with the beaten egg and bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown. Enjoy warm!
Why you’ll love these hand pies
- They’re portable and perfect for parties or gatherings.
- Making a big batch for a crowd is super easy thanks to the use of puff pastry.
- If you loved toaster strudels as a kid (they were the best!), these will totally give off those vibes. You can even make these hand pies in rectangles instead of half circles for that toaster strudel or pop tart appearance.
What are the best apples to use for hand pies?
When baking with apples I always like to choose a sweet and tart variety such as Honeycrisp, Fuji or Gala. Granny Smith are also great as their tart nature combines with the sugar and spices really nicely.
How to prevent soggy bottoms
As the pies sit in the oven, the juices from the apple filling will sink and can lead to a soggier than desired puff pastry bottom. To avoid this, spoon just the apple filling and not that much of any accumulated juice from the sauce pot into the puff pastry when preparing.
What’s the best way to store this puff pastry apple hand pie recipe?
You’d think refrigeration might result in soggy puff pastry but these hand pies are best stored covered in the refrigerator for up to a few days. To reheat, pop them in the toaster oven or air fryer to crisp back up.
They can also be frozen and then thawed overnight in the refrigerator.
More bite-sized apple treats to enjoy
If you love these apple hand pies, try these no-bake apple cinnamon cookie bites as a worthy fall treat that hovers somewhere between snack and dessert.
If you make and love this recipe, please leave a ★★★★★ review below! I’d love to know how it goes. Leave a comment below if you have any questions. Tag @runningtothekitchen on Instagram & Facebook.
Puff Pastry Apple Hand Pies
- 1 sheet puff pastry thawed
- 1 apple diced
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon cloves
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 2 1/2 tablespoons water
- 1 egg beaten
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silpat.
- Roll puff pastry sheet out with rolling pin until it’s almost half the original thickness.
- Cut out circles with a round cookie cutter or the rim of a glass.
- In a small bowl, combine cornstarch and water and whisk together. Set aside.
- In a small sauce pan over medium heat, combine remaining ingredients and cook for 5-7 minutes until apples start to soften.
- Add cornstarch mixture and continue cooking until liquid cooks off. Remove from heat, set aside.
- Spoon about a tablespoon of the apple mixture onto the puff pastry circles.
- Fold the puff pastry over creating a half circle and pinch the sides together. Place on the prepared baking sheet.
- Brush each hand pie with the egg wash.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For the most precise nutritional data use your preferred nutrition calculator based on the actual ingredients you used in the recipe.
Gina Matsoukas is the writer, founder, photographer and recipe developer of Running to the Kitchen — a food website focused on providing healthy, wholesome recipes using fresh and seasonal ingredients as much as possible. Her work has been featured in numerous media outlets both digital and print, including MSN, Huffington post, Buzzfeed, Women’s Health and Food Network.