Cinnamon Apple Hand Pies are mini versions of a favorite pie. These handheld pies are a great for a grab-and-go treat!
I would bet that I’m not alone in having a soft spot for apple pie. Its classic flavor is pure comfort food. I’ve certainly made and enjoyed my share of them over the years, but I have an even softer spot for these Cinnamon Apple Hand Pies. How can anyone resist a mini version of a favorite dessert?
When I tell you that these are simple little pies, that applies to not just the preparation but the ingredients and the flavor. Instead of a whole list of spices, we’re just sticking with cinnamon here. There’s not much added sugar, but instead the flavor and natural sweetness of the apples is the focus.
The dough for these pies is one of my favorites. It’s so easy to make and such a dream to handle. And I give it big bonus points for the cream cheese. I like to make traditional pie dough by hand with a pastry blender or just my hands, but this dough comes together so well in a food processor, that I never make it any other way. Just add the ingredients and let the food processor do all the work in about a minute.
For something a little different, I like to add a bit of cinnamon to the dough. It amplifies the flavor a bit and also adds just a touch of darker color to the dough. You can certainly omit the cinnamon in the dough if you like. We are big cinnamon fans around here, so I don’t often pass on a chance to add a little more.
The filling for these pies consists of apples, brown sugar, and cinnamon. That’s it! For these small pies, I recommend chopping the apples into small pieces. They fit inside the dough better and make eating them a little easier, too.
I’ll offer one quick tip about how many pies to expect from this recipe. The yield will be affected by how efficiently you can cut out the dough. You can re-roll the dough scraps, but I recommend only doing that once for the best results. I can usually get 18 to 20 pies, depending on how diligent I am about efficiency.
I love these Cinnamon Apple Hand Pies for a grab-and-go sweet treat, a simple addition to a dessert table, or even fancied up with a scoop of ice cream and a little caramel sauce. They’re versatile enough to fit most any situation.
Cinnamon Apple Hand Pies are mini versions of a favorite pie. Made simple with an easy crust and a simple flavor focus, these little guys are a favorite!
For the dough:
1 cup (226g) unsalted butter, cold and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
8 ounces (226g) cream cheese, softened and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 & 1/2 cups (300g) all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
For the filling:
about 2 medium apples, cut into small chunks (about 1/2-inch)
2 tablespoons firmly packed light or dark brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
For assembling the pies:
1 large egg
1 tablespoon water
sanding sugar, optional
To make the dough:
Place the butter, cream cheese, flour, cinnamon, and salt in the bowl of a food processor.* Pulse for about a minute, or until a dough forms.
Divide the dough in half, and form each portion into a disc. Wrap each disc in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes. If you need to refrigerate longer, then you may need to let the dough sit at room temperature for about 5 minutes before rolling it out.
Preheat oven to 375°F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone liners.
Place one disc of the chilled dough on a lightly floured surface. Roll the dough to 1/8-inch thickness. Use a 4-inch round cutter to cut the dough into rounds. Gather and re-roll the remaining dough once as needed. Repeat with the remaining disc of dough.
To make the filling and assemble the pies:
Combine the apples, brown sugar, and cinnamon.
Place the dough rounds on the prepared pans. Spoon about 1 & 1/2 to 2 tablespoons of filling onto each round, leaving about an 1/4-inch border.
Combine the egg and water to make an egg wash. Lightly brush the outside edges of the dough rounds with the egg wash.
Fold over each dough round to form a half circle. Press the edges together, and then use a fork to seal the edges.
Make a slit in the top of each pie. Brush with egg wash, and sprinkle with sanding sugar. (You won't use all of the egg wash.)
Bake 18 to 22 minutes, or until the pies are golden brown. Cool before serving.
*I have an 11-cup food processor, and it's just the right size. A smaller capacity likely would be too small. You can also mix this dough using a pastry blender, a fork, or your fingers.
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27 Comments on “Cinnamon Apple Hand Pies”
2018 is going to be my year for hand pies and am definitely adding this recipe to the list. There are a couple things on the recipe that I am curious about – the brown sugar in the apples and the cinnamon in the crust (both of which I have not used in this manner before). Love trying new things and this fits the bill. They look marvelous, Jen!
Do you have a favorite type of apple to use for this recipe or apple baking in general? Thanks!
I do, Nicole! I have updated this post to include a link to The Best Apples for Baking. I most often use Gala, Fuji, or Pink Lady.
These look amazing! How far in advance could these be made and would you store them in the fridge or on the counter? Thanks!!
Hi, Jennifer. They’ll keep tightly covered at room temperature for a few days. Longer than that, and I would refrigerate and re-warm when you’re ready to serve.
Oh, they just look to die for! Portable apple pies are the future.
Hi Jennifer. I’ve seen pie crust recipes using cream cheese and have not tried them because of the cream cheese. Is its taste dominant in the crust?
Hi, Ann. I don’t find the flavor dominant. I like the soft texture of this crust a lot.
Have you ever tried making the pie dough ahead of time? Have you ever cut out the circles and stored in the fridge overnight before filling the next day?
Hi, Akiko. If you want to make the cutouts and chill those, you may just need to let them sit at room temperature for a few minutes until they’re easier to handle. If they’re too cold, it may be tough to get them to seal properly. If you chill the un-rolled dough for an extended time, then I’d also let it sit at room temperature for about 10 minutes so it will be easier to roll.
Jennifer, Did you peel the apples? I’m looking at your pies and thinking I want to try them with a single slice of apple. I’ll try them both ways (single slices and cubed) and see which way I like them best.
Hi, Pat. I don’t usually peel apples for baking, but it’s just a matter of preference.
love that these are small and sweetened with cinnamon and apples rather than too much sugar, thank you for this recipe!
Would it be faster to use a cookie scoop and roll out individual rounds then cut and reroll the dough? Mom says her pie dough gets tough the more you reroll it. It might look more rustic that way. Just a thought. I’m new to pie making.
Hi, Cindy. I’ve never tried that. Chilling the dough before you roll it should help it from becoming tough. Also, I only gather and re-roll once.
I’ve always frozen apple pies before baking if I want to make them ahead of time. Would that be your recommendation for these hand held pies, too?
I’ve not tried it, but I think that would be okay.
Did this work out?
I just got done making these today they are so good
I’m glad you liked them, Lesley!
The crust is everything! It is the best crust I’ve ever made! Highly recommend this recipe.
Thanks, Sarah! This is one of my favorite crusts. It’s so good and so easy to handle!
Thank you Jennifer for sharing this recipe!
Recipe says 1 cup of butter. So it is 2 sticks of butter plus 8 oz. of cream cheese? I’m just asking to double check because it seems for 2 1/2 cups of flour most crust would only have 1 stick of butter.
Hi, Nicole. The recipe is correct. This is one of my favorite crust recipes, and I’ve made it many, many times just as described in the recipe. It’s a bit different than a traditional pie crust, but it’s so very good!
Thank you for replying! Maybe since they are baked instead of fried they need the extra butter.
You can also use a traditional pie crust if you prefer. I just usually prefer this cream cheese version for making small pies.