Recipes » Dessert Recipes » Baked Apple Hand Pies

Baked Apple Hand Pies

These Baked Apple Hand Pies pack all of the sweet, nostalgic fried pie flavors you love into one buttery, flaky, healthier treat!
5 from 9 votes
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Two apple hand pies with vanilla ice cream on a serving plate.

These Baked Apple Hand Pies pack all of the sweet, nostalgic fried pie flavors you love into one buttery, flaky, (and slightly healthier) treat! These easy-to-make pies feature a cinnamon and dried apple filling and are topped with a smooth and silky powdered sugar glaze.

One of the classics of southern cooking is fried fruit pies. Usually either apple or peach, these small, individual pies are a treat that once tasted are never forgotten. Although my Baked Apple Hand Pies aren’t exactly the same, they’re a deliciously updated alternative.

Two apple hand pies with vanilla ice cream on a serving plate.

I think the best fried pie maker in our family was my Aunt Bernice. She was a fantastic cook who could make the most out of simple ingredients of anyone I ever knew.
Tall, light red-haired, and gentle is what I remember about her. An unassuming woman with extraordinary talents in the kitchen, she was as much a mother to my father as was my grandmother.

I can remember her working in her kitchen in the little house on the farm that she and my Uncle Clayton owned. And if I close my eyes and imagine, I can almost smell her fried pies.

She made mostly peach fried pies but sometimes she’d use apples. Just for a change, you know. Of course, hers were always fried. Probably in peanut oil. It was plentiful and inexpensive back then.

I can still see her cutting out the little circles of dough with a tea glass, spooning in the filling, folding each one over, and crimping the edges with a dinner fork. Then she’d slip each little pie into hot oil in a black cast iron frying pan.

After exactly the right amount of time, she’d flip each pie over revealing a perfect golden brown crust. After another few minutes in the hot oil, out the pies would come and onto some brown paper, probably a frugally saved grocery bag, to drain and cool. If you could wait long enough for them to cool, that is.

I was thinking about Aunt Bernice and her famous fried pies a while back. I really wanted to make some for me and BeeBop but I wanted to test whether they could be baked instead.

Not that I have anything against fried food. I don’t. But we do try to only have it in moderation these days.

So I followed a typical recipe up to the frying point. Instead of slipping them into my old black frying pan filled with hot oil, I just brushed them with an egg wash and popped them in the oven. They don’t taste exactly like a fried pie, but they sure are a decent substitute.

❤ Why We Love This Recipe


  • Quick and easy 30-minute dessert
  • Better for you than traditional fried hand pies
  • A great, budget-friendly way to use up extra pantry goods

WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING …

“Oh, what great, wonderful memories you bring back.”
— Colleen B.~TX

🥘 About the Ingredients


Premade pie dough, dried apples, cinnamon, and a few pantry staples are all you’ll need to make this 30-minute dessert.

This post contains affiliate links.

  • Dried Apples – Traditionally, dried fruit, most often apple or peach, is cooked for the filling used in hand pies. Sunrise brand makes excellent dried fruit.
  • Pie Crust – If you have a recipe you like, feel free to use it. If purchasing refrigerated pie crust, I recommend Pillsbury brand.
  • Sugar – Plain, white granulated sugar is all you need.
  • Cinnamon Ground cinnamon is used in the apple filling.
  • Butter – Salted or unsalted, whatever you have on hand.
  • Egg – An egg wash brushed over the pies give them a golden brown and crispy exterior.
  • Water – To reconstitute the dried apples.
  • Glaze – A smooth and sweet mixture of powdered sugar and water or milk.

You’ll find detailed measurements for all ingredients in the printable version of the recipe at the bottom of this post.

🔪 How to Make Baked Apple Hand Pies


Cook the Filling

  1. Place the dried apples, sugar, water, butter, and cinnamon in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until the fruit is tender and the syrup is thick.
  2. Remove the filling from the heat and lightly crush the fruit with either a potato masher or a fork. Set the filling aside to cool.
  3. When the apple filling has cooled, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Cut the Pie Crust

Rolled on pie crust and a cup used to cut circles.
  1. Roll out the pie crust and cut small circles using a cup or glass as a guide.

Fill and Seal the Pies

Collage showing how to fill, fold, and seal the dough.
  1. Place a generous tablespoon of filling on each circle.
  2. Wet the edges of the dough and fold over to completely enclose the filling.
  3. Crimp around the cut sides of the dough with a fork.

Bake the Hand Pies

Now if we were making the old-fashioned fried pies, at this point we’d begin adding each of these into a pan of hot oil.

Prepared pies on a tray being brushed with egg white.
  1. Place the filled pies on a parchment paper lined baking sheet.
  2. Beat the egg together with the water or milk.
  3. Brush each prepared pie with the egg wash. You can also sprinkle lightly with sugar if you like.
Pies after baking for 25 minutes.
  1. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.
  2. Remove from oven and transfer to a cooling rack.
  3. When the pies are completely cooled, mix together the powdered sugar and water or milk.
  4. Drizzle the tops of the pies with the sugar glaze.

Serve with a scoop of ice cream. Why not. You’ve given up the frying :-)

Two apple hand pies with vanilla ice cream on a serving plate.

🔀 Recipe Variations


  • Not a big fan of apple? Feel free to try some other dried fruit fillings! Reconstituted blueberries, peaches, apricots, and cherries all make excellent hand pies.
  • Looking for a way to make these healthy hand pies even crispier? Try air frying them instead of baking! Simply pop a few pies in the basket of your air fryer, spritz with oil, and cook at 350°F for 10 minutes or until flaky and golden brown.
  • Try using canned biscuit dough instead of pie dough! They’re even easier to work with than pie pastry. Roll each biscuit out on a floured surface until it’s quite thin, fill with cooked fruit, and bake.

❗ Tips


Want your pies to look especially pretty and golden brown? Follow the egg wash with a sprinkle of turbinado sugar. It’ll give the finished pies a nice crunch and some sparkle. You can also flip the pies halfway through baking and egg wash the other side to ensure that it browns to golden perfection.

🍚 How to Store and Reheat


Allow any leftovers to cool completely before storing them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Reheat in an air fryer, a 350°F oven, or the microwave until warmed through. Serve with a fresh batch of powdered sugar glaze or other garnish.

🕒 How to Make Ahead


To make the recipe in advance, cook the filling and store it separately in the fridge. Allow about 40 minutes to assemble and bake when ready to serve.

🍽 Serving Suggestions


Use your imagination for creative garnishing ideas. Among my favorite toppings are homemade caramel sauce, candied pecans, a cinnamon sugar blend, and scoops of vanilla ice cream.

❓ FAQs


How do you keep hand pies from getting soggy?

Work quickly so that the filled pies don’t sit at room temperature any longer than necessary. Get them into the hot oven as soon as they’re all filled and ready.

Do you have to cook dried apples before putting them in a pie?

You do. Dried apples have had the moisture removed through the dehydration and drying process. Cooking restores that and returns them to a soft texture.

Do I have to use pie crust?

There are several options other than pie crust for this recipe. Try using puff pastry, Pillsbury crescent roll dough, biscuit dough, or dinner roll dough.

Have you tried this recipe? I’d really appreciate you giving it a star ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating in the recipe card or in the comments section.
AND REMEMBER TO SIGN UP FOR MY FACEBOOK GROUP.
If you’d like to hang out with me and lots of other online Southern Comfort Food lovers, make sure to join my FREE PRIVATE Facebook group.

📖 Recipe

Two apple hand pies with vanilla ice cream on a serving plate.

Baked Apple Hand Pies

These Baked Apple Hand Pies pack all of the sweet, nostalgic fried pie flavors you love into one buttery, flaky, healthier treat!
5 from 9 votes
Print It Rate It Save
Course: Desserts
Cuisine: Southern
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Servings: 9 individual pies
Calories: 200kcal
Author: Lana Stuart

Ingredients

  • 5 ounces dried apples Sunrise brand recommended
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 ½ cups water
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 purchased pie crust
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 4 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons water or milk

Instructions

  • Place the dried apples, sugar, water, butter, and cinnamon in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until the fruit is tender and the syrup is thick.
  • Remove the filling from the heat and lightly crush the fruit with either a potato masher or a fork. Set the filling aside to cool.
  • When the apple filling has cooled, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • Roll out the pie crust and cut small circles using a cup or glass as a guide.
  • Place a generous tablespoon of filling on each circle.
  • Wet the edges of the dough and fold over to completely enclose the filling.
  • Crimp around the cut sides of the dough with a fork.
  • Place the filled pies on a parchment paper lined baking sheet.
  • Beat the egg together with the water or milk.
  • Brush each prepared pie with the egg wash. You can also sprinkle lightly with sugar if you like.
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.
  • Remove from oven and transfer to a cooling rack.
  • When the pies are completely cooled, mix together the powdered sugar and water or milk.
  • Drizzle the tops of the pies with the sugar glaze.

Notes

  • To create a pretty golden brown finish, follow the egg wash with a sprinkle of turbinado sugar. You can also flip the pies halfway through baking and egg wash the other side to ensure that it browns to golden perfection.
  • Allow any leftovers to cool completely before storing them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
  • Reheat in an air fryer, a 350°F oven, or the microwave until warmed through. Serve with a fresh batch of powdered sugar glaze or other garnish.

Nutrition Information

Serving: 1 | Calories: 200kcal | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 22mg | Sodium: 110mg | Potassium: 97mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 24g | Vitamin A: 66IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 11mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is calculated by software based on the ingredients in each recipe. It is an estimate only and is provided for informational purposes. You should consult your health care provider or a registered dietitian if precise nutrition calculations are needed for health reasons.

Share on Facebook Pin Recipe
Tried this recipe? Pin it for Later!Follow @LanasCookingBlog or tag #LanasCooking!

— This post was originally published on April 26, 2011. It has been updated with additional information.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Recipe Rating




53 Comments

  1. OH, what great, Woderful memories you bring back.
    My Aunt Bernice ( my mom’s sister)also made some wonderful fruit pies along with some great tasty creme puffs. ( getting a craving right about now.)
    Just sitting here thinking about them; I can almost smell and taste them. A person could smell the deliciousness through the whole house

  2. Like the looks of this recipe and love the backstory! My mother was the fried pie maker in our family, but unlike your aunt,—she was petite (4’11” and 90 pounds soaking wet). the opposite of unassuming and definitely not gentle. She was funny and smart, but hell on wheels. She always made peach, but the part I love about your recipe is the dried fruit. Mama always said you have to use dried fruit in your fried pies, and she’s right. Fresh or canned just turns to mush with no texture whatsoever. However, like your beloved aunt, she too died way to soon from breast cancer at 67.

    Love your recipes, they often bring back so many memories. I am also from the south (Tennessee) kand I’m guessing we are probably in the same generation.
    Looking forward to trying this recipe!

  3. Oh yum!! I so love that you can just pick these pies up and go to town. I have a feeling I’d be eating way too many… apple pie is my favorite!

  4. Memories…… My aunt was a true southern woman she made fried apples pies. Up to 85 yrs old she always picked apples, cut and laid them out on screens outside to dry. She always made me a big batches every time I came home to visit. I would freeze them and tried to make them last.

  5. I tried these with frozen apples and they turned out really good. I was wondering though about freezing them. Do I freeze before or after baking?

    1. Hi Sarah – I haven’t frozen these so I can’t say for sure. However, I’d think you could do either.

  6. Ahhh – fried pies – memories of my mom and aunt, in the kitchen, working their magic with pie dough, dried peaches and apricots. We would all sit around watching and eagerly waiting for those pies the size of a salad plate to be taken from the skillet and placed in front of us. Making a facsimile of these has been on my bucket list for a number of years and finally I got around to making them for the seniors’ potluck. Of course, they weren’t warm but still had some of that wonderful flavor.

    1. The best of my memories also, with Mom and Aunt Evelyn working as a team producing a great big, warm individual pie for everyone in the house. They also used the dried peaches and apricot mixture.

  7. My mom still makes these and uses her canned apples she “puts up” every year. She just has to add some cinnamon. She uses a saucer size plate to make hers. And bakes hers too. Wonderful treat!!

  8. My aunt in Atlanta used to make these for me years and years ago. She always used the canned bisquits and fried them. I like your baking method and am going to try it.