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.
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📖 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.

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

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53 Comments

  1. My Mom always baked hers, and you can bet we kids kept count to make sure we got our share. All-time favorite!

    1. My Mother also baked hers. They were filled with the fruits from her garden and trees. Sugar Plums were my favorite, apricot and strawberry. They were scrumptious.

  2. Mother always made hers with dried apples. My favorite is made with fresh pears in the fall. We’ve always used canned biscuits, the cheaper ones do best and always fried them. But I will try baking them next time.

  3. These look so good! My grandmother always made fried pies using dried apricots. I will have to give these a try soon.

  4. I see you’ve already addressed lard. I was thinking as I read that Miss Bernice probably made her pie crust using lard and then fried in lard. Lard made the best flaky crust.

    Somewhere in a box here we still have the remnants of the watch Mr. Clayton gave my MIL Miss Alberta for Christmas back in the days before he married Miss Bernice and Alberta married Mr. Idus.

    1. You’re right, of course. I’m quite sure she would have used lard but I didn’t think of it while I was writing the post. I remember Miss Alberta and Mr. Idus so well. When I was a child we attended Pine Grove Baptist Church where she played piano and he always assisted with the offering. Such sweet, sweet people.

  5. Haven’t stopped in for a while, but whenever it’s time to check in, you always have a recipe that harkens to all things one loves about the South. A hand pie so good it’ll make you slap yo mama!

    1. Nice to see your smiling faces around here again! Stop by any time and I promise to have something good cooking up for you.

  6. I do like your thinking Lana…ie the ice cream justification! They look fabulous and you know…most pies are oven baked without complaints; why not these cute little things??!!

  7. These look amazing! Can you believe I’d never even heard of fried pies before this?

  8. yum, like these little pies though they seem like a tease… we seem to have made them about twice the size – peach and strawberry are my two favorites and then there is the yam…. hey, are the onions coming on yet?

    1. I’ve never had a fried strawberry pie, Drick, but I like the idea of that! You can use most any fruit that you can cook down into a filling, so why not. The Vidalias? We have the baby ones fresh in the stores right now but the regular ones won’t be ready for a while yet. I think they expect a good crop this year.

  9. Oh how I love fried apple pies but what a great idea to bake them! I’ll have to try these out. :) They look sooo good.

    1. Hi Lindsey – of course these don’t have that wonderful fried flavor, but they’re pretty darned good! Hope you like them.

  10. Mmmm. Fried pies. The aunties in my family always made the apple and peach and also sweet potato fried pies using a biscuit dough, rather than pie crust, and fried them in lard. Heavenly!

    1. You know, on second thought, my Aunt Bernice probably fried hers in lard, too. That was what was typically used for frying back then. And it does give a very nice taste to those fried pies :-)

      1. So sorry, Gay! There was a small technical problem that I’ve corrected now. You should see the recipe at the bottom of the post.