I fell in love with these hand pie molds and knew I wanted to make something special with them. So this recipe for Apple Hand Pies was born and I am also including two bonus variations for Boysenberry and Dark Chocolate and Pumpkin Cheesecake. They are equally as good as the apple with caramel.
I lovingly refer to these as my Caramel Apple Hand Pies. It makes me feel like they are extra cozy in the fall, cause you know, caramel apple season. These are great for fall festivals, hayrides, or Halloween parties.
Apples, butter, caramel, and some spices are all you need to make the apple filling. They get cooked together quickly and as soon as they are cool you can begin assembling the pies.
Below are the ingredients that you will need for the bonus recipes I am including, the Boysenberry and Dark Chocolate and Pumpkin Cheesecake.
Use the JUMP TO RECIPE button at the top of the post, or scroll to the bottom of the post to see the full recipe card with ingredient measurements and instructions.
To make the filling for the Apple Hand Pies I saute the apples in a little butter and some spices. Drizzle in the caramel and stew them down until soft and most of the liquid has evaporated out of the pan. I reserve a handful of the apples and stir them in at the end for a little extra texture.
Then place the cooled apple filling mixture into the pie dough and press it between the mold to form the hand pies. If you don't have these molds, you could alternatively cut circles out and place the filling between two, just be sure to cut some air holes in the top piece. Also, be sure to use a little water around the outside of the pastry to get the top and bottom to attach securely.
At this point, you can bake the pies after resting them in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to firm up the pie dough. You could also freeze them for baking at a later time. I freeze them on a flat sheet pan until firm, then place them in a freezer bag.
When you are ready to bake the pies, brush them with an egg whisked together with a little bit of heavy cream or water, forming an egg wash. I also like to top my sweet pies with some sanding sugar.
Bake the hand pies until they are golden brown and crisp.
Notes & Tips
Things I learned while using the hand pie molds:
I was afraid that using the cookie-cutter side wasn't going to make the pie crust big enough to cover the indent of the filling side. But it actually works perfectly. Simply place the two pieces of crust in the mold and firmly press them together. The pressure will fill the mold and press the crust all the way to the outside.
When making these, find a rhythm and it will go quickly and easily. Turn on some music and don't let yourself get stressed. It can be a little tedious, but again, find a rhythm and you will do great.
Roll your pastry out for the first time, and cut your pie tops. Then collect the scraps and roll the dough out a second time and cut the bottoms. This gives you really nice-looking tops, and if there are any imperfections they will be on the bottom.
Feel free to use any kind of apple you like for the apple filling. Honeycrisp is my favorite so that is what I used. The key is to keep some raw pieces out and fold in after cooking for a little crunch after baking the pies.
For the boysenberry filling, you can use the same recipe and swap the berries for any type of berry. Raspberry, blackberry, or blueberry would all work well.