These apple hand pies have a delicate crust seasoned with fresh rosemary and thyme. They’re a fragrant treat that will make your kitchen smell amazing! This apple hand pie recipe is a perfectly portioned dessert!
I think hand pies are a great recipe for novice bakers who feel intimidated by homemade dough. It’s an opportunity to get a feel for working with the dough while treating it a bit more like a large cookie.
A large cookie with tasty pie filling. Plus, who doesn’t love a good single serving dessert?
To mix things up a bit, I added some fresh rosemary and thyme to the dough. You can omit these if you’d prefer a more classic apple pie.
As I said, hand pies are great for beginners. However, here are some general tips for working with pie dough:
- Dough is all about butter temperature. If the butter is too warm, the dough will become sticky and difficult to manage. If it’s too cold, the dough might crack when you try to roll it out. You want it to be chilled, but I typically let dough rest for 3-5 minutes after removing it from the refrigerator.
- If at any time the dough becomes too soft and sticky, simply place it in the refrigerator for 10-15 minutes (or longer, if necessary).
- Homemade pie does not need to look perfect. Rustic food is comfort food.
Apple Hand Pies with Rosemary Thyme Crust
For The Dough
- 12 ounces all-purpose flour (approximately 2 1/2 cups)
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, chopped
- 2 teaspoons fresh thyme, chopped
- 8 ounces unsalted butter, cold and cut into small pieces
- 1/3 cup cold water
For The Filling
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- 1 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 cups sweet or tart apples (1 - 2 medium), peeled, cored and chopped (see notes)
- 2 teaspoons fresh squeezed lemon juice, or more as needed
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
For The Topping
- 1 large egg
- 1 tablespoon turbinado sugar
Prepare the dough:
- Place the flour, sugar, salt, rosemary and thyme in a food processor. Pulse several times to combine. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture looks like coarse cornmeal (a few larger pieces of butter are fine). With the machine running, add the water and mix until the dough just begins to come together. Do not overmix.
- Wrap the dough in plastic film, pressing flat into a disk, and place in the refrigerator for a minimum of 60 minutes.
Prepare the filling:
- In a large bowl, whisk together the cornstarch, sugar, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, and salt. Stir in the apples, coating evenly with the dry ingredients. Stir in the lemon juice and butter.
Assemble the pies:
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough as thin as possible, turning the dough after every roll to help prevent sticking. Use a 4-inch round cookie cutter to cut approximately 24 rounds (it's fine if you have more or less, but shoot for an even number). Before re-rolling any scraps, the dough might need to rest in the refrigerator for a few minutes so the butter can firm back up.
- To prepare the egg wash: in a small bowl, briefly whisk the egg with a pinch of salt.
- Brush the outer rim of one of the dough rounds with a light coating of egg wash (I find this easiest to do with a clean finger). Place 2 tablespoons of filling in the center of the dough and immediately cover with a second round. Use a fork to press the edges of the dough together all the way around. Repeat with the remaining ingredients.
- Brush egg wash liberally on top of each hand pie and sprinkle with turbinado sugar. Use a knife to vent 3 small holes on top.
- Bake for 22 to 25 minutes, or until the pies are golden brown on top. Allow to cool briefly before serving.
The hand pie yield will depend on how thinly the dough is rolled. Less hand pies might result in leftover filling, which is delicious when cooked briefly in a small saucepan and served by itself or over cake or ice cream.
I've made this recipe using both sweet and tart apples. Use what you have. If you use tart apples, you may want to decrease the amount of lemon juice to 1 teaspoon. Taste, and add the second teaspoon if the filling still needs some brightness.
The dough can be prepared up to 72 hours in advance.
Please read my full post for additional recipe notes, tips, and serving suggestions!
For immediate help troubleshooting a recipe, please email me using the form on my contact page. I’ll try to respond to urgent questions as quickly as possible! For all general questions, please leave a comment here :)
The Food Hunter says
I’ve never made these but I would love to try.
Love the savory crust to pair with the sweet apples. Such a yummy idea!
Ashley @ Wishes & Dishes says
Bob’s Red Mill is seriously the best ever! I can’t wait to try these!
Oh, these look like the perfect little treats!!!! You got me at “rosemary thyme crust”, to be honest – I’m a sucker for any pie crust that has that extra flavor – herbs, cheese, pepper…
Todd Wagner says
I love the little pie tips – exactly what the novice baker like me needs. Such a fan of Bob’s Red Mill!!
Aysegul Sanford says
You know what I love about this site (and you) the most?? Gorgeous photos aside, I love that you share your knowledge and that I learn something new every time I visit this website.
Your tips on the butter/dough temperature are SO SO helpful Jennifer.
Gorgeous recipe + photos. I always.
Happy holidays my friend. <3
Christiann Koepke says
These look so delicious! I love making and eating pies SO MUCH and this recipe sounds amazing!! Happy Christmas Jennifer!!
Valentina | The Baking Fairy says
I’m a total dweeb when it comes to pie, so I think I’ll have to try making hand pies and see if I fare any better! ;) I am loving the addition of rosemary and thyme right in the crust. These look delicious!
Abby @ Heart of a Baker says
Hand pies are so much less intimidating! I’m still kind of loving on apples, especially when they are paired with this pretty herb-y crust :) I think hand pies need to be part of my Christmas dessert plans!
Adding savory herbs to pie crust enhances the flavors while tempering the sweetness of the hand pies.
Asiya Subani says
Loved the idea of using rosemary and thyme flavors in the apple pie recipe…Can’t wait to try them out…
michelle @ hummingbird high says
yay! these look PERFECT. i haven’t made hand pies in a while, but they’re definitely easier than the lattice variety and just as tasty. bookmarking this recipe for the future!
Marta @ What should I eat for breakfast today says
§These are so pretty and I kind of like the idea that you can grab it in a hand and go. <3
What a joy ! Perfect idea ! Thank you and have a pleasant day !
I would love to try this recipe. Thanks for sharing.