Apple Hand Pies

Apple Hand Pies are the quintessential fall dessert.  These individual snacks are loaded with a caramel apple filling surrounded by a sharp cheddar pastry dough.  The sum of these components is a mouthwatering treat that is sure to delight!

The combination of apples and cheddar cheese is delicious and the history behind it is very interesting.  For a deeper dive into this unique pairing, check out this link about the what’s really behind this duet.

The process of latticing these little hand pies is very similar to the lattice you might find on an apple or peach pie.  While it takes a little extra time, the results are dreamy!  Give it a try!

Making the dough is fairly straightforward.  Combine the flour and grated cheese in a bowl and add the butter.  Coat the butter in the flour mixture.  

Use a pastry blender and cut the butter into the flour so that you have pea-size pieces of butter throughout.

Add small amounts of ice water mixed with apple cider vinegar to the flour mixture and use your hands to combine until it holds together.  Shape the dough into a rectangle and refrigerate for a few hours.

Roll the dough out on a floured surface into a rectangle around 10″ x 15″.  Fold into a letter shape as shown in the photo above.  Repeat the process two more times and then chill again for a few more hours.  This process ensures the most delicate, flaky pastry ever!

Meanwhile, make the apple filling by placing butter, diced apples, vanilla, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt in a medium pan.  Cook over medium heat until the apples begin to soften, about 3-4 minutes.  Combine sugar and flour and add it to the apple mixture; cook until it has thickened up.  Spread the apples out on a sheet pan to cool.

Divide the dough into two pieces.  Roll one piece into a rectangle 10″ x 15″.  From this rectangle, and using a ruler, cut 9 equal rectangles 3″ x 4″.  Place each one on a parchment-lined sheet pan.

With the other half of the dough, roll it to about the same thickness, but not as wide.  You should have a maximum of 6 inches to create the longest part of the lattice.  I divided my dough in half so that it wasn’t cumbersome to work with.  Using a pizza cutter, cut strips for the lattice.

Working with one pie at a time, take a piece of dough and put it on a piece of parchment.  Spread about 2 teaspoons of filling over it, leaving 1/2-inch of border.

Lay lattice strips over the filling on a diagonal all in the same direction.  Then lattice more strips in the opposite direction.  Or lattice however you prefer…it will all look gorgeous!

To finish, take a sharp knife and cut around the border of the pie so that the lattice is flush with the bottom piece of dough.  This will ensure a seal between the lattice and bottom dough.

Carefully place the hand pie on a parchment-lined sheet pan and repeat process with remaining pies.

Place the pies in the refrigerator to firm up the pastry.  Brush the tops of the pies with egg wash and then sprinkle with coarse sugar.  

Bake the pies at 375°F for 25-30 minutes or until the tops are a deep golden color.

Enjoy these delicious caramel apple and cheddar hand pies warm or at room temperature.  This will become a favorite Autumn snack!

Share Your Thoughts...

Lastly, if you make Apple Hand Pies, be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is one of my favorite things to do!

Apple Hand Pies

Makes: 9 individual servings

Prep Time: 90 minutes

Bake Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 2 hours plus chill time


Pie Dough:

  • 4 cups (470g) all-purpose flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 & 1/2 cups (125g) sharp cheese such as sharp cheddar or aged havarti, finely grated
  • 1 & 1/4 cups cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • 1 cup cold water
  • 1 cup ice
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

Apple Filling:

  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 3 cups (approx 3 medium apples) peeled and diced apple (weight is of diced apple, not whole fruit)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 plus 2 tbsp light or dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 2 & 1/2 tbsp all-purpose flour

To Finish:

  • Egg wash: 1 egg whisked with about 1 tbsp of water
  • Raw / Demerara sugar for sprinkling (optional)


Pie Dough:

Place flour, salt, and freshly grated cheese into a large bowl. Mix to combine. Cut butter into chunks, and add to the flour. Toss lightly to coat.

Working quickly, using a pastry blender or your fingers, cut the butter into the flour mixture until there are only large pea-sized chunks left. You want a few lumps of butter remaining to keep the pastry nice and tender.

Combine ice, water and cider vinegar in a bowl. Sprinkle a few tablespoons of the ice water into the flour and butter mixture, and using a stiff spatula or your hands, mix in well. Continue adding water a tablespoon at a time ( I usually start with about 3/4 cup liquid, mix that in, then go from there and add additional liquid as needed) until you have a dough that holds together well, but is not too wet.

Squeeze together with your fingertips to make a homogenous dough. Shape into a rectangle. Rest in the fridge for one hour.

Roll out the dough on a floured surface into a rectangle, fold it in thirds like a letter, then roll again in rectangle and repeat the folding. Repeat this process one more time. Shape into a rectangle. Wrap tightly in plastic, then leave to chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours, or up to overnight.

Apple Filling:

Place the butter into a medium pan. Add the apple, vanilla, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt, and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the butter and sugar has melted. Continue to cook for 3-4 minutes until the apple has softened slightly.

Combine the sugar and flour in a bowl. Add to the apple mixture and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture has thickened up. Transfer to a sheet pan and leave to cool uncovered at room temperature.


Remove the pie dough from the fridge and divide into two pieces. Wrap one piece up and place back into the fridge until ready to use. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the other piece of pie dough into a large rectangle, approximately 10×15″. This ensures you have enough room to cleanly cut out 9 rectangles.

Using a ruler and a pastry wheel, cut out 10 rectangles, each measuring 3″x4″. Transfer to a parchment paper lined baking sheet and place in the fridge until ready to use.

Roll out the remaining piece of dough into a large rectangle (or you can do this in sections if that is easier).

Aim for about the same thickness as the first piece. Cut lattice strips as desired (you want to make sure that some of them are at least 6 inches long if you are making an angled lattice like I did, to ensure they are long enough to fit). Place your prepared lattice strips onto a parchment paper lined sheet pan and place into the fridge. Squish any scraps back together and place in the fridge until ready to use. You may have to make additional strips, depending on how close you like them spaced.

To assemble the hand pies, it is easiest to work with one at a time. Take a rectangle of pie dough and place it on your work surface (you can lightly flour it or use a piece of parchment). Spread with a little of the apple filling (maybe 2 teaspoons), leaving a space around edges (see image in blog post).

Top with strips of dough all going the same direction (see images), then lattice with the strips going in the opposite direction. Lattice however you like. I find that if there is a lot of overhang on a strip, I can cut it and use it in a different part of the hand pie where a shorter strip of dough is needed.

To finish, take a sharp knife and carefully cut around the border of the pie so that the lattice is flush with the bottom piece of dough. This should create enough of a seal.

Carefully lift up your hand pie and place it on a parchment paper lined baking sheet in the fridge.

Repeat the process with the rest of the pies until you have latticed them all. Use scrap dough to make more lattices if needed. You may have a little filling and pastry left over – feel free to make this into a few more hand pies!

Once all the pies are done, leave them to chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to allow the pastry to firm up. While the pies are chilling, preheat the oven to 375°F.

Brush the tops of the pies with egg wash and sprinkle with sugar if desired. Bake the hand pies for 25 to 35 minutes, until the pastry is deeply golden. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly on the pan then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Serve at room temperature or slightly warm. Store leftovers lightly covered at room temperature. Refresh briefly before eating if desired.

Recipe adapted from Cloudy Kitchen


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