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November 25, 2013

Apple-Cranberry Hand Pies

Cranberry-Apple Hand Pies | The Crafting Foodie

I came across some beautiful local apples on sale at the grocery store and used them to create apple-cranberry hand pies. Yes, another apple recipe, but I couldn't help myself!

If you love pie (particularly pie crust), and you've never had a hand pie, then you're really missing out! At first, I thought hand pies were synonymous with turnovers, but hand pies are a completely unique treat. They're actually portable, mini-pies with a perfect crust/filing ratio. Each bite is perfectly balanced because there's a nice thick bit of crust for every single morsel of filling.

Cranberry-Apple HandPies | The Crafting Foodie

My family loved these hand-held treats so much that they've sort of turned into an obsession. I made three-dozen, and after giving some away to friends, we had about a dozen left. My five year-old and husband finished all of them within 24 hours of the apple-cranberry hand pies coming out of the oven. To be fair, my husband ate 10 1/2 of them (downing them two at a time).

Cranberry-Apple Hand Pie | The Crafting Foodie

We are a crust-loving family, so maybe that's why these hand pies were such a hit. My five year-old loves pie crust so much that she asked me to make a crust pie for her. Her definition of a crust pie: a pie without filling. Just crust. Sounds pretty good to me. Maybe I'll have to give it a try!

  Cranberry Apple Hand Pies | The Crafting Foodie

Apple-Cranberry Hand Pies

Adapted from Cooks Illustrated

Ingredients for the Pastry Crust

 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp salt

2 tbs sugar

16 tbs cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes

1/2 cup to 1/2 cup plus 3 tbs ice cold water

1 egg white, lightly beaten (for the glaze)

1 tbs sugar (for topping the glazed pies)


Ingredients for the Cranberry Filling

2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries

1/4 cup orange juice

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 cup water


Ingredients for the Apple Filling

3 1/2 lbs sweet apples (6 to 7 medium apples) peeled, cored, and cut into 1/4 inch pieces

1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 cup sugar

1 tbs cornstarch


Instructions for the Pastry

Mix the flour, sugar, and salt in a medium sized bowl.

Cut the cold butter into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse cornmeal with large, uneven clumps of butter scattered throughout the mixture. Start by adding 1/4 of a cup of ice water. Mix with a spatula. Add enough water for the dough to just come together.

Split the dough into two equal pieces and flatten each piece into two disks. Wrap each disk of dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 45 minutes or up to 2 days.


Instructions for the Cranberry Filling

Bring cranberries, sugar, orange juice, salt and cinnamon to a boil in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-high heat.

Cook, stirring occasionally, until the cranberries have completely broken down and the sauce has thickened. An easy way to test for doneness is to scrape a wooden spoon across the bottom of the pot. It should leave a clear trail.

Once thickened, take the cranberry sauce off the heat and stir in the water. Allow it to cool completely.


Instructions for the Apple Filling

Mix the sugar, cinnamon, and cornstarch in a large bowl. Add the apples, and mix thoroughly.

Place in the microwave, and heat on high. Stir the mixture with a rubber spatula in 3-minute increments for up to 10 to 14 minutes. Cook in the microwave until the apples start to turn translucent at the edges and the liquid is thick and glossy.

Cool it completely.


Instructions for Assembling the Hand Pies

Preheat the oven to 425 F

Working with one of the pastry halves at a time. Roll out the pastry dough on a lightly floured surface. Using a 3 1/2 inch round cookie cutter, cut dough out. Re-roll the scraps and cut out additional circles. Continue this process until all of the dough is cut.

Place the pastry circles on a parchment-lined pan. Place a tablespoon or so of the cranberry filling on each pastry circle. Spread the cranberry filling, leaving about a 1/4" border. Next, place a heaping tablespoon of the apple filling on top of the cranberries. Place another pastry circle on top. Using a fork, crimp the two pastry circles together, sealing the edges.

Next, use a paring knife, make slits on the top of the pastry. Brush the top of each hand pie with egg white, and sprinkle with sugar.

Bake for 15 minutes, or until the tops are golden brown. Transfer the pies to a cooling rack, and allow to cool for at least 2 hours before eating.

Yields about 2 dozen pies, each about 3 1/2 inches in diameter.


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Aida, I love pie and these look delicious. You make it look sooo easy; one thing I cannot make is pie crust. I'm pinning these. Have a Happy Thanksgiving. P.S. Your photos are beautiful!

I love that you have already made three dozen, lol! Thank you so much for linking up to Wake Up Wednesdays! I'm featuring these on my FB page today :)

These sound absolutely amazing!

Hi Joan,

Thanks so much! My photography is a work in progress :) Pie crust is one of those kinds of recipes that the more you make it, the easier it becomes. I made my first pie crust when I was ten, so I've had a lot of practice!

We had a wonderful and relaxing Thanksgiving. Hope you and your family did as well.


Hi Lisa,
Thanks so much for the awesome feature! I made another batch of hand pies this weekend to take to a friend's house, and before i could get them out of the house, five of them mysteriously disappeared into my husband's tummy!
I hope you and your family had a wonderful Thanksgiving.


These hand pies look so adorable and delicious! Love the sound of apple and cranberries together. Thanks for sharing Aida :)

Looks absolutely wonderful, who could say no to these delicious & tempting hand pies :)

These look great. Thanks for sharing on Sweet Sharing Monday.

Aida, these look so delicious!! I love your blog and your pictures are amazing!!

I have been dying to make these little pies for so long but couldn't find a good tutorial/recipe until now! Thank you so much for sharing! I'm your newest follower/fan!

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