Cakes, Pies & Tarts, Dessert

Spiced Apple Hand Pies

Nicoletta October 13, 2016

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Spiced Apple Hand Pies, enticing us with its aromatics of cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom and brown sugar, caramelizing the apples in a light, flaky pie crust. Best part, hand held.

Spiced Apple Hand Pies

Spiced Apples Hand Pies: cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom to warm up your heart and give flavor to crispy, succulent, tart apples. They are enveloped in a flaky, light and crumbly pie crust, that is so comforting when eaten right out of the oven, hot in your hands and lips, a lovely, spicy aroma emanating when you break them open.



Forget about crunchy leaves under your steps, yellow hues, and temperatures hitting at least 14° C. Fall is no longer with us, even though the calendar says it is. The warm, soft colors of Fall have been replaced by the stark, sharp white glow of winter, like a blank canvas waiting for new creativity to begin. It is in these times that we crave cozy, soothing foods.

Behind the scenes of these Spiced Apple Hand Pies.

As usual, I bake using what we have on hand. The apples were from my in-law’s apple tree, winter apples fallen prematurely from the tree and that sparked in me the idea of making hand pies. Why hand pies? Because I had a pie crust dough leftover from a previous recipe, and also the thought of having something like a miniature apple pie in your hands. No fuss, no mess.

Spiced Apple Hand PiesSpiced Apple Hand PiesSpiced Apple Hand Pies

If you have the pie crust ready, homemade or store-bought (but homemade is always better), half the work is done. The apples are simply caramelized in a pan with the spices, some butter, and brown sugar and by the smell coming up from the pan you’d want to eat them right there, forget the crust. However, the perfectionist in me wants to complete the task and so, in comes the rolling out of the dough, and cutting cute small disks, waiting to pocket those beautiful caramelized spiced apples.  Into the oven they go and you’re hit with a second craving as the scent of the buttery sugary dough lingers making you again want these right away. But patience prevails and time goes forth and finally, they’re done and out of the oven to cool. Well, I didn’t wait for them to cool, I cracked one open and ogled my creation. Into my mouth it goes as I enjoy the wonderful crust and the beautiful spices of cinnamon, nutmeg and cardamom all infused in the caramelized juices of the apples. And those apples, oh my, spiced and gently softened but still maintaining their plump texture, a nice compliment to the crispy surface of the dough.

Spiced Apple Hand PiesSpiced Apple Hand Pies

It’s nice to be able to have a dessert or snack like this, handheld, no plate, no fork, just two or three bites and you’re done, or are you? 🙂

Song of the day: KT Tunstall, “Black Horse And The Cherry Tree”.

Spiced Apple Hand Pies

Spiced Apple Hand Pies

  • Author: Nicoletta
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 9 hand pies 1x
  • Category: Sweets
  • Method: Baking


Spiced Apple Hand Pies, enticing us with its aromatics of cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom and brown sugar, caramelizing the apples in a light, flaky pie crust. Best part, hand held.



Basic all butter pie crust (makes 2):

  • 6 Tbsp (90 ml) ice cold water
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 Tbsp (15 ml) lemon juice
  • 3 cups (750 ml) all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 1 Tbsp (15 ml) raw can sugar
  • 1 tsp (5 ml) salt
  • 1 cup (250 ml; 2 sticks) cold, unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch (1 cm) cubes

Spiced apples:

  • 3 apples, peeled, cored and diced
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • pat of butter
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • pinch cardamom
  • Egg wash (1 egg beaten with 2 tablespoons water)


  1. For the pie crust follow directions here.
  2. Preheat the oven to 375° F.
  3. In a bowl stir together the diced apples, brown sugar, and lemon juice.
  4. Heat a skillet over medium-heat with a pat of butter. Add the diced apples mixture and the spices to the pan and stir to combine. Cook until the butter is melted and the apples are soft and a bit caramelized.
  5. Transfer the apple filling to a mixing bowl to cool.
  6. Roll out the dough to a large rectangle about 1/8 inch thick and cut out circles (I used a 2.5-inch biscuit cutter), until you have 9 circles.
  7. Place them on a baking sheet and spoon a tablespoon of the apple filling in each.
  8. Place another dough circle on top of the filling and crimp it down with a fork until the edges are sealed. Repeat this until all the dough is used up.
  9. Cut a small X (or whatever shape you like) on top of each unbaked pie.
  10. Brush with egg wash. Sprinkle with vanilla sugar.
  11. Bake in the middle of the oven for about 30-40 minutes, or until golden.
  12. Let cool for few minutes on a baking rack.
  13. Serve possibly warm.
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Spiced Apple Hand Pies

From the archive of Sugarlovespices we found this fellow recipe for you: VEGAN MAPLE SPICED APPLE AND RAISIN GALETTE

Maple Spiced Apple Rustic Crostata

Disclosure: All links in our post are NOT affiliate links. They are only about products or places we normally purchase and like.  

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  • Avatar
    Reply Demeter | Beaming Baker October 13, 2016 at 12:34 pm

    “cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom” <– this is all I need right now! Love the gloriously cozy and comforting picture you painted of enjoying these delicious apple pies in the middle of winter–I mean "fall." You're so right, Nicoletta, the temperatures are dropping so fast, it's amazing to think that it's still technically fall. Either way, I'd love to sit down with at least a dozen of these and cup of warm chai. 🙂 These hand pies are absolutely beautiful! I hope you and Loreto have a fantastic weekend! <3

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta October 13, 2016 at 1:16 pm

      There’s more snow in the forecast, unfortunately. These hand pies are sure helping me to forget about it, at least for a while 😉 . Love the idea of enjoying them with a cup of warm chai. Loreto says “hi”, you have a great weekend, too!

  • Avatar
    Reply Marisa October 13, 2016 at 4:40 pm

    Nicoletta, these apple hand pies are delicious little bites of goodness!! I love the scent of cardamom in baked goods which reminds me I do not use it enough…perfection 🙂

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta October 14, 2016 at 7:55 am

      Thanks Marisa, you’re so nice! I love the scent of cardamom,and the flavors it brings to baked goods. Here it was perfect with cinnamon and nutmeg.

  • Avatar
    Reply Dawn - Girl Heart Food October 14, 2016 at 6:28 am

    I love ‘no fuss, no mess’. Plus, these are absolutely adorable being handheld! Love all the fall flavours going on here. I may have to eat just more than one, though 😉

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta October 14, 2016 at 8:09 am

      Thank you Dawn! They were adorable and so delicious, they were gone in no time 😉 . Gotta bake some more soon!

  • Avatar
    Reply Jo-Anna October 14, 2016 at 10:05 am

    I love the idea of hand pies but have never made them, I actually can’t believe it…they’re the perfect way to enjoy pie! I love your recipe with all the delicious spices of fall. I’m with you though on fall being gone, we’re actually under a winter storm warning!

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta October 14, 2016 at 2:45 pm

      They indeed are, Jo-Anna, thanks! You could still smell those wonderful spices for hours after baking. Snow blizzard here!

  • Avatar
    Reply Pallavi October 14, 2016 at 10:10 am

    What I love about hand pies is their size. I am more of a cake person but these are almost like eating cookies stuffed with fruit. I can do that! Really nice recipe and spice combinations. Love cardamom!

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta October 14, 2016 at 2:46 pm

      Thanks Pallavi! I love anything hand sized or finger food. These are just the right size. I love cardamom too!

  • Avatar
    Reply Amanda Orlando October 14, 2016 at 10:12 am

    These are so cute! What a great idea for parties, everyone could have their own little personal pie. Thanks for the recipe inspo

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta October 14, 2016 at 2:47 pm

      You’re welcome Amanda. Thank you for stopping by! They would indeed be a great party dessert idea 🙂 .

  • Avatar
    Reply Colleen Milne October 14, 2016 at 10:51 am

    These look wonderful, Nicoletta! I love the cardomom in there and no, I wouldn’t be done with 2-3 bites. Beautiful photos too.

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta October 14, 2016 at 2:49 pm

      I know, Colleen! I didn’t stop either 😉 . Thanks for leaving such a nice comment!

  • Avatar
    Reply annie@ciaochowbambina October 14, 2016 at 1:03 pm

    Oh, I just love everything about these adorable hand pies! And your apple mixture is calling my name!

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta October 14, 2016 at 2:50 pm

      Annie, thank you so much! We enjoyed them all 🙂 .

  • Avatar
    Reply Justine @ October 17, 2016 at 7:14 pm

    Hey guys! Seems like everyone had apple spice on the brain last week — and I love the way you’ve worked with those flavours here in these adorable hand pies. They’re just so cute and I love the medley of spices you have going on here. Enjoy your apples from your neighbours tree — I’m already thinking about what else I’m going to make with mine! 🙂

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta October 21, 2016 at 9:25 am

      Hello Justine! It’s that time of the year for making spiced apples. We made quite a few more recipes with it, and we still have a full bag of apples left 🙂 . Thanks so much for stopping by!

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