Apple Ginger Hand Pies

These are like a thousand times better than what you can get at McDonalds….

Apple Ginger Hand Pies |

….says my husband after eating four of these in like 5 minutes. I didn’t know whether or not to be offended or psyched when my husband compared my hand pies to those you can get at McDonalds. I mean, duh. Of course these are better than the overly processed hand pies made famous by the Golden Arches. Mine are homemade. With love, I might add. And the filling is everything you want in a old fashioned apple pie with the surprise addition of crystalized ginger in each bite. Plus they’re mini and who doesn’t love little desserts?

Apple Ginger Hand Pies |

Every month or so I get together with my friend Annalise from Completely Delicious for a day of baking and gabbing. We’d decided way back in December it would be fun to do hand pies and just now got around to making it happen. Heidi from Foodiecrush tagged along this time and we made a fierce albeit messy threesome. When you get three food bloggers together cooking in one kitchen, a mess is sure to ensue. There were cameras, notepads, props not to mention a table covered in flour and pie dough scraps. Each one of us turned out some pretty tasty pies. Heidi made Apple and Pear Chocolate Hand Pies and Annalise made Strawberry Nutella Hand Pies.

Apple Ginger Hand Pies |

I borrowed the idea of adding ginger to the hand pies from my friend Heather who runs a coffee shop and bakery in upstate New York. She makes the best apple pies and her secret ingredient is chopped up crystalized ginger. It’s subtle and you might not even now it’s there if I didn’t tell you. The ginger adds a nice bite and really mellows after cooking. Can we please ignore the bandaid bling in these photos. Somehow I cut the undersides of both fingers while opening a can of tennis balls. No seriously, opening a can of tennis balls. I have never…

Apple Ginger Hand Pies |

Big thanks to Annalise for making the pie dough ahead of time. It was buttery, flakey perfection. I’ve made my share of pies in the past but none that would win any beauty contests. I watched Annalise as she rolled the dough like a pro and then she coached me on how to make the hand pies. I always learn something(s) when we get together. This is what I took away this time:

1. All butter makes for a seriously tasty pie dough. Raw and baked respectively.
2. Don’t be afraid to use a s*$t ton of flour when rolling out a pie crust.
3. Egg wash makes the crust shiny and golden.
4. German Chocolate Cake makes for a perfectly acceptable lunch. (Thanks, Heidi!)

Apple Ginger Hand Pies |

It’s always fun cooking with friends as most of my work is usually done solo. I love the chatting that goes on while we do our thing. Big thanks to Annalise for capturing a few photos of me in action. Good thing I decided to take a shower and put on a nice shirt before getting together this time. I usually show up in a t-shirt and sweats with no make up in sight. I’m hoping next time we get together it will involve some homemade pasta or possibly biscuits. Either way it will be delicious and I’ll be sure to share!

Apple Ginger Hand Pies |

Have a great weekend everyone! Sunday’s are the perfect baking days in my mind. So get after it. Bake some hand pies, watch the Olympics and then devour the hand pies that are sure to put McDonald’s to shame.


Apple Ginger Hand Pies

  • Yield: 12 hand pies 1x


For the pie crust:

  • 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, cold and cut into cubes
  • 1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon cold water

For the hand pies:

  • 2 cups peeled, cored & diced granny smith apples (about 2 medium)
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons crystalized ginger
  • 1 egg + 1 tablespoon water for egg wash
  • coarse sugar for sprinkling (optional)


To make the pie crust:

  1. Place the flour and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Add the cold, cubed butter and pulse a few times to break them up. With the food processor running, add the cold water and pulse until the dough becomes crumbly and starts to stick together. Dump the dough out onto a clean surface and gather into a ball. Shape into a disk and cover in plastic wrap. Chill for a least 2 hours in the fridge.

To make the hand pies:

  1. Preheat oven to 400F degrees. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper or silicone baking sheet.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine diced apples, lemon juice, cinnamon, sugar, flour, and crystalized ginger.
  3. On a generously floured surface, roll the dough out into a large circle about 1/4 inch thick. Use a 3-inch 4-inch round cutter to cut dough into rounds. Spoon a heaping tablespoon of apple mixture onto half of the circles. Brush edges lightly with the egg wash and then top with the other half of the dough circles and gently press to seal. Use the back of a fork to press a decorative edge around the pies. Cut vents into the top of each pie.
  4. Brush tops of hand pies with egg wash and sprinkle with coarse sugar. Bake until crust is slightly golden and filling is just starting to bubble through the vents.
  5. Remove from oven and let cool slightly before serving. Hand pies are best the day they are baked but will keep at room temperature for a few days.
  6. You can reheat the hand pies in a toaster oven set at 325 degree for just about 5 minutes.