Fried Apple Hand Pies: A Delicious Homemade Treat

If you’re a fan of apple desserts and enjoy the nostalgic taste of homemade treats, then fried apple hand pies are an absolute delight. These pocket-sized pastries filled with sweet and spiced apple filling are a mouthwatering indulgence. In this article, we’ll explore the world of fried apple hand pies, from their history to the step-by-step process of making them at home. So, let’s dive in and discover the joy of these crispy and fruity treats!

What Are Fried Apple Hand Pies?

Fried apple hand pies are small, portable pastries that are filled with a luscious apple filling and deep-fried to golden perfection. They are typically made with a flaky and buttery pastry dough that encases a sweet and tangy apple filling. These hand pies can be enjoyed as a dessert, snack, or even for breakfast with a cup of coffee. The crispy exterior, combined with the warm and gooey apple filling, creates a delightful contrast of textures and flavors.

The History and Popularity of Hand Pies

Hand pies have a rich history and are a beloved treat in many cultures. The concept of portable pies can be traced back to ancient times when people would use dough to enclose various fillings for easy consumption on the go. In different parts of the world, hand pies go by various names such as turnovers, pasties, empanadas, or calzones. In the United States, hand pies have gained popularity as a comforting and nostalgic dessert, especially in southern cuisine.

Ingredients for Fried Apple Hand Pies

To make fried apple hand pies, you’ll need a few simple ingredients that are easily available in most kitchens. Here’s a list of what you’ll need:

  1. Pastry Dough: You can use store-bought refrigerated pie crusts or make your own pastry dough from scratch using flour, butter, salt, and water.
  2. Apples: Choose firm and tart apples such as Granny Smith, Honeycrisp, or Braeburn for the filling. Peel, core, and dice the apples.
  3. Sugar: Use granulated sugar to sweeten the apple filling.
  4. Spices: Add warmth and flavor to the filling with cinnamon, nutmeg, and a pinch of cloves.
  5. Lemon Juice: A splash of lemon juice enhances the tartness of the apples and prevents them from browning.
  6. Cornstarch: Cornstarch helps thicken the apple filling and prevents it from being too runny.
  7. Egg: Beat an egg to create an egg wash for brushing the pies before frying. It adds shine and helps seal the edges.
  8. Oil: Use a neutral-flavored oil with a high smoke point, such as vegetable or canola oil, for frying the hand pies.

Step-by-Step Instructions for Making Fried Apple Hand Pies

Now that we have our ingredients ready, let’s dive into the step-by-step process of making fried apple hand pies:

Step 1: Prepare the Apple Filling

  1. In a mixing bowl, combine the diced apples, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, lemon juice, and cornstarch.
  2. Mix well until the apples are evenly coated with the sugar and spices.
  3. Set aside the filling while you prepare the pastry dough.

Step 2: Roll Out the Pastry Dough

  1. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pastry dough to a thickness of about 1/8 inch.
  2. Use a round cookie cutter or a small bowl to cut out circles from the dough. The size of the circles will depend on how big you want your hand pies to be.

Step 3: Fill and Seal the Hand Pies

  1. Place a spoonful of the apple filling onto one half of each dough circle.
  2. Fold the other half of the dough over the filling, creating a half-moon shape.
  3. Gently press the edges of the dough together to seal the hand pies.
  4. Use a fork to crimp the edges for a decorative touch and to ensure a tight seal.

Step 4: Fry the Hand Pies

  1. Heat oil in a deep skillet or frying pan over medium heat.
  2. Carefully place the hand pies in the hot oil, a few at a time, making sure not to overcrowd the pan.
  3. Fry the hand pies for about 2-3 minutes on each side, or until they turn golden brown.
  4. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the fried hand pies to a paper towel-lined plate to remove excess oil.

Step 5: Serve and Enjoy

  1. Allow the fried apple hand pies to cool slightly before serving.
  2. They can be enjoyed warm or at room temperature.
  3. Dust the hand pies with powdered sugar, if desired, and serve them as is or with a scoop of vanilla ice cream for an extra indulgence.

Tips and Tricks for Perfectly Fried Hand Pies

To ensure your fried apple hand pies turn out delicious every time, here are a few tips and tricks:

  1. Chill the Dough: Before rolling out the pastry dough, refrigerate it for at least 30 minutes. This helps prevent the dough from becoming too soft and sticky.
  2. Keep the Filling Moisture-Free: Make sure the apple filling is not too watery. Excess moisture can cause the hand pies to become soggy during frying.
  3. Properly Seal the Edges: Use a fork to firmly press and crimp the edges of the hand pies. This ensures a tight seal and prevents the filling from leaking out during frying.
  4. Maintain the Right Oil Temperature: Keep an eye on the oil temperature while frying. If the oil is too hot, the hand pies may brown too quickly on the outside while the filling remains undercooked. If the oil is too cool, the hand pies will absorb more oil and become greasy.
  5. Fry in Small Batches: Fry the hand pies in small batches to maintain the oil temperature and ensure even cooking. Overcrowding the pan can result in uneven browning and a greasier final product.

Serving Suggestions and Variations

Fried apple hand pies are delightful on their own, but you can enhance the experience with a few serving suggestions and variations:

  1. Glaze or Drizzle: For an extra touch of sweetness, you can glaze the hand pies with a simple powdered sugar and milk glaze. Alternatively, drizzle some caramel sauce or melted chocolate over the pies for a decadent twist.
  2. Add Nuts or Dried Fruits: Consider adding chopped nuts like pecans or walnuts to the apple filling for added texture and flavor. You can also include dried fruits such as raisins or cranberries to complement the apple filling.
  3. Experiment with Spices: While cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves are classic spices for apple pies, feel free to experiment with other warm spices like cardamom or ginger to create unique flavor profiles.
  4. Serve with Ice Cream: Serve the warm hand pies with a scoop of your favorite ice cream flavor. The contrast between the hot hand pie and the cold ice cream is simply divine.

Healthier Alternatives and Dietary Considerations

If you’re looking for healthier alternatives or have specific dietary considerations, here are a few options:

  1. Baked Hand Pies: Instead of frying, you can bake the hand pies in the oven for a healthier version. Brush the pies with an egg wash and bake them at 375°F (190°C) for about 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.
  2. Whole Wheat or Gluten-Free Dough: Use whole wheat pastry flour or a gluten-free flour blend to make the dough if you prefer a healthier or gluten-free option.
  3. Reduced Sugar: You can reduce the amount of sugar in the apple filling or substitute with a natural sweetener like maple syrup or honey.


Fried apple hand pies are a delightful homemade treat that combines the comforting flavors of apple pie with the convenience of a portable pastry. With a flaky crust and a warm, sweet apple filling, these hand pies are perfect for any occasion. Whether you enjoy them as a dessert, snack, or on-the-go treat, they are sure to satisfy your cravings. So, roll up your sleeves, gather your ingredients, and embark on a delicious culinary adventure by making these irresistible fried apple hand pies!


Q1: Can I make the apple filling ahead of time? Absolutely! You can prepare the apple filling in advance and refrigerate it until you’re ready to assemble the hand pies. Just make sure to cool the filling completely before storing it in an airtight container.

Q2: How long can I store the fried apple hand pies? Fried apple hand pies are best enjoyed fresh and warm. However, if you have leftovers, you can store them in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days. To reheat, place them in a preheated oven at 350°F (175°C) for a few minutes until warmed through.

Q3: Can I freeze the hand pies before frying them? Yes, you can freeze the assembled hand pies before frying. Place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, making sure they don’t touch each other. Freeze until solid, then transfer them to a freezer-safe bag or container. When ready to fry, simply thaw them in the refrigerator overnight and proceed with the frying instructions.

Q4: Can I use a different fruit filling? Absolutely! While apple filling is traditional, you can experiment with other fruit fillings such as cherry, peach, or blueberry. Adjust the sugar and spices according to the fruit you choose.

Q5: Can I make mini hand pies instead of regular-sized ones? Yes, you can make smaller hand pies by using a smaller cookie cutter or by cutting the dough circles into smaller sizes. Adjust the frying time accordingly, as smaller hand pies will cook faster.

Remember, the joy of making fried apple hand pies lies in the process itself. So gather your ingredients, embrace your inner baker, and indulge in the deliciousness of these homemade treats!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *