Apple or Blueberry Hand Pies, also Mini Pocket Pies, make fruit, berry or apple turnovers, made with a homemade pie filling and crust or store bought.
Fruit Hand Pies
I don't know about you but frankly, as I get older I prefer these small hand pies to large, traditional pies and I have for a long time. I actually think the small fruit hand pies taste better in an odd way.
Ok that sounds a bit ridiculous but it is kind of true in my opinion. Maybe I have just made so many pies over the years.
My husband totally disagrees with me and loves traditional pies, but then his grandmother used to make him a fresh homemade pie every time she saw him. He adored her and as a result adores pies to this day!
That being said he will eat these fruit hand pies at a rapid pace, no matter what kind of filling I use or what is sprinkled or drizzled on top of them.
I have also always wanted to try a puff pastry braid and I think my husband would 'em too!
Regardless, right now I am just loving everything mini and these mini fruit hand pies are absolutely wonderful! Whether you are making apple turnovers with a pie crust or include whatever fruit you desire, you will be glad you did.
A different spin on totally classic comfort food! These Apple or Blueberry Hand Pies freeze beautifully so it becomes super easy to take out what you need and you get to enjoy your favorite kind of pie or pies whenever you want!
You can do everything you did, well almost everything, with a large 8 or 9 inch pie in a round 4 inch mini fruit hand pie! Really.
Served warm or cool, all by themselves or with a scoop of ice cream, you will definitely not be disappointed.
Just you wait and see!
With this recipe you are also able to use canned or store bought pie filling and/or refrigerated pie dough. The results will also impress you and will definitely take less time but we will get to all of that shortly.
Best Hand Pies Recipe
These Apple or Blueberry Pocket Pastries or Hand Pies are easily portable, perfect for kids and adults alike, and so tasty, no matter which fruit filling you choose to use.
Our hand pie recipe can be made and is eaten for breakfast, dessert and on special occasions. Frankly, any excuse will do to make these mini pocket pies at any time of the year.
My personal favorites are blueberry and apple turnovers with pie crust but you can use any fruit in season, or that you have on hand, to make an incredible pie filling for your own hand pies.
I love combining berries to make the best berry hand pies and boy oh boy are they good. Raspberries and Blueberries create the best berry hand pie in my opinion. Peach and Raspberry are another personal favorite. You have so many options, truly.
You may find that these mini hand pies are so good you are better off freezing some of them and luckily they freeze beautifully. Better to freeze some than to eat them all.
I have to do it myself otherwise they will all disappear and I can't blame my husband, son and his friends all of the time, even though it makes me feel better to do it! ?
Recipes with Pie Crust
This is one of my favorite recipes with a pie crust, especially a homemade pie crust, and this recipe was love at first sight and I kid you not!
I remember watching my grandmother make pie crust after pie crust until I became old enough to help her. Then, I remember standing on the chair so I could use the rolling pin and roll out her dough.
She had the patience of a saint. I am lucky because I learned to make pie crusts from her. As a matter of fact I learnt to make incredible pies from her as well, both sweet and savory like my Grandma’s Bacon Cheeseburger Pie.
Making a homemade pie crust can be intimidating even though it really shouldn't be. Making these mini apple or blueberry pies means no fork, spoon or even a plate is necessarily needed.
You are looking at gaining some experience making the dough except with this recipe you will not need a single pie plate!
Tips to Make Homemade Pie Dough
In a good sized mixing bowl, combine flour, cold butter cut up into pieces and salt.
My best friend puts the bowl with everything in it into her fridge to cool before blending together. Flour, salt and all. Then, after about and hour, she starts to mix it all together.
She figures it buys her more time just in case she needs to add more flour or water to her dough. A warm dough makes a tough pie crust.
Regardless, add cold water, a tablespoon at a time, cutting with whatever tool you are using until you achieve an almost gravel like texture.
Too much water or not enough will potentially ruin your dough which is why you MUST add cold water slowly.
I usually place a measuring cup at my workstation with a spoon and an ice cube or two in it just to keep the water as cool as possible. You don't need to do it, just a suggestion.
Also, have a look at our video or the photograph below if you have any questions about what your gravel should look like!
Before I owned a dough cutter I used a large fork so do not despair if you don't own a dough cutter a fork will also get the job done!
Then, using your hands, knead the gravel into a ball as quickly as possible as your hands give off heat and you want your dough to remain as cool or cold as possible.
If your dough ball does not hold together or is cracked all over you need to add a little extra water at a time until the issue is resolved.
If your dough is really sticky, add more flour, a little at a time, until no longer a problem.
In both instances you also need to be careful not to overmix your dough too. You are hoping to see little bits of cold butter still in your dough. Don't panic. This isn't as difficult as it sounds. Really.
Once your dough ball is smooth and holds together, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for a minimum of 20 to 30 minutes or up to 2 days, if not a little bit longer.
Cold dough will not spread as much while baking and these Apple or Blueberry Hand Pies need to look as amazing as possible!
When ready to make these hand pies, remove your dough ball from your fridge and place on a lightly floured surface. Start to roll out your dough from the center of your dough ball until you end up with a terrible, somewhat uneven, looking circle.
As you roll your dough adjust it regularly to make sure it isn't stuck to your cutting board or whatever you are rolling on. If it starts to stick just add a little more flour underneath it.
Your dough should easily adjust without you needing to stretch it to move it around. My grandmother always said that a stretched dough will shrink while baking and she is correct!
If at any time your dough starts to crack dip your fingers in the cold water and simply smooth out the cracks, running your wet finger directly over top of the crack until it disappears or is sealed.
Perfect pie crusts can sometimes be intimidating but it shouldn't be. It's as simple as getting some cold butter mixed into flour with a bit of cold water in the right proportions, in the right way.
After you make this dough the first time you won't be as stressed about it at all! If you even were to begin with.
Blueberry Pie Filling
In a small pot, combine blueberries, sugar, and cornstarch.
Stir and mash everything up and heat over medium for 10 minutes until nice and thick.
Set aside off heat and allow to cool until it is time to scoop your filling inside each of your Berry Hand Pies.
This easy pie filling can be prepared up to two days ahead of time, if that makes things easier for you, if stored in an airtight container in your fridge.
I know I refer to this as Blueberry Pie Filling but you really can use any combination of finely chopped or diced raspberries, strawberries and blackberries too!
When I say to finely chop I am mostly referring to the strawberries because the raspberries and blackberries totally break apart as they are being mashed and cooked.
With strawberries I prefer them diced because they will hold their shape somewhat but you can always cut them in half and throw them into the pot. They will mash just as well as everything else.
Regardless, all berries, alone or in any combination, will work and work well. Just talking about it makes me want one so I guess I will have to make a batch of these berry hand pies!
One? Ok who am I kidding, hopefully I will only eat a couple and my husband and son can eat the rest! ?
Apple Pie Filling
In a small pot, combine apples, cinnamon (if using) and brown sugar.
Cook over medium high for about 10 minutes while stirring frequently until apples are tender. Mixture should be bubbly and thickened.
Set aside off heat and allow to cool somewhat until you are ready to add the filling to your apple turnovers with pie crust.
Unfortunately, you cannot skip this step.
The apples aren't baked in the oven long enough to soften them up so sauteing them beforehand is a requirement! You will thank me while you are enjoying them after your apple hand pies have been baked.
This easy pie filling can also be prepared up to two days ahead of time, if that makes things easier for you, if stored in an airtight container in your fridge.
Choosing the Shape of your Hand Pies
You have the option of using any kind of cookie cutter you want to make these easy, delicious mini pies. That being said you don't need a cookie cutter at all.
We have used cookie cutter triangles, bells, squares, rectangles and even a Santa Claus one year for Christmas. Almost anything will work, just remember you need two of each to complete each pie.
We tried stars one time and most of the filling ended up in the center of the star. I wouldn't use a star again for that reason. Too much dough.
I also don't recommend using anything less than 3 ½ inches in diameter or you will have trouble getting your filling inside and the dough to filling ratio will be unbalanced. In other words, too much dough, not enough filling. Just like the star.
You can also use a 4 inch square cookie cutter if desired. I never have but I don't see any reason not to make a square mini pie!
The important thing to remember here is to use the same temperature and adjust your bake time depending on their size. Remember to poke a couple holes in the top to allow steam to escape and bake until your crust is a golden brown color.
Simple as ever!
Hand Pies with Canned Pie Filling
Don't get me wrong but I have used canned pie filling and refrigerated pie dough in a pinch and although the results were terrific they just weren't the same as homemade berry hand pies or apple hand pies, to me.
I have to tell you that my husband and son could not tell the difference or at least they didn't say anything one way or the other.
Not really a shock to me, however, the important part of this story is that all of the berry hand pies disappeared lightening fast with store bought dough and store bought pie filling.
Consider also adding some extra diced fresh fruit to your pie filling or some extra cinnamon. You get the idea. As always anything goes.
If you decide to use a refrigerated pie crust and canned pie filling, this is how you do it.
Hand Pies with Pillsbury Pie Crust
In order to make Pillsbury apple hand pies, or another flavor, you need to purchase 2 boxes of refrigerated pie crusts that are 14.1 oz each and a 21 oz can of your favorite pie filling or two smaller cans of different pie fillings.
The flavors are up to you but all of them will work and work well.
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees and leave your pie crusts on your counter, out of their package, to get to room temperature or close to it while your oven preheats.
Once you have all of your 10-12 circles you now have two choices.
At your workstation, place your circles and empty your pie filling into a bowl with a small spoon ready.
Scoop a few tablespoons or so of pie filling into the center of each pie crust circle.
Place another circle on top and pinch the edges completely together.
Press pinched edge with the projecting prongs or spikes of your fork to seal up your mini pie.
Poke hand pie with tip of sharp knife two or three times or a dinner fork, to prevent the pie from exploding or breaking open. They don't really explode, steam needs to escape and they will just look awful without the cuts on top.
At your workstation, place your circles and empty your pie filling into a bowl with a small spoon ready.
Scoop about a tablespoon or so of pie filling into the center of each pie crust circle and fold in half.
Pinch the edges completely together.
Press pinched edge with the projecting prongs or spikes of your fork to seal up your mini pie.
Poke hand pie with tip of sharp knife or even a dinner fork once, to prevent the pie from exploding or breaking open.
Brush melted butter, water or beaten egg white over the tops of your unbaked mini pies and sprinkle each lightly with some coarse sugar or cinnamon sugar, if desired.
Place on an ungreased parchment lined cookie sheet.
Bake 15 - 20 for Option 2 and 18-23 minutes for Option 1 or until a light golden brown.
Ingredients in Apple or Blueberry Hand Pies
- cold water
- brown sugar
- cinnamon, if desired
- caramels, cut into 4 pieces, if desired
- blueberries, strawberries, raspberries or blackberries
- butter, egg or water
- cinnamon sugar or coarse sugar
How to make Apple or Blueberry Hand Pies
Make pie crust by cutting together flour, butter, and salt. Add cold water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until you have a gravel like texture.
Then, using your hands, quickly knead into a ball.
Wrap dough ball in plastic, then refrigerate for 20 to 30 minutes to prevent dough from spreading.
In a small pot, combine blueberries, sugar, and corn syrup. Stir and mash everything up and heat over medium for 10 minutes until thick. Set aside.
In another pot, combine apples, brown sugar and cinnamon (if using), and cook over medium high heat for 10 minutes while stirring frequently. Set aside.
Roll out your dough ball to a thin sheet.
Cut circles, or your chosen shape, into the flat dough.
Remember that you need to have an even number of "circles" when all is said and done. One for the top and one for the bottom! Or, if you plan on folding each circle in half, and making your hand pies smaller, you don't have to worry about the number of shapes you cut.
You may have to use your rolling pin, or equivalent, to flatten your remaining dough and get all of the 10-12 circles made.
Feel free to reroll your scrap pieces of dough to create another circle or two. I always do. Waste not want not. I just can't help it.
My husband uses one of our thick, strong, tall glasses to roll out the dough because it is easier than digging out our rolling pin. My close friend uses a bowl to do it. I use my rolling pin!
You need to use whatever you want to roll your dough out flat.
Lay half your circles on a baking sheet lined with parchment or a silicone mat, and put a spoonful of fruit filling in the center of each one.
Sprinkle cut up pieces of caramel on top of the apple filling, if desired.
Top with the other circles, and fold up and over tightly and press all around the edges to seal with a fork.
Brush with melted butter, a beaten egg or water and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar or coarse sugar, if desired. Don't forget to cut slits in the tops of each pie.
Bake at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until a light golden brown color.
How to Make Ahead, Store and Freeze
Can be made 2 days in advance and stored in an airtight container or frozen for up to 3 months.
Thaw overnight in your fridge the day before you want or need to use it.
Pie Crust Dough
Can be made 3 days in advance or frozen for up to 3 months.
If frozen, thaw in your refrigerator the night before you need the dough.
Can be refrigerated for up to 2 days before baked or frozen for up to 3 months.
You don't need to thaw them before baking, just add an extra five minutes or so to baking time.
Baked hand pies can be frozen for up to 3 months in an airtight container.
Thaw in the refrigerator, then bring to room temperature before serving.
Then reheat in the microwave or a 300 degree oven for 20 minutes before serving.
Refrigerated Pie Crust
Prepare your pies and place them on a baking sheet. Instead of putting them in the oven you cover them with tinfoil and place them unbaked into your freezer for at least 2 hours.
Next, individually wrap each pie with plastic wrap, as tightly as possible, then place right into a freezer bag, with as much air removed as you can and into your freezer for up to 2 months.
Baking from frozen, preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Remove the number of pies you want to make from your freezer, discard the plastic wrap and place on a baking sheet with parchment, lightly coated in cooking spray.
Bake covered with tinfoil, lightly coated with cooking spray so it doesn’t stick to the top of your pies, for between 10 and 12 minutes.
Next, remove foil and bake for about another 10 to 12 minutes or until filling is bubbly, crust is golden brown and your pies are heated through.
Timing is only a rough guide depending on the size of your Apple or Blueberry Hand Pies. When they are golden brown they are done.
Allow to cool for 5 minutes before serving.
Serve and enjoy!
Berry Hand Pies
The term Berry Hand Pies represent so many things to me and over the years I use all of these terms interchangeably. My husband figures it is just to confuse him! ?
Seriously though we make raspberry hand pies, blueberry hand pies and blackberry hand pies and sometimes a combination of any of the two.
My husband never knows exactly what he is getting and more often than not I am not even sure what I am making until I do it either!
All I know is that he enjoys them, especially once they are in the oven and they start to smell, he is on top of the time that they are ready! He can't help himself.
We love these mini blueberry or berry pies and enjoy them all year round! In case you enjoy blueberry recipes as much as we do I have listed some of our favorites below.
Making Mini Apple Pie Pockets
The kind of apple or apples you choose is important for you to achieve the best results. Usually, I try and include an apple that is both tart and sweet so the filling doesn't turn out too sweet.
As a result, most apple varieties recommended for baking generally are both tart and sweet.
I prefer to use a tart apple like granny smith in a sweeter dessert but feel free to use your favorite. I haven’t used an apple yet that didn’t turn out beautifully!
Use your favorite apples, we all prefer different kinds and the flavors are all slightly different. Don't hesitate to try your favorite or combine your favorites to make something great!
That being said, there are some apples that don’t cook as well as others and should be avoided for recipes like this.
Best Apples to Use for Baking Hand Pies
My favorites are as follows. These apples are fairly common in my part of the world but for a more complete list you can always check here.
Granny Smith apples are firm, tart, somewhat sour and go beautifully with a sweet dessert like this.
Pink Lady, Jonagold, and Fuji are all firm, sweet and tart.
Fuji, Gala, Golden Delicious and Honeycrisp apples are sweet and also taste wonderful in desserts like this.
Some apples are perfect to eat raw, they just can't take the heat and the cooking or baking process. Using soft, moist apples like Red Delicious will only dissolve into mush.
If you have any question as to whether your favorite apple is good to use I have included a great resource for you below.
The Washington Apple Commission has a fabulous list, including pictures, of every apple. There is a brief history and description of each and most importantly each of their best uses.
It comes in handy when deciding which apple to use in a recipe and which is recommended for baking. Also, which apple freezes better than others.
I have made apple desserts in the past and the apples have just disappeared. They couldn’t handle the heat from the cooking or baking process. Some apples just don’t hold their shape as well as others and this apple resource has definitely come in handy!
Apple Turnovers with Pie Crust
Now that you have decided which apple or apples you are using you will be able to get started preparing your apple turnovers with a pie crust.
Call these delicious little pies whatever you want, Mini Apple Pie Pockets, Pillsbury Apple Hand Pies, Apple Pocket Pies or Apple Turnovers with a pie crust, no matter what you will not be disappointed.
Mini Apple Pie Pockets
I have been making pies, of one variety or another, as far back as I can remember, and so many of them were apple pies.
My grandparents had apple trees and all I had to do was run down to their cold cellar and grab 6 or 7 of them, at any time of the year, and we were good to start!
Back then my grandmother made full size pies and whenever there was dough leftover she would always throw some filling in it and bake it beside the pie. She used it call it pie surprise.
I suppose that was my first exposure to apple pocket pies or mini apple pie pockets. All I remember is watching and waiting for the mini apple pie pockets to cook, even though I knew once it was ready to eat she would always let me know.
Once my sister was old enough she always made two. Awesome memories of my grandmother.
For those of you looking for some other apple desserts to try I have included a list below. Hope you find something else you feel you want to try!
Apple or Blueberry Hand Pies Video
Apple or Blueberry Hand Pies
- dough cutter
- 2 cups flour
- ½ cup butter, cubed or 1 stick
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2-4 tablespoons cold water
- 1 cup blueberries, strawberries, raspberries or blackberries
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon corn starch
- ⅓-1/2 cup your favorite jam works in a pinch too!
Top of Pastry
- butter, melted
- egg white, beaten
- coarse sugar or cinnamon sugar (optional)
- 2-3 tablespoons coarse sugar
- Get out and measure all of your ingredients.
- Make pie crust by cutting and mashing together flour, butter and salt. Add cold water (1 tablespoon at a time until you have a gravel like texture.)
- Then, using your hands, quickly knead into a ball.
- Wrap dough ball in plastic, then refrigerate for 20 to 30 minutes.
Blueberry Pie Filling
- In a small pot, combine blueberries, sugar, and cornstarch.
- Stir and mash everything up and heat over medium for 10 minutes until thick. Set aside.
Apple Pie Filling
- In another pot, combine apples, brown sugar, and cinnamon if using.
- Cook over medium-high heat for 10 minutes while stirring frequently until thickened. Set aside.
Making your Homemade Hand Pie
- Roll out your dough ball to a thin sheet, and cut an even number of shapes or circles into it.
- Place both of your fillings on a rack at your workstation if your pots are still hot.
- Lay half your circles on a baking sheet lined with parchment or a silicone mat, and put a spoonful of fruit filling in the center of each one.
- I use a different edge for my apple filled pocket pies than I do with the blueberry so I can easily tell the difference.
- Top with the other circles, and fold up and over tightly and press all around the edges to seal with a fork.
- Brush with melted butter, a beaten egg or water and cut a couple slits in the tops with the tip of a sharp knife or a fork. Brush with a little melted butter, beaten egg or water to help the crust brown, sprinkle with coarse sugar or cinnamon sugar, if desired, and then bake until golden brown.
- Bake at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until golden and flaky.
- Make sure to rotate the baking sheet once during bake time.
- Serve warm or cool, with or without a scoop of ice cream.
Store bought Pie Filling and Refrigerated Pie Dough
- Purchase 2 boxes that are 14.1 oz each of refrigerated pie crust and a 21 oz can of your favorite pie filling or two smaller cans of different pie filling. The flavors are up to you but all of them will work and work well.
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees and leave your pie crusts on your counter, out of their package, to get to room temperature or close to it.
- Once you have your circles or shapes cut out you now have two choices.
- At your workstation, place your circles and empty your pie filling into a bowl with a small spoon ready.
- Scoop a few tablespoons or so of pie filling into the center of each pie crust circle.
- Place another circle on top and pinch the edges completely together.
- Press pinched edge with the projecting prongs or spikes of your fork to seal up your mini pocket pie.
- Poke hand pie with tip of sharp knife two or three times, to prevent the pie from exploding or breaking open. They don't really explode, steam needs to escape and they will just look awful without the cuts.
- Scoop about a tablespoon or so of pie filling into the center of each pie crust circle and fold in half.
- Pinch the edges completely together.
- Press pinched edge with the projecting prongs or spikes of your fork to seal up your smaller mini pie.
- Poke hand pie with tip of sharp knife once, to prevent the pie from exploding or breaking open. They don't really explode, steam needs to escape and they will just look awful without the cuts.
- Brush melted butter, water or beaten egg over the tops of your unbaked mini hand pies and sprinkle each lightly with some coarse sugar or cinnamon sugar, if desired.
- Place on an ungreased, parchment lined cookie sheet.
- Bake 15 - 20 for Option 2 and 18-23 minutes for Option 1 or until a light golden brown.
- Serve and enjoy!