Easy-to-make hand pies

Published On: Jun 12 2014 03:34:51 PM EDT
Updated On: Jun 15 2014 12:00:00 AM EDT
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -

Imagine enjoying a slice of pie in the palm of your hand, no utensils needed! Welcome to Husk Nashville where pastry chef Lisa Donovan has the perfect pie on the go for your next cookout or picnic.

“Today I’m going to make some apple butter hand pies,” Donovan said.

First, roll out your dough on a floured surface. You can make it yourself or buy it pre-made.

“Pie dough is not that hard to make, so I’m very pro-learning how to make your own pie dough,” Donovan explained.

Water, butter, flour, and a little bit of salt will do it.

“The trick is to know when it’s hydrated enough, so I tend to sort of work the butter in really quickly,” Donovan said. “I just sort of use my hands as a drum and let the moisture kind of absorb into the flour and then I make my dough.”

Next, use a cookie cutter to cut out your desired dough shape. Then, use an egg wash made of one egg and a teaspoon of water beaten together. Your filling comes next.

“You could use preserves or you can pretty much take any fruit pie filling and use that,” Donovan explained.

Fold your dough over the filling. Then, use a pasta cutter or knife along the edge and seal it with the egg wash, vent the pies so they don’t explode, and pop them in the freezer.

“One of the important things about pie dough is to have your dough really cold and have your oven really hot, and then it ends up being this really beautiful, flaky thing that’s almost like a puff pastry,” Donovan said.

Serve them with butterscotch pudding for an extra treat.

Donovan said you could also toss some fresh fruit with sugar and flour as your filling in the pie, just make sure not to use too much or the pie could get soggy and overflow.

Hand Pie and Apple Butter Recipes
(Printable Recipes Here)

Apple Butter
• 12 cups chopped unpeeled apples, preferably Pippin or Granny Smith
• 3/4 cup apple cider
• 1 cup sugar
• 2 teaspoons ground ginger
• 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
• 1 teaspoon grated nutmeg
• 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

Combine the apples and cider in a heavy-bottomed nonreactive 3-quart saucepan, cover, and cook the apples over low heat, stirring occasionally, until very soft, about 8 hours.

Pass the apples through a food mill and return to the saucepan. Add the sugar and spices, cover, and cook the apple butter over low heat, stirring frequently to prevent scorching, until it is very thick, 1 to 2 hours; you want to evaporate all the excess moisture. Remove from the heat.

Transfer to a container and cool to room temperature. Cover and refrigerate if not using right away. Tightly covered, the apple butter will keep for several weeks in the refrigerator. It can be frozen for up to 3 months; thaw in the refrigerator

Apple Butter Hand Pies
• Pie Dough 
• Apple Butter 
• Two Eggs
• 2T Water
• Vanilla Sugar or Regular White Sugar

Roll out pie dough and, using a cookie cutter or the rim of a glass measuring roughly 3-5” inches in diameter. Cut out as many pie rounds as the dough will allow. Chill them in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, whisk water and eggs together to make an egg wash. Set up your “hand pie” building station with egg wash, pastry brush, sugar and a crinkled pasta cutter or a paring knife.

Pulling one round out at a time in order to keep dough chilled, brush the rim of the pie round and fill the center of the round with 1T apple butter. Carefully fold the egg-washed seams together, making a half moon shape. Gently press to seal and then trim with the pasta cutter or knife. Place on a tray in the freezer, adding each hand pie to the tray as you go.

When completed, preheat oven to 425°F. Pull all hand pies out of freezer and with remaining egg wash, brush the outsides and sprinkle with sugar. With a small paring knife, vent the tops of the hand pies with three small slits.

Bake for 12-17minutes until properly browned.

Cool before eating.

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