These Southern fried apple hand pies are the ultimate crowd pleaser

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Have you ever ordered a cupcake when what you really wanted was a cup-pie? It hardly seems fair that this incredibly popular dessert doesn’t have a personal-sized counterpart. Well, it does. Meet the hand pie: all the flaky deliciousness of a pie, but small and individually portioned. And not just that — they’re also fried!
These treats are everything you could possibly want from an apple dessert, and then some. And while the process of making the dough from scratch might seem complex, it’s only five ingredients blitzed up in a food processor. And the difference fresh, homemade pie crust makes to these hand pies is monumental. If apple isn’t your thing, you could always add your favorite pie filling instead — pumpkin, cherry, blueberry — the choice is yours!
Cooktop Cove
Southern fried apple hand pies
4 hours 30 minutes
30 minutes
5 hours
½ cup ice-cold water
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour, separated
2/3 cup granulated sugar, separated
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 ½ sticks unsalted butter, very cold and cut into cubes
5 medium Granny Smith apples
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, separated
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
½ teaspoon allspice
½ teaspoon ground ginger
1 pinch salt
Place 2/3 of the flour, 3 tablespoons of sugar and the kosher salt into a food processor, and pulse a few times to combine. Add the very cold unsalted butter cubes and process for 10-12 seconds, or until it resembles sand.
Transfer the mixture into a large mixing bowl and add half of the water. Fold with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon to combine. Add half of the remaining flour and repeat, alternating with the remaining water, until everything is combined and the dough is slightly dry but holds its shape. Form the dough into a thick disk and wrap with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours, but preferably overnight.
Once the dough has chilled at least 4 hours, peel and core the apples, and slice them into ½-inch pieces.
Add the additional butter to a medium saucepan over medium heat. Once melted, add the apples, 1/3 cup granulated sugar, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, the nutmeg, allspice, ginger and a pinch of salt. Cook the mixture, stirring regularly, until the apples are tender but not completely soft, about 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.
Lightly flour a large work surface and roll out the dough to about ¼ inch thick. Use a bowl with a 4-5-inch diameter to trace the shape of the hand pies, cutting 12 circles out with a sharp knife.
Scoop about 1 tablespoon of apple pie filling onto one side of each circle of dough, leaving a generous seam. Brush that seam with a bit of water to help it seal before you fold over the other half of the dough.
Either use a fork to press the edges together or fold over a little at a time. Pinch, as you would an empanada.
Fill a large, deep frying pan with canola or vegetable oil 2-3 inches deep. Set the pan over a high heat. Once the oil has reached 365° Fahrenheit, place no more than three hand pies in at a time, frying until they're browned on both sides, about 4 minutes. Transfer the pies to a paper-towel-lined plate to cool. Repeat with the remaining hand pies, ensuring the oil never gets hotter than 375° F.
While the pies are still warm, combine the remaining teaspoon of ground cinnamon with about ¼ cup of granulated sugar and sprinkle generously over the crusts. Serve warm.
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