These Air Fryer Apple Hand Pies are portable and delicious! With an easy apple pie filling and flaky crust, they’re such a fun Fall dessert with no slicing and little mess. For an added treat, dunk them in homemade caramel sauce!
Three things I love to the moon and back: apples, pie, and miniature food. These apple hand pies hit all the notes, plus they’re made in an air fryer!
There aren’t many things more iconic America than apple pie. Pure comfort food with tart fruit, seasoned with sugar and cinnamon, a flaky crust, and served with vanilla ice cream. YUM. Apple Hand Pies are all that, but wrapped up in fantastic individual packages, which are less mess, easier to serve (no utensils!), and portable.
Ingredients for Apple Hand Pies
Not only are these hand pies easy to assemble, but they only require the most basic ingredients and they’re ready in 20 minutes!
- Pie Crust – you can use refrigerated pie crust for convenience or make my homemade pie crust (you’ll need a double recipe.)
- Apple Pie Filling – buy canned or use my homemade apple pie filling recipe.
- Egg and Water – an egg wash takes seconds to make and will ensure your pie crust sticks together, so the filling doesn’t leak.
- Coarse Sugar – you’ll want to use a coarse/raw sugar for topping, which will give these hand pies a special texture since it doesn’t melt or dissolve into the dough. This hand pie recipe calls for Turbinado sugar, which retains some molasses, giving it a subtle caramel flavor.
How Does An Air Fryer Work?
I made these particular hand pies in an air fryer. They cook up fast, are delicious, crispy, and wonderful!
An air fryer is a kitchen appliance that’s essentially a small countertop convection oven. The top of the unit holds a heating mechanism and a fan, which cooks food by rapidly circulating hot air around it. So it mimics “fried” food that’s nice and crispy, but that’s not deep fried in oil. It’s so much healthier than deep frying. And because of its compact size, it actually cooks food faster.
This hand pie recipe was made using this Phillips model Air Fryer with a basket and requires preheating. If you own a different model air fryer (such as Ninja, NuWave, Dash, etc.), I would suggest doing a test run with just a single hand pie and then adjust the time/temp, if necessary. Air fryers are all similar, but just like ovens, cooking times can vary. My air fryer is also small. If yours is bigger than 3 quart, you can cook more than 2 hand pies at a time, as long as they’re not touching at all.
Can I bake hand pies in the oven?
Sure! These apple hand pies can absolutely be made in a standard oven instead of air fried.
Follow the directions, but instead of placing them in an air fryer, simply place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake in a 400 degree F preheated oven for about 20 minutes or until golden brown and filling is bubbling. (Start checking halfway through to make sure they’re not browning too fast.) Let cool for at least 15 minutes before serving.
- Use homemade apple pie filling instead of store-bought.
- Swap out the apples for a different pie filling like blueberry or cherry!
- Instead of sprinkling with turbinado sugar, after the pies are done cooking and cooled, drizzle with a simple glaze of powdered sugar and milk.
- Dunk them in homemade caramel sauce!
- This recipe has been tested using 5-inch rounds of pie crust, which I think is a perfect, sturdy size hand pie. Feel free to shape into rectangles, if you prefer. You can also use a smaller cookie cutter, but know that the filling and baking time might need to be adjusted slightly. (I would not recommend anything smaller than 3.5 inches in diameter because you can’t fit much filling in a pie that small.)
- You can roll out any excess dough scraps and if there’s enough, form another hand pie.
- Don’t overfill the pies or the seal can come undone.
- Make sure to securely crimp the pie crust edges together, so the filling doesn’t leak.
- Cut vents in the tops of each pie, so that steam from cooking can escape. Otherwise, the excess liquid turns the top crust soggy while causing the filling to get soupy.
Make Ahead / Storing Instructions
You can serve these while they’re warm or room temperature. Or store them until you’re ready to serve.
- Store Baked and Cooled Hand Pies: store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Or frozen for up to 2 months (Thaw in the refrigerator, then bring to room temperature before eating.)
- Store Assembled and Unbaked Hand Pies: can be tightly covered and refrigerated up to 2 days ahead or tightly wrapped and frozen for up to 2 months. Frozen hand pies can go directly into the oven or air fryer (no need to thaw first), but they will require extra cooking time.
Honestly, what could be better than making little portable pies in 20 minutes? Nothing!
How to make Apple Hand Pies
Air Fryer Apple Hand Pies
- 14.1 ounce refrigerated package pie crust (2 crusts) or double my homemade pie crust recipe!
- 1/2 can (21 ounce) apple pie filling (or double the recipe and use the entire can. Or use my recipe for homemade apple pie filling.)
- 1 large egg
- 3 teaspoons turbinado sugar
- Caramel sauce for dipping, optional (<< that link is to my homemade recipe)
- Remove pie crusts from packaging and allow to come to room temperature, per package instructions.
- Cut the pie crusts into 5-inch circles using a cookie cutter.
- Place two slices of apples from the apple pie filling onto the pie crusts on the bottom half of the crust. With a little water on the tip of your finger, moisten the outside edges of the pie crust. Fold dough over filling to form half-moons; pinch the edges of the crust together, then crimp edges with a fork to seal.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the egg with a splash of water. Brush the pies with the egg wash all over the tops.
- Sprinkle ½ teaspoon of the coarse sugar over each pie.
- Make three slits in the crust on the top of the pies.
- Preheat the air fryer at 350 degrees F for 5 minutes. Spray the air fryer basket with nonstick cooking spray.
- Place 2 pies in the basket at a time and air fry for about 10 minutes or until the crust is golden brown and filling is bubbling. Carefully remove and transfer to a wire rack to cool. Repeat with remaining pies. (If your air fryer basket is large, you can cook more than 2 at a time as long as they are not touching at all.)
- Serve with caramel sauce for dipping!
- For recipes tips, variations, storage, and information about baking these in the oven, please refer to the full article.
- This hand pie recipe was made using this Phillips model Air Fryer with a basket and requires preheating. If you own a different model air fryer (such as Ninja, NuWave, Dash, etc.), I would suggest doing a test run with just a single hand pie and then adjust the time/temp, if necessary. Air fryers are all similar, but just like ovens, cooking times can vary. My air fryer is also small. If yours is bigger than 3 quart, you can cook more than 2 hand pies at a time, as long as they’re not touching at all.