It’s definitely the perfect time of year for comforting apple pie, but one with a big lattice crust isn’t what we had in mind. After getting inspiration from the fast-food and convenience store versions, we decided to make our own apple hand pies and fry them up to golden perfection. Apples are cooked down in a cinnamon syrup until they almost transform into a jelly, and a flaky crust seals in the goodness so it literally melts in your mouth.
Frying hand pies requires an extra level of attention. First, you have to be gentle with the dough and make sure there are no rips, otherwise it will fill with oil when frying. Then, when you seal them closed, be sure to push out any air, so when you crimp their edges, the pies are sealed and won’t rip open in the oil. Follow these steps, and you’ll have perfect apple hand pies every time.
Fried Apple Hand Pies
Recipe from the Tasting Table Test Kitchen
Yield: 16 hand pies
Prep Time: 25 minutes, plus cooling time
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes, plus cooling time
For the Filling:
1 pound (2 large) Granny Smith apples—peeled, cored and cut into ½-inch pieces
1 pound (2 large) Honeycrisp apples—peeled, cored and cut into ½-inch pieces
2 cups granulated sugar
2 tablespoons apple cider
½ cup raisins
¼ cup walnuts, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
For the Hand Pies:
All-purpose flour, for dusting
2 batches flaky piecrust
Water, for brushing
Vegetable oil, for frying
Confectioners’ sugar, for garnish
1. Make the filling: In a 6-quart Dutch oven, combine the apples, sugar, apple cider and cinnamon sticks over medium-high heat. Cook until the apples have softened and the mixture has thickened into a gel, 18 to 20 minutes. Stir in the remaining filling ingredients to incorporate, then let cool completely.
2. Make the hand pies: On a clean and floured work surface, roll out the piecrusts, one at a time, until ⅙ inch thick. Using a 5¼-inch round cutter, cut out circles of the dough. You should get 8 circles of dough per piecrust.
3. Spoon 2 tablespoons of the apple filling in each circle and brush half of the outer rim of the dough with water. Fold the dough in half to form a crescent, using a fork to crimp the edges. Refrigerate until ready to fry.
4. In a 6-quart Dutch oven, heat 2 inches of vegetable oil to 350º and line a plate with paper towels. Working in batches, fry the hand pies, flipping once, until golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer to the prepared plate to drain.
5. Let cool slightly, then garnish with confectioners’ sugar and serve.