Hand pies are my very favorite kind of pie, with plenty of tender, buttery crust and delicious pockets of filling. These flaky and golden cranberry apple hand pies feature a jeweled cranberry apple filling flavored with a splash of brandy – bourbon, amaretto, or a touch of vanilla extract would be equally delicious here.
With an all butter crust that bakes up perfectly golden and delicious, these handheld treats are ideal for your fall and holiday gatherings. Dust with powdered sugar or top with vanilla ice cream before serving (and for even more hand pie love, don’t miss my apple hand pies and pecan hand pies).
- 2 1/2 cups flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tsp sugar
- 1 cup cold unsalted butter, cubed
- 1/4 to 1/2 cup ice water
- 1 cup cranberries, fresh or frozen
- 1 cup peeled and diced apples
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 Tbsp brandy
- 1 1/2 Tbsp water
- 1 tsp arrowroot starch (or cornstarch)
- 2 Tbsp sugar
- 2 Tbsp heavy cream
- 2 Tbsp sugar
- For the crust, combine flour, salt, and sugar in a food processor. Add cubed butter and process for 10 seconds, just until the mixture resembles coarse meal. With the food processor running, add 1/4 cup ice water in a steady stream through feed tube. If needed, add additional ice water 1 tablespoon at a time, and process just until dough holds together in large clumps (no more than 30 seconds). Divide dough into two equal portions. Wrap each portion in plastic and flatten slightly to form a disc. Chill in the refrigerator at least 1 hour (or up to 2 days, or place in a freezer bag and freeze up to 1 month).
- For the filling, combine cranberries, apples, sugar, salt, brandy, and water in a medium sauce pan. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly, until cranberries begin to split open. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until fruit has softened. Add arrowroot starch and simmer for 1 to 2 minutes, until mixture has thickened. Transfer to a bowl and chill until ready to use.
- Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Place one disc of dough on a floured board and dust dough with flour. Roll out until dough is about 1/8″ thick (If dough starts to stick, use a floured bench scraper to gently lift dough from board). Use a 3 1/2-inch round fluted biscuit cutter to cut out 12 circles of dough (re-roll scraps once). Place circles on baking sheet and chill in the refrigerator for 15 minutes. Repeat with second disc of dough and preheat oven to 400°F.
- To assemble hand pies, place 2 teaspoons of filling in the center of 12 chilled circles. Sprinkle filling with sugar. Brush edges of the pastry very lightly with water. Use a sharp knife to cut vents into remaining circles, and place over the top. Seal the edges of each pie by crimping with a fork (dust fork with flour first). Chilled assembled pies in the refrigerator for 10 minutes.
- Just before baking, brush hand pies with cream and sprinkle generously with sugar. Bake for 26 to 30 minutes, until golden brown. Cool hand pies on baking sheets for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Make ahead: Freeze assembled hand pies on a baking sheet, then transfer to a freezer bag for storage. When ready to bake, brush with cream, sprinkle with sugar, and bake directly from the freezer, adding 1-2 minutes to baking time.
Keywords: Cranberry, Apple, Pie