These salted caramel apple hand pies are perfect for a dessert bar! Sweet cinnamon apples and homemade salted caramel sauce all bundled up in flakey pie crust.
A dessert bar is one of my favorite ways to serve up sweets for holiday get-togethers. Everyone gets a little bit of everything and you can do it pot-luck style. Need more ideas for a dessert bar? Take a look at these: sugared pecans, chewy peanut butter chocolate chip oatmeal bars, red velvet brownies, mint double chocolate cookies, or maple glazed soft pumpkin cookies.
Big Time! In the recipe card at the bottom, click the number of servings this makes (9), a slider will pop up and allow you to slide the number of servings over as high as 20. OR you can hit the 2x or 3x buttons to go up to 27.
A hand pie is pie filling wrapped in pie crust and folded into a hand-held size.
Yes. Because I like to do things on a budget and you need so little for this recipe, I made my own salted caramel. But if you're short on time - breeze right on by steps 2 and 3 of the recipe.
Yes. I have always had a difficult time finding pre-made gluten free pie crusts, but you can make your own. Try this recipe from King Arthur.
There are a couple ways to avoid this. (1) Don't overfill and over stretch the dough. (2) Use the beaten egg to seal the edges well, in addition to using a fork to crimp the outside edges tightly.
🥘 Ingredients and Substitutions
Get out your shopping list or check your pantries, here's everything you need to make these little hand pies.
- 1 (9-inch) pie crust - or use your favorite pie crust recipe
- Raw sugar (optional - adds a little extra sweetness and crunch to the tops of the pies)
- Lemon juice (you'll need about ½ a lemon)
- Sea salt
- Green apple (Honeycrisp works well too, but may not be as sweet)
- Warm half and half (heavy cream works great too, just make sure it's warmer than room temp!)
- Egg (beaten really well)
- Melted butter
How to make homemade salted caramel sauce:
QUICK TIP: Before you start the caramel sauce, make sure both the butter and the half and half are warmer than room temperature. If they are too cool, they could potentially solidify the melted sugar and ruin the batch.
STEP 1: Melt the sugar. Heat a small sauce pan over medium and add the sugar. Let the sugar warm up for about 1-2 minutes.
Then start stirring. Fold the sugar that has begun to melt on the bottom to the top to avoid burning and uneven melting (see #1 below). Stir constantly and let it continue to cook evenly and melt completely (see #2 below).
STEP 2: Add the butter and half and half. Reduce the heat to low and slowly drizzle the melted butter into the sugar while stirring vigorously (but not so much that it splashes - there is no burn as bad as a sugar burn).
The butter will cause the mixture to bubble up quite a bit, that's totally normal, just keep stirring! If the butter separates from the sugar, whisk quickly to incorporate.
Next slowly pour in the warm half and half and bring to a low simmer. Simmer for 1-2 minutes until the sauce has thickened then remove from heat.
SEASON THE APPLE SLICES
Make sure the apples are cut very thin, mine were about ⅛-inch or a bit smaller. Add the slices to a small bowl along with the lemon juice, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Toss them with your hands to evenly coat all the slices.
ASSEMBLE THE HAND PIES
STEP 1: Cut the individual crusts. Make sure you let the crust sit out on the counter for 15 minutes so that it can come to room temp before unrolling. Then roll it out on a lightly floured surface.
STEP 2: Layer the caramel sauce and apples. Use a 3-inch biscuit cutter or cut around anything that's 3 inches like a ramekin. You should get around 9 out of a 9-inch pie crust.
Spread about ¼ - ½ teaspoon of the salted caramel sauce out on each of the circles. Place 2-3 apple slices over the sauce, then top with a another ¼ teaspoon.
STEP 3: Seal the pies and crimp. Dip your finger in the beaten egg and run it around the diameter of the crusts.
Fold the crust in half and pinch tightly closed with your fingers. Place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment. Then use a fork to crimp the edges.
STEP 4: Coat in egg wash and raw sugar. Brush each pie with the beaten egg, generously and on every edge you can find. It makes them crispy and shiny. Sprinkle them with raw or turbinado sugar.
⏲ Cooking Time and Temperature
Bake the pies for in a 375˚ Fahrenheit oven for 18-20 minutes or until the crust is golden brown and firm. Allow them to cool for 10-15 minutes until serving. Serve with the remaining caramel sauce.
Store these hand pies at room temperature for up to 3 days, or refrigerated for up to 5 days.
Salted Caramel Apple Hand Pies
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons butter (melted)
- ⅓ cup half and half (warmed)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 Granny Smith apple (peeled and sliced thin)
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- pinch of nutmeg
- 1 9-inch pie crust
- 1 egg (beaten)
- 1 teaspoon raw sugar (optional)
- PREPARE: Let the pie crust come to room temperature. Preheat the oven to 375˚ Fahrenheit and adjust the rack to the center position. Line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- MELT THE SUGAR: Heat a small sauce pan over medium and add the sugar. Let the sugar heat up for about 1-2 minutes, then begin folding the sugar that has melted on the bottom to the top. When the sugar starts to clump up, stir constantly until it has completely melted. This should take about 5-7 minutes.
- FINISH THE CARAMEL SAUCE: Reduce the heat to low and slowly drizzle the melted butter into the sugar while continuing to stir. If the butter separates from the sugar, whisk quickly to incorporate. Next slowly pour in the warm half and half and bring to a low simmer. Simmer for 1-2 minutes until the sauce has thickened then remove from heat.
- SEASON THE APPLES: In a medium bowl, toss together the apple, lemon juice, cinnamon, and nutmeg and set aside.
- CUT OUT THE CRUSTS: On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pie crust and use a 3-inch biscuit cutter (or cut around a bowl or glass) to cut out circles in the pie crust. You should be able to get 8-10 out of one pie crust.
- ASSEMBLE PIES: Drizzle ½ teaspoon of caramel sauce on one side of the pie crust circles. Top that with 2-3 apple slices, then another ¼ teaspoon of caramel sauce. Run a bead of beaten egg on the perimeter of the crust with your finger or a brush.
- SEAL THE HAND PIES: Fold the crust in half, over the apples and sauce. Use a fork to press the hand pie closed. Arrange the pies on the prepared pan. Brush the the top of the pies with the beaten egg and sprinkle with the raw sugar. Pierce the pies 3 times in the center with a knife.
- BAKE: Bake the pies for 18-20 minutes or until the crust is golden brown and firm. Allow them to cool for 10-15 minutes until serving. Serve with the remaining caramel sauce.
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