Apple Butter Hand Pies

I am always amazed at the variety of new and interesting apples that seem to appear every Fall.  This year, a real stunner was the wine crisp apple—a deep and complexly flavored apple, seemingly inspired by the unstoppable honey-crisp apple.  I created a decadent apple butter that contains five pounds of apples and a full cup of real maple syrup.  These delectable hand pies are sweet, tart, spicy and typically autumnal. The apple butter is incredibly easy to make in a slow-cooker overnight, and the smell that will greet you in the morning is sublime.



  1. Perfect Pie Crust
  2. 5 pounds of peeled and cored apples of your choosing—make sure there are enough baking apples to keep interest, flavor and structure.  I love Cortlands.
  3. 1 cup real maple syrup
  4. 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  5. 2 cinnamon sticks
  6. 2 dried star anise
  7. Freshly-squeezed juice of 1/2 lemon
  8. 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  9. 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  10. 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  11. 3/4 fresh nutmeg, grated
  12. Pinch of kosher salt

For The Top

3 Tablespoons sugar and 1 Tablespoon cinnamon
1 Egg beaten with half and half or heavy cream



  1. Combine all ingredients in a slow cooker and set on high.  Cook for 1.5–2.5 hours or until bubbling.
  2. Remove the cinnamon stick and star anise—cook with the lid cracked on medium for 12 + hours until the mixture is dense and dark brown.
  3. Allow the mixture to cool.  Once cooled, place in a gallon freezer bag and place in the freezer for 20–40 minutes.
  4. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  5. Meanwhile, roll out the dough in equal parts powered sugar and flour, and cut circles with a biscuit cutter.  I tend to like a larger, 4” cutter, but for these, an even larger biscuit cutter will work.
  6. Snip the edge of the gallon plastic bag pipe the mixture generously in the middle of each rolled-out disc, fold over, seal with a slightly damp fork and slice breathing holes in the top.  Put them in the refrigerator, and let them firm up for 10–15 minutes.
  7. Cover with egg wash and cinnamon-sugar mixture.
  8. Bake for 12 minutes, rotate the sheets in the oven, and bake another 10–12 minutes or until golden brown.
  9. Cool the pies to room temperature in a wire rack, and serve!



One thought on “Apple Butter Hand Pies

  1. Pingback: Apple-Apricot Pie | The Perfect Pie Crust

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