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Apple Butter and Cream Hand Pies

Apple Butter and Cream Hand Pies

  • Author: Rebecca Blackwell
  • Prep Time: 90 minutes (does not include refrigeration time)
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours (does not include refrigeration time)
  • Yield: 18-20 hand pies


These buttery little hand pies are filled with almond pastry cream and apple butter. They are flaky, creamy, & packed with warm apple flavor.


  • 1 recipe Perfect Vanilla Pastry Cream, chilled for at least 3 hours (and up to 3 days). DO NOT add the whipped cream after chilling the pastry cream. Flavor the pastry cream with 2 tsp pure vanilla extract AND 1 tsp almond extract. (The almond extract is optional.)

For the pastry dough:

  • 1/2 cup sour cream (full fat)
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup ice water
  • 2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp granulated sugar
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, cold and cut into 1-inch pieces


  • 1 medium size apple
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 cup apple butter, good quality prepared or homemade
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp milk
  • Turbinado sugar, sanding sugar, or granulated sugar, for sprinkling


  1. Make a batch of Perfect Vanilla Pastry Cream, and allow it to chill in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours and up to 24 hours.

Make the pastry:

  1. Add the sour cream, apple cider vinegar, and ice water to a measuring cup and stir to combine.
  2. Add the flour, salt, and sugar to the bowl of a food processor and pulse a couple of times to combine. Scatter the pieces of butter over the flour and pulse 5 or 6 times, until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs with a few pea sized pieces of butter scattered throughout.
  3. Pour the sour cream mixture into the bowl, and pulse just until the dough begins to come together. Dump the mixture into a large bowl and gently squeeze together with your hands just until it forms a cohesive dough; do not not overwork the dough.
  4. Wrap the dough tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 2 days.

Assemble and bake the hand pies:

  1. Peel and core the apple and cut it into thin slices no more than a 1/4-inch thick. Put the apple slices in a bowl and toss with the teaspoon of lemon juice to prevent browning.
  2. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Working with half the dough at a time, roll the dough out to an 1/8-inch thickness on a floured work surface. This is a sticky dough; flour the surface of the dough and the work surface as necessary to keep it from sticking. Using a large 3 & 1/2 to 4 & 1/2-inch round pastry cutter, cut out as many circles as you can. (Can also use a wide rimmed drinking glass.)
  4. Put about 2 tsp of pastry cream in the center of each circle of dough, spreading it out slightly but not getting it too close to the edges of the dough. Top the pastry cream with about 2 tsp of apple butter and 1 slice of apple. Fold the dough over the filling to form a half moon shape and press the edges together gently with your fingers. Lay the pie on the parchment covered baking sheet and press the edges together with the tongs of a fork to seal. Repeat with the remaining pies and dough, re-rolling the scraps of dough, until you have approximately 18-20 pies.
  5. Cover the pies loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, and up to 12 hours.
  6. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  7. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg and teaspoon of milk. Remove the pies from the refrigerator and use a sharp knife to cut three slits in the top crust of each pie. Using a pastry brush, coat the tops of the pies with the egg mixture. Sprinkle each generously with sugar.
  8. Bake the pies for 28-32 minutes, turning the sheet around in the oven about halfway through baking, until the crust is golden and you can see the filling bubbling through the slits in the pies.
  9. Remove from the oven and let cool for at least 10 minutes before serving. Store leftover pies in the refrigerator.

OPTIONAL: Serve with vanilla ice cream and a drizzle of caramel sauce or caramel rum sauce.

Keywords: apple hand pies, hand pies, apple pie, pastry cream, apple dessert