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Apple Pies – in your hand

Apple Pies – in your hand

Gluten-Free Handheld Apple Pies

Consider this a Public Service Announcement.

For pie. Like that movie about pie, but all gluten-free.

Gluten-Free Handheld Apple PiesWell, for pastry crust. Pastry Crust for President.

It’s time to get comfy with making it, and rolling it out. Then baking it and eating it.

Gluten-Free Handheld Apple Pies

You can even cut out little shapes and make a fancy schmancy top by brushing them with water and overlapping them tightly until they form a crust.

You can! Stop it!

You’re going to need my basic gluten-free Pastry Crust Recipe. There’s a video there, too. Watch it. See how simple it is to make and roll out gluten-free pastry crust. It’s a snap.

Gluten-Free Handheld Apple Pies

This is the part of our program where I remind you that you need big chunks of butter. We’ve chatted about this before. Remember? Don’t be coy, love. You remember.

Gluten-Free Handheld Apple Pies

I used a food processor, like in my how-to video.

Gluten-Free Handheld Apple Pies

Pat the dough into a disk. Roll it out and then freeze it, so it’s super cold.

Then cut out rounds.

Gluten-Free Handheld Apple Pies

Here’s the thing about the apple filling. Peel & core the apples, and then slice them razor thin.

Gluten-Free Handheld Apple Pies

Like this. That way, they cook quickly, long before the crust burns. But it’s okay. We’re going to steam the pies by loading them up on a baking sheet and covering the sheet tightly with aluminum foil for the first 15 minutes. That way, we can be sure the crusts won’t brown before the apple filling is soft.

Gluten-Free Handheld Apple Pies

Pile 2 to 3 tablespoons of filling in the center of half the rounds of dough, leaving about a 1/4 inch border around the perimeter. Then top, cinch, and crimp the edges with the tines of a fork. Then cut horizontal vents in the top, so the pies don’t explode. Boom! Brush the top with cream.

Freeze the pies before baking them. You want them cold.

Here’s the rest of the details. If anyone tells you that the devil’s in the details, don’t believe them. It’s the pie in the details. The tender, flaky pie. And sugar and spice and everything nice. Little girls are in the details!

Apple Pies – in your hand
Recipe Type: Dessert
Author: Nicole @ Gluten-Free on a Shoestring.com
Prep time: 30 mins
Cook time: 25 mins
Total time: 55 mins
Serves: 8
Flaky gluten-free hand pies with apple pie filling
  • 1 recipe Basic Gluten-Free Pastry Crust (http://bit.ly/zlOnJ4)
  • 2 large (or 3 small) baking apples (Braeburn and Empire are my favorite apple pie apples, but it’s a matter of taste)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • 3 tablespoons sugar (or to taste)
  • Dash (1/8 teaspoon) kosher salt
  • Cream, for brushing
  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Roll out the pie crust as directed between two sheets of parchment paper, as directed in the recipe (and the video), until it is about 1/8 inch thick (the thickness of a nickel). Place the rolled out dough, still covered in parchment on both sides, on a flat surface in the freezer until firm (about 15 minutes).
  3. While the crust is chilling, prepare the apples. Peel and core the apples. I like to use an apple corer, and then a vegetable peeler so that I remove all of the skin but preserve as much fruit as possible. Slice each apple in half, and then slice each half, cut side down, in cross-section as thin as possible (see photo). That will help the apples cook quickly and evenly before the crust browns. Place the sliced apples in a large bowl, and add the cinnamon, nutmeg, sugar and salt. Toss to combine.
  4. Remove the chilled crust from the freezer. With a 2 1/2 to 3 inch cookie or biscuit cutter, cut out rounds of dough. Gather and reroll the scraps, then place them back in the freezer until firm. Cut rounds once more. You should be able to cut 16 rounds.
  5. Line up the rounds of dough in pairs, and, with a pastry brush, brush the entire surface of each of the rounds of dough with ice water. Next, pile about 2 tablespoons of apple slices in the center of one round from each pair, leaving a 1/4 inch border around the perimeter. Top with the remaining rounds of dough, and cinch the edges together between your thumb and forefinger. Use the tines of a small fork to mark all around the perimeter of the assembled rounds, to help seal them. Place the unbaked pies about an inch apart on the prepared baking sheet, and place in the freezer until firm, about another 10 minutes.
  6. Remove the chilled pies from the oven, and use a very sharp knife to slice two horizontal lines about 1 inch apart near the center of the top of each pie. This will allow steam to escape so the pie doesn’t burst or leak. Brush the tops of the pies with cream to help them brown.
  7. Cover the baking sheet with a sheet of aluminum foil, sealing it will around the edges of the baking sheet, but without allowing the foil to rest on the tops of the pies.
  8. Place the pies in the center of the preheated oven and bake for 15 minutes. Remove the foil, and bake until golden brown on top, another 10 to 15 minutes.
  9. Serve warm.

These pies freeze very well raw. Assemble up until the step of baking them, then place them flat on a baking sheet and freeze them solid before transferring them to a freezer-safe Ziploc bag until ready to bake. Bake from frozen.
The flour you use in pastry crust matters perhaps more than in any other recipe. It is one of very few ingredients, so it truly shines. Makes sure the flour you are using is a true all-purpose gluten-free flour blend, like Better Batter, or you won’t have the success you so richly deserve.

Look what you did!

Gluten-Free Handheld Apple Pies

Pie. It’s what’s for dinner. Now pick it up. Eat it, in the name of the public good. Do your part.


P.S. If you haven’t yet, please pick up a copy of My Cookbooks! I can’t keep the blog going without your support!

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Comments are closed.

  • […] Gluten-Free on a Shoestring- Apple Pies- in your hand […]

  • Shelly Penix-Clubb on Facebook
    April 1, 2012 at 5:49 PM

    Lol! Just asking, because prior to going GF I couldn’t make a flaky pie crust……. even if my life depended on it!

  • Of course it is, Shelly Penix-Clubb! You must not know me very well… ;)

  • Shelly Penix-Clubb on Facebook
    April 1, 2012 at 5:41 PM

    Looks yummy! I am wondering if the pie crust is flaky?

  • […] jacks” are, indeed, good stuff. They’re sweet and tasty, and almost taste like crunchy little apple pies. But they’re for your milk!And part … of this complete breakfast.Firstly, you’ll […]

  • Julie
    March 4, 2012 at 11:48 PM

    I made these tonight, and they were wonderful. I did use my regular GF pastry crust from King Arthur Flour’s website, which is great. My celiac little girls adored these with vanilla ice cream.

    • March 5, 2012 at 8:36 AM

      That’s great, Julie! So glad you all enjoyed it.
      xoxo Nicole

  • March 4, 2012 at 3:43 PM


    I love this pie. This is the best Gluten Free pastry crust I have ever made! I used my GF mixture, and I just baked it for 30 minutes without covering with foil, and it was perfect!
    Thanks for all your hard work in making us love GF foods.


    • March 4, 2012 at 7:45 PM

      Hi, Paula,
      So glad it worked out well for you. :)
      xoxo Nicole

    • Pam Gordon on Facebook
      March 14, 2012 at 12:04 PM

      awesome! made these a couple weeks ago…well worth the effort!

  • March 3, 2012 at 11:48 PM

    On March 3, 2012

    Michelle unless you come to Louisiana I won’t be able to take your
    Class as we don’t get to go out of state often.


  • March 3, 2012 at 7:49 PM

    I really like hand pies…like apple, or even make them savory, too :) :) Have a good weekend. Love and hugs from the ocean shores of California, Heather :)

    • March 4, 2012 at 10:41 AM

      These would be great savory, too, Heather. :)
      xoxo Nicole

  • March 3, 2012 at 5:58 PM

    On March 3, 2012 from Michelle:

    Michelle can I use other Ftuit and can you tell me where I can find any of
    what you use were I live Vs Online. And if you are a Oz person like I am can you help me find all of the teas for weightless from last weeks show I can’t find it.

    Love your,
    Friend Michelle

    • March 4, 2012 at 10:41 AM

      Hi, Michelle,
      You can use any other type of fruit you like. Have fun!
      xoxo Nicole

    • March 4, 2012 at 11:52 AM

      On March 4, 3012

      Good Morning Nicole and thank you for the reply I would have answered you sooner but I was having trouble figuring out how to get in touch so I hope that you get this one my friend? I still need to know what I can use in place of Eggs,
      as I am allergic to Eggs as well as so Many other things.
      And if you saw the Dr. Oz Show last week with all of The Teas for Weight Loss please let me know what they are thank you again for your help and friendship,

      Love your,
      Friend Michelle

    • March 4, 2012 at 12:05 PM

      Hi, Michelle,
      I don’t know anything about the Dr. Oz show. You’ll have to keep searching, or contact them.
      I also don’t know what to use in place of eggs. You’ll have to experiment!
      xoxo Nicole

    • March 4, 2012 at 12:07 PM

      Thank you My Friend.


  • Jenny
    March 3, 2012 at 12:23 PM

    Hi Nicole, (and the GF on a SS community)

    Mmm, hand pies. You could, I bet, make these with berry type filling too? Perhaps?

    Also – I know that BB is the best flour blend ever. I’m a devotee.
    I’m also out, with no relief in sight, since every place I’ve looked is also out. (Good for the BB folks, less so for me). I was going to ask if there was a ‘tolerable second’ blend that anyone had tried. Amazon has a recommendation for Jules gluten free flour – has anyone tried this one?

    Oh, and if I wanted to make these handheld savory pies (mmm, meat pasties) would I need to modify the basic crust? or is it not sweet enough to work?

    • March 4, 2012 at 10:40 AM

      Hi, Jenny,
      You can use the Basic Pie Crust for sweet or savory pies. It’s not too sweet, not too not-sweet for all your pie needs. :)
      As far as a replacement flour, I would actually contact Better Batter. I know that they have some other flours that they recommend if you can’t get theirs. You can reach them at contact@betterbatter.org, or just call them tomorrow. They’re good like that.
      xoxo Nicole

  • Deanne C.
    March 3, 2012 at 11:08 AM

    My My MYYYY, Nicole!!! Have I told you lately (like in the past 24 hrs.) that I LOVE YOU?!! Holy Cannoli, it’s like you READ MY MIND! I LOVE Hand- Pies…not the way I love you, BUT CLOSE! Gluten intolerance terrified me, just to think of losing “touch” (and mostly taste!) with my beloved crusty-heaven-sent treats, and here you are, laying them out on the alter of PIE-GLORY for us all to worship!! (And I love your video…You are NOT a dork!!) Did I ever tell you that I actually bought your first book long before I discovered your blog? Well, I DID!! And now I know to ALWAYS trust my instincts, because YOU ARE A TREASURE and I feel BRILLIANT to have added you as my “Saint Nicole” with your “Bible” of Gluten-free cooking!!! BTW, have I told you that you have saved my glutinous…AND GLUTEN-ous insanity?!! I ADORE YOU!! (But you are doing NOTHING to help me shed the excess weight I have NOT LOST, which I thoroughly expected to lose once I was diagnosed as gluten-intolerant! No problem though, I have become somewhat “attached” (in a bad way) to these soft rolls that cling to my circumference… :) btw…what is your ring size, I owe you an engagement ring!!

    • March 3, 2012 at 11:18 AM

      Hi, Deanne!
      You proposed on Pinterest, it only stands to reason that we’d actually tie the knot on the blog. ;)
      It really sounds like you’re feeling a true sense of possibility, and that is pretty much the best thing I can think of when you’re gluten-free. You’re starting to realize that you can have anything – except for gluten itself. Of course we’re tight now, you and me. We’ve already been through quite a bit together. ;)
      I’ll size my finger and get back to you asap! Thank you for your enthusiasm, in all seriousness. It’s infectious!
      xoxo Nicole

  • Bethany
    March 2, 2012 at 8:06 PM

    I just watched your pastry how-to and I so am (going to)! How awesome it is to put a face and a voice to my favorite cookbook! Question…can I use my Kitchen Aid mixer with the whisk, rather than using a pastry blender by hand? I’m lazy and I don’t have a food processor. There, I said it! Making quiche for Sunday Brunch and it’s going to have a totally amazing crust now!

    • March 2, 2012 at 8:14 PM

      Hi, Bethany,
      So glad you liked the video.
      Definitely do not use your mixer with the whisk attachment! Just do it by hand. Use the instructions for my Cornmeal Biscuits as a guide for how to do it by hand. The food processor is the only reliable shortcut. Otherwise, you have to do it by hand. Just be sure not to break up the butter too much, and you’ll be fine. You’re not going to do the “turns” that I demonstrate in the Cornmeal Biscuits posts, but the method for making the dough should be instructive.
      xoxo Nicole

    • Bethany
      March 2, 2012 at 9:53 PM

      Wow…glad I asked! My brunch might have been a disaster! But now I want Cornmeal Biscuits! And a food processor! Thanks for your help :)

    • March 3, 2012 at 11:21 AM

      I’m glad you asked, too, Bethany. All kitchen appliances are truly not created equal! You can get a great food processor these days for a pretty good price. One Kings Lane even has a 7-cup Cuisinart on sale for $129. But hurry if you’re interested in the OKL deal. They tend to sell out fast!
      xoxo Nicole

    • Bethany
      March 3, 2012 at 12:05 PM

      Thanks Nicole! So can I now request lots of recipes that require a food processor? I just ordered one from the evil bog box around the corner and will be using it until the blades fall off! (Got the one just like yours – but in chrome – tee hee) Ya…I’m a big dork too :)

    • March 4, 2012 at 12:52 PM

      My Quiche!

  • Margaret Penhorwood on Facebook
    March 2, 2012 at 1:58 PM

    Personal size hand held pies…..very novel. I’ll be making these for sure. BTW…your pastry crust recipe gives me the best crust I have ever made gluten free or otherwise. I even use it when I make my Finnish pasties and no one can tell they’re gluten free ;) .

  • Pamela G
    March 2, 2012 at 1:34 PM

    ps- Pastry crust may make a good president.
    pps…i got my proofer yesterday, but the top is cracked :(
    ppss..wish i was closer to take your classes!

    • March 2, 2012 at 2:19 PM

      I know right? We should get a soapbox.
      Ooh no! Cracked top?! Did you contact their customer service, Pam??
      I wish you were closer, too. :(
      xoxo Nicole

  • Pamela G
    March 2, 2012 at 1:30 PM

    nummmm…… want these now…..

  • Judy Ameigh Grover on Facebook
    March 2, 2012 at 1:02 PM

    ty so much- sure will make these

  • Shannon Lewis on Facebook
    March 2, 2012 at 11:41 AM

    Studies also show following your Blog improves lives :)

  • Tara Smathers on Facebook
    March 2, 2012 at 11:38 AM

    Makes my weekend 99.9% more enjoyable!! LOL :)

  • GoGoGF
    March 2, 2012 at 9:09 AM

    Looks good! If you bake from frozen, about how many minutes extra should they be baked? And would those extra minutes be “under the foil”?

    • March 2, 2012 at 9:13 AM

      Hi, Peggy,
      If you bake from frozen, the process isn’t too different. You still start off with them under the foil. The apples are sliced so thin that the will defrost very quickly, and the frozen dough isn’t much different than the chilled dough. You might need to add another couple minutes at the end, after you remove the foil. Just watch closely as the crust browns, and judge by color.
      xoxo Nicole

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