These perfectly portioned Chai Spice Apple Hand Pies are the new & improved, grownup version of those overly sweet, processed pies we ate as kids! Soft, buttery crust filled with a decadent, spicy apple filling. All topped with a simple spiced glaze!
Chai Spice Apple Hand Pies
There’s something about Autumn and the approaching holiday season that puts me in an even greater mood to bake (you, too?). After making homemade apple butter, I really wanted to incorporate more apples and spice into another dessert! I’ve made hand pies before, and I think they’re just such a fun, little treat. I love chai spice and the added cardamom (it’s one of my fave spices to bake with!), so I decided to toss some diced apples in a chai spice mix and throw them into a batch of gorgeous, perfect-for-fall hand pies! I added a thin cardamom glaze to the tops of each pie to give them some extra pretty. And also because those packaged hand pies I ate as a kid were covered in glaze, so, ya know, nostalgia.
What You’ll Need
- Flour – I like to use all-purpose or whole wheat pastry flour for these
- Sugar – your fave granulated sugar; I used coconut & raw cane sugar
- Plant-based butter aka vegan butter (or regular butter)
- Lemon juice
- Chai spices – I incorporated cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, cloves, and black pepper (all ground and found in the spice aisle)
- Vanilla extract
- Powdered sugar
- Egg (or plant-based milk or melted coconut oil) for the egg wash
- 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour (or all-purpose flour)
- 2 Tbsp coconut sugar (or white/raw cane sugar)
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup plant-based butter, cold & cubed
- 2-5 Tbsp ice cold water
- 4 large apples (or 5 small apples)
- 3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
- 1/4 tsp ground ginger
- 1/8 tsp ground cloves
- Pinch black pepper
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 Tbsp coconut sugar (or white/raw cane sugar)
- Squeeze of fresh lemon juice
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1/3 cup powdered sugar
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/8 tsp cardamom
- 1/2 - 2 Tbsp plant-based milk or water
- Prepare the dough by pulsing the flour, coconut sugar, and salt in a blender or food processor. Add the cold, cubed butter and pulse. Add 2 Tbsp of ice cold water and blend. Continue adding 1 Tbsp of ice cold water until the dough comes together - you'll know it's ready when you pinch some between your fingers and it sticks together; small chunks of butter are desired!
- Dump the dough onto a piece of plastic wrap and shape into a ball. Flatten to a disc shape and wrap securely in the plastic. Refrigerate the dough while you make the filling, or for at least 30 minutes prior to rolling out.
- Peel, core, and dice your apples. Add them to a medium bowl and toss with the remaining filling ingredients - cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, cloves, black pepper, vanilla, coconut sugar, and lemon juice.
- Heat the apple mixture in a pan over medium-low heat until the apples are almost totally soft. Make sure the apple mixture doesn't get too dry - you can add a bit of water to the pan if needed.
- Preheat your oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Prepare the egg wash by whisking the egg in a small bowl.
- Cut the chilled dough into 6 equal pieces (use a kitchen scale for accuracy if you wish). Quickly shape each into a ball - handling it for too long will soften it up again. Flour a large work surface and begin rolling out the small dough balls, one at a time, to about 1/8" thick. Brush egg around the edge of the dough and spoon about 1/4 cup of the apple filing into the middle. Fold the circle together, creating the hand pie shape. Press the edge together with your fingers and roll the edge inward (or crimp edge with a fork). Transfer the pie to your prepared baking sheet. Repeat until all 6 hand pies are assembled.
- For golden-colored pies, brush the tops of each with the egg wash (I didn't do this). Cut three small vents into the top of each pie. Bake at 350°F for 15 minutes or until the filling is bubbling. If you skipped the egg wash your pies will be very light in color.
- While the pies are cooling, make the glaze. In a small sauce pan, add the powdered sugar, vanilla, cardamom, and 1/2 Tbsp of plant-based milk. Stir until combined, cooking on low heat. Add more milk until the glaze is thin enough to pour over your hand pies. Once the glaze is warm to the touch, generously and quickly pour the glaze over each pie - the glaze will set very quickly!
- Allow pies to cool or enjoy right away with a fork! Store any leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature.
- Dough can be made ahead of time, but it will need to sit at room temperature to soften enough to be rolled out
- Coconut oil can be used in place of butter in the crust, but the pie crust won't be as soft and tender
- Crust recipe adapted from Food with Feeling