There’s something about Autumn and the approaching holiday season that puts me in an even greater mood to bake. 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, 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 because those processed pies I ate as kid were covered in a glossy, yummy glaze – so, ya know, nostalgia.
The crust recipe makes 5 hand pies but could easily be doubled to make 10. With the filling recipe, you’ll have quite a bit leftover to use however you please – I happily topped my morning oats with my leftovers! – so if you want to make 10 hand pies, you can leave the filling recipe as-is. It’s important to heat your glaze a bit for this recipe as that will allow the glaze to really set and harden on your pies! Happy baking!
Chai-Spiced Apple Hand Pies
Makes 5 hand pies
2 cups whole wheat pastry flour OR all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp coconut sugar
3/4 tsp fine sea salt
1/2 cup coconut oil, solid
2-5 Tbsp ice cold water
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cardamom
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/8 tsp ground cloves
Pinch black pepper
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 Tbsp coconut sugar
Squeeze of fresh lemon juice (optional)
1 large egg, beaten
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp cardamom
1/2 – 2 Tbsp unsweetened almond milk
1.) Prepare dough by pulsing the flour, coconut sugar, and salt in a blender or food processor. Add the solid coconut oil and pulse. Add 2 Tbsp of ice cold water and blend. Continue adding 1 Tbsp of ice cold water until the dough comes together. Dump the dough onto a piece of plastic wrap and divide into five equal dough balls. Cover and wrap each dough ball separately, flattening them to a disc shape. Refrigerate the dough while you make the filling*.
2.) 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 apple mixture in a pan over medium-low heat until almost totally soft, making sure to not let your apples get too dry (you can add a bit of water to the pan if needed).
3.) Preheat your oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Roll out your dough into a 6 inch circle – I like to roll mine between two pieces of parchment paper for easy cleanup. Brush egg wash around the inner edge of the circle and spoon ~1/4 cup of filling onto one side. Fold over the other side of the circle and press the edges together. Fold your edges up and in, making sure there are no holes and the edge is totally sealed. Transfer hand pie to baking sheet. Repeat until you’ve assembled all 5 pies.
4.) Brush your egg wash over the top of all 5 five pies. Cut three vents into the top of each pie. Bake at 350°F for ~15 minutes or until you hear the filling bubbling. Your crust might stay quite light in color, so be sure not to over bake your pies.
5.) While your pies are cooling, you can make your glaze. In a small sauce pan, add the powdered sugar, vanilla, cardamom, and 1/2 Tbsp of almond milk. Stir until combined, cooking on low heat. Add more almond milk until the glaze is thin enough to spoon over your hand pies. Once the glaze is warm to the touch, generously (and quickly**) spoon the glaze over each pie.
*the dough can be made ahead of time, but you will need to let it rest at room temperature for a while before it will soften enough to roll out
**the glaze will set quickly since it’s been heated up
Crust recipe adapted from Food with Feeling