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Easy French Apple Hand Pies

These French Apple Hand Pies are a super easy, delicious adaptation of French Apple Pie. And may seem reminiscent of your favorite boulangerie. But they simple to make a home with 5 easy ingredients.

Side view of French Apple Hand Pies on a striped linen in a woven basket

Simple and sweet, perfect with a cup of tea. Or morning coffee — whichever seems right.

What is French Apple Pie?

A French Apple Pie differs from a traditional apple pie in both the way it is prepared and served.

The story is told that Stephanie Tatin, a hotel chef, had planned to bake an apple pie for her guests. But as can happen in busy kitchens, the apples sauteing in butter cooked a bit too long. In fact, they were burnt. Pivoting, she creatively baked the apples with a pastry on top. To serve, she flipped it over and the crowd-pleasing pie became known as tarte tatin or French Apple Pie. 

Closeup view of baked puff pastry Apple Pie Tarts

What You’ll Love About French Apple Hand Pies

  • Puff pastry makes them exceedingly simple.
  • Bakes in 15 minutes.
  • Only 5 simple ingredients.
  • Perfect for teatime snack or dessert.
  • Absolutely delicious!
Top view of French Apple Pie Tarts with fresh flowers and powdered sugar

French Apple Hand Pies Ingredients

Exact measurements are in the recipe card at the bottom of this post. Here is an overview of what you will need.

  • Butter
  • Baking apples
  • Packed brown sugar
  • Ground cinnamon and a pinch of salt
  • Frozen puff pastry, thawed

Using Apples in Recipes

For this simple apple hand pies recipe, you will need about 2 large apples to yield about 3 cups chopped. If you’re wondering how to convert apples to cups, or if your apple is considered large or medium, here are a few tips:

Converting Apples to Cups

  • 3 medium apples (or about 1 pound) should convert to 2 to 2 1/2 cups chopped or sliced apples.
  • 3 medium apples are roughly equivalent to 2 large apples or 4 small apples.

What size is my apple?

  • Small apples are approximately 2 1/4 inches in diameter.
  • Medium apples are approximately 2 3/4 inches in diameter.
  • Large apples are approximately 3 3/4 inches in diameter.

Keep in mind, this recipe is very forgiving and very simple. Slicing and chopping apples rarely result in exact cup measurements. It varies depending on how thinly or thickly they are chopped or sliced. I like to keep the apple chunks about 1-inch but don’t worry if it differs.

Which Apples are Best for Baking?

Here is a Betty Crocker chart detailing the best uses for popular apple varieties.

Chart for Best Baking Apple Varieties

Not all apples looks or taste the same. Nor do they bake the same. Here are a few of the best apples to use for baking; from delicious apple pies to apple crispsapple breads, apple cakes, apple bars and yes, even French Apple Hand Pies.

Here is a list of the best baking apples:

For the best pies, crisps, and other baked treats, apples need to be firm enough to hold their own during the cooking process.

  • Braeburn
  • Cortland
  • Honey Gold
  • Jonathan
  • Fuji
  • Gala
  • Granny Smith
  • Haralson
  • Newtown Pippin
  • Golden Delicious

How to Make French Apple Hand Pies

Sauté peeled, cored, and chopped apples in butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, and a pinch of salt. Cook until most of the liquid has evaporated and the apples have thickened; about 10 minutes.  Let come to room temperature before proceeding. 

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. On a lightly floured surface, cut thawed puff pastry sheets into 12 equal rectangles. With a fork, dock 6 of the rectangles. This will be the bottom layer.

Thawed puff pastry cut into rectangles and pricked with a fork

To the docked pastry rectangles, place 1/4 cup of cooled apple filling, leaving a 1-inch border around.

Unbaked puff pastry rectangles with French apple filling

Brush a small amount of water around the border (this will help seal the pastry) and top with a pastry rectangle, which you can cut into a shape (as shown) if desired. Seal the edges of each with a fork and place on the prepared baking sheet.

Unbaked French Apple Hand Pies ready for the oven

Brush the tops of each hand pie with water, sprinkle with sanding sugar.

Baked French Apple Hand Pies cooling from the oven

Bake 15 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving warm.

Dust with confectioners’ sugar for a boulangerie touch.

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Top side view of French Apple Hand Pies dusted with powdered sugar
Top view of French Apple Hand Pies in a woven basket

Easy Apple Hand Pies

Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

This French Apple Hand Pies recipe is a super easy, delicious adaptation of French Apple Pie. And are reminiscent of a favorite boulangerie. Simple and sweet, perfect with a cup of tea. 

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 large apples, peeled, cored and chopped (about 3 to 4 cups)
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 sheets frozen puff pastry, thawed
  • cinnamon sugar for dusting

Instructions

  1. In a skillet over medium heat, melt the butter. To the skillet add chopped apples, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Sauté the apples until most of the liquid has evaporated and the sauce has thickened; about 10 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and chill for 30 minutes or until cool.
  2. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. On a lightly floured surface, roll each thawed puff pastry sheet into the same size rectangle so that they match. Then cut each sheet into 6 equal pieces. You will have 12 rectangles of the same size.
  4. If you would like to decorate the top pastry, using a small biscuit cutter or with a pairing knife, cut out a shape in 6 of the rectangles.
  5. Into the center of 6 pastry rectangles (that do not have a shape cut out), place 2 to 3 tablespoons of the cooled apple filling, leaving a 1-inch border around. Brush a small amount of water around the border (this will help seal the pastry) and top with the remaining pastry rectangles. Seal the edges of each hand pie with a fork and then place on the prepared baking sheet.
  6. Brush the tops lightly with water, sprinkle with cinnamon sugar, and bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving warm.

Notes

Apples:

As you know, apples vary and never fit perfectly into a measuring cup. Keeping that in mind, you should get about 3 to 4 cups of cubed apples from 2 large apples.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 165Total Fat: 8gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 10mgSodium: 80mgCarbohydrates: 25gFiber: 2gSugar: 18gProtein: 1g

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