Apple Hand Pies! An Ashley English Recipe.



I’ve never made a meat pie.   That’s just one of the many, many important things you don’t know about me.  I’ve also never hunted squirrel  That’s another important thing you didn’t know about me. I’m not sure if the fact that I’ve never hunted squirrel has anything to do with my deep seated fear of making meat pies, but I suspect so. So when I got my copy of “A Year of Pies” by Ashley English  (of Small Measure blog fame) in the mail I was hoping and praying there was a meat pie recipe to get me over my fear.  I also hoped the meat it called for wasn’t squirrel.

  SINGING ANGELS! SINGING ANGELS!  There it was on page 59 … Spiced Meat Pie. I had found my meat pie.  And I was going to make it.  I had the ingredients, I had pie dough frozen in the freezer, I had it all.  I even needed something to have for dinner so this was really working out more perfectly than ever I could have imagined.  This was turning out to be the greatest day I had ever known. I got myself set up and opened up the cookbook.  It naturally fell open, pages spreading themselves like wings, the way cookbooks are want to do. The book had opened in the most poetic manner.   And that’s when I saw it. Brandy and Spice Apple Hand Pies. Which are nothing like meat pies in case you were wondering, although neither contain squirrel. I was staring at a picture of a pie that you can pick up and eat with your hands.  Your ENTIRE serving enveloped with a golden flakey crust.  Not just the top and bottom like a normal pie … ALL OF THE SIDES – Top, Bottom, left side, right side, front and BACK.  All filled with gooey apples, cinnamon, nutmeg and booze. I made the pies, I loved the pies, I still haven’t made a single meat pie. I asked Ashley if I could share her hand pie recipe and she said sure.  Because she’s nice like that.  If judging by some of the recipes in this book, she may also have been drunk.

Apple Hand Pies! An Ashley English Recipe.

Use your own favourite pie dough recipe.
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Author: The Art of Doing Stuff


  • 4 Tablespoons 1/2 stick unsalted butter
  • 2 pounds apples I used 3 Royal Gala ; 2 Granny Smith; peeled, cored and sliced to 1/4"
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup brandy can substitute with apple juice
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup dried currants
  • Egg Wash
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 Tablespoon milk
  • Cinnamon Sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon

This … is how it looked when I made them today.

ingredients cookie-cutting stuffing-hand-pies cinnamon hand-pie


And yes. I used a fork. I’m not a complete animal.  I knew enough to at least pretend I was civilized in a photo.  As soon as photos were finished and I didn’t have to worry about smearing apple guts all over my camera I grabbed that Apple Hand pie with my mit and shoved it right in my pie hole.

Apple Pie

a haiku

Pie buttery crust

Flaky on my silver fork

Warm spiced fruit inside

I dare any meat pie to inspire a haiku.


  1. FLP says:

    Karen, Do you have a great pie crust recipe? One that doesn’t fall apart when rolled?

    • Karen says:

      Hi FLP. I don’t have one crust recipe I use all the time. I wing it. I did use Ashley’s crust recipe for this and it turned out good. If the only problem you have with the crust recipe you use is the fact that it falls apart when you’re rolling it, you just need to add a bit more liquid. ~ karen!

  2. White says:

    Karen- be brave and post about meat pies and/or tourtières, and behold the spirited ‘authenticity/purist’ debate it might elicit!

  3. Another Karen says:

    This is perfect! I’m going to a party tonight and was wondering what to take along!

  4. Kristin says:

    I’ve been on a meat pie kick lately–chicken pot pie, to be exact. About once a week I roast a chicken on a bed of vegetables, and I wanted to make two meals instead of one, so I have been tinkering. If I add a few boneless, skinless thighs about halfway through roasting, they cook through at the same time, and then I can chop what vegetables and chicken we don’t eat, make gravy out of the fond and drippings (and the giblet stock I simmered meanwhile), add some frozen peas, plop the whole lot into a casserole, and top with pie dough. It makes me happy.

    On another note, I recently caught a huge Opossum in my back yard–picked him up by the tail and carried him, both of us screaming the whole way, to the green waste bin, dropped him in and tied it shut, then relocated him ten miles away (he had eaten one of my hens!) and everyone keeps asking me why I didn’t roast him. Not a squirrel, but way scarier.

  5. Cynna says:

    The apple pie sounds yummy!
    Speaking of squirrel, this was in today’s Food section of the Washington Post:

  6. Shauna says:

    Sounds delish. But, it’s hard to say, will the Fella’s Dad consider this a true pie? It’s apple – so it has that going for it, but then there’s the brandy addition (a plus in my book) and the fact that you can hold it in your hand (another plus in my book). Curious to hear if it can be added to the true pie list.

    • Patricia says:

      I was wondering if an apple hand pie would make true status as well. You need to ask your father-in-law. It does have a “roof”…

  7. Marie says:

    Your pies look delicious and I look forward to trying the recipe. My Canadian relatives have given me the impression that Canadians eat nothing but meat pies! I have a recipe for Tourtière I’d be happy to share, or maybe you’d prefer the salmon pie…

  8. Nancy Blue Moon says:

    Do ya think I could use already made pie crust..cause I’m lazy like that..YUM..nuff said..

    • Karen says:

      Nancy – No. It’ll ruin everything. Just kidding. Sure, use premade crust. Homemade *is* better, but I won’t tell if you use store bought. ~ karen!

  9. Brenda J. M says:

    Let me know what time the next batch goes in and I’ll be heading down the 401,DVP faster than you can say…” let’s have this with French Vanilla Ice-cream”.

  10. Carol says:

    I cannot believe that nobody has yet asked the truly important question: Are hand pies “True Pies”?

  11. Patti says:

    Yummy, yum, yum! Now I also want to know how the Spice Meat Pie turns out! Yum yum!

  12. Claire says:

    Hand pies are the best. The only downside is that you can’t spend the day eating one teensy-tiny super thin slice after another, then forget about it, open the fridge and discover that half of the pie is gone, and demand of your husband (in outraged tones) “What happened to the pie?!” True story.
    There’s a place in San Francisco that makes savory hand pies with fillings like Basque beef & potato, Moroccan lentil, curried chickpeas… Crispy-chewy bread dough crust instead of pastry. Real good.

  13. Jessica says:

    Thank you for this post, Karen! After reading the sample recipe above, I knew I had to have the book so I’ve just ordered a copy. Thanks again! Jessica

  14. MelissaM says:

    Um, you Canadians are pretty fancee, eating a ‘hand’ pie with a FORK!

  15. Ann says:

    What wonderous things
    Those tasty hand pies of meat
    Flaky pockets of joy

  16. Ohhhhh my. I WANT it. Right now. Substitute brandy with apple juice?!! No way. That sounds like the best part :)
    Thanks for the apple pie craving. I love you for it. My butt hates you for it.

  17. marilyn says:

    a thing of beauty and of course will make the fellas dads real pie list..

  18. Melissa says:


    Dear gods, that sounds (and looks!) so delicious I just had to go buy myself a copy of that book! Thank you for letting me know it existed. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I must go stare impatiently at my mailbox until it arrives… ;)

  19. cred says:

    they look delicious… and hand pies? Genius! Why hasn’t anyone thought of this before or if so, why am I just now hearing about them. People must know!

    Really though, my reason for commenting is to say “Wow! Love that first photo! Rosemary & apples in the cheese box- Holy sh*t! it looks like a post card sent from some little house on a prairie.

  20. magali says:

    A meat pie haiku

    Tourtière is awesome
    It makes me really happy
    I’m Québecer, en!

    you should have a haiku contest one of these Fridays.

  21. Bonnie says:

    I read the recipe and thought “I have all of those ingredients!” being especially happy since I recently bought cardamom and forgot why. Then I reread and realized I do not have pie crusts.

    I see a shopping trip in my future, and a weight gain to follow.

    Thanks for sharing, and to Ashley as well.

  22. Natika33 says:

    Omigod this is terrible! They look so amazing that now I’m going to have to not only break my diet, but also learn to make pie dough. Geesh.

  23. Lucy says:

    I am salivating all over my keyboard and am so thankful I have two hands. The only thing better would be to have a meat pie in one and this one in the other. Yummers!

  24. SK Farm Girl says:

    I am in love with Ashley English! Not in a creepy, perverted way! But in a mentor, hero, super-star kind of way! I have two of her books: pie book and cannning book (too lazy to get up and look at the actual titles) and they are stupendous, splendiferous and funtastick! Her instructions are clear and precise; her pictures are delish (my book has drool stains now) and the recipes are made just for us domestic divas! Kudos to Ms English and kudos to Karen, that is if Karen sends me one of those delish little pies ;)

  25. Stefanie says:

    Yum!! You’ll love my new pie boxes I have coming- they’re perfect for these delicious pies!

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