Rustic Cranberry Apple Hand Pies

The crust on these apple hand pies is perfectly flakey and bronzed. The filling dips is sweet and tart and the sparkling sugar offers crunch beyond compare.
This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.
Rustic Cranberry Apple Hand Pies Recipe by Rebecca Firth | DisplacedHousewife

Prepare yourself for these beautifully rustic cranberry apple hand pies. This recipe is a no-self-control recipe. The kind where I had two cranberry apple hand pies before noon and had to talk myself off the ledge about eating another before dinner. You can’t eat just one. I seriously dare you. And if you have that kind of self control, I just don’t understand you on the deep human level I’d like to. These cranberry apple hand pies are everything I want a hand pie to be… The crust is perfectly flakey and bronzed…the filling dips its toes in both tart and sweet waters…and the sprinkle of sparkling sugar…oh how I love sparkling sugar. That crunch is beyond compare.

Rustic Cranberry Apple Hand Pies Recipe by Rebecca Firth | DisplacedHousewife

I am the first person to admit that I’m a work in progress. I tell it to my kids all the time and basically anyone that will listen. I try my best and then I shrug and move on. I absolutely love taking photos of food but I’m seriously a blind lady in the dark, feeling my way through the process, hoping that things are gonna turn out ok. I love to photograph things in the morning…I’m talking the wee dawn hours. I prep stuff the night before, wake up at 5am, finish baking or putting my set-up together and snap photos when the sun first creeps into my favorite window. Most of the time I absolutely love the light and other times that light gives the photo a blueish tinge. Which I kinda just went with, but it bugged me. Today was a major paradigm shift as I SERIOUSLY just figured out how to lessen that blueness in photos and I feel like I just got a whole new lease on life. So you’re looking at them…the photos where I learned this. And I’m pretty excited. This is exciting, right?

Rustic Cranberry Apple Hand Pies Recipe by Rebecca Firth | DisplacedHousewife

It’s been a pretty crazy week on the ranchette. One of my chickens went missing this past weekend…just gone. I got a call from my neighbor yesterday and she thought she spied my chicken out and about and she HAD. My girl had been out on the streets for FIVE SOLID DAYS. I found her with major Lady & The Tramp vibes, all tattered and torn up, feathers missing and her rump was bare. When I brought her home Whitey, who is seriously the biggest asshole in the animal kingdom, just terrorized her. Pecked at her, chased her. And I just thought, I hate assholes. And then I took the whole thing personal and sequestered Whitey to a part of the coop where she couldn’t hang with the chickens. Whitey is the kind of chicken that walks around completely entitled…like she owns the land. I don’t know if this all sounds as dramatic as it was, but it was.

Rustic Cranberry Apple Hand Pies Recipe by Rebecca Firth | DisplacedHousewife

And then I had one last thought to share that has zero to do with anything else we’ve covered today, but it’s about grocery shopping. I know, fasten your seatbelts. When I do a big shopping trip I hit Costco and Trader Joe’s like it’s my job. And then I usually shove in a regular grocery store as well, to pick up everything I couldn’t get at the other two places. I did this all in Santa Barbara last week. And when I came home that day I was exhausted. I mean dead wiped out. It took me HOURS to put everything away and make it organized (which I actually did this time). But you would have thought I traveled to Bangladesh and back to get my groceries. And then I wondered why I don’t carry on when I go to Santa Maria and do the same shopping trip? Same distance. I think. But when I go to Santa Maria, I just run up to Santa Maria real quick. When I go to Santa Barbara, in which you have to drive over a big hill, I act like I got the horses and buggy out. It doesn’t mean anything other than my thought process is completely illogical. Any local Santa Ynez Valley people agree with me??


I did this cranberry apple hand pies post in collaboration with a bunch of other superrrr talented bloggers and pie babes. In awe of their mad pie skills. Some of the links aren’t live yet…come back in a bit and they will be. Thank you to Nate (TermiNatetor Kitchen) for organizing!! If you’re looking on social media, use the hashtag #piesquad to see more! xo

Rustic Cranberry Apple Hand Pies Recipe by Rebecca Firth | DisplacedHousewife

Rustic Cranberry Apple Hand Pies

The crust on these apple hand pies is perfectly flakey and bronzed. The filling dips is sweet and tart and the sparkling sugar offers crunch beyond compare.
5 from 2 reviews
Print Save Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Pie
Keyword: Hand Pies, Cranberries, Apples, Pastry, Pies
Servings: 8 hand pies


  • 8 ounces fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 1 tangerine (juice + zest)
  • 3/4 cup of water
  • 3/4 cup of granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon five-spice powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 medium apple (cored + finely diced (this is added right before baking))
  • 1/4 cup vodka (cold)
  • 1/3 cup water (cold)
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter (cold, cut into 16 pieces)
  • 4 tablespoons vegetable shortening (cold)
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 tablespoons cream or milk
  • Sparkling Sugar


For the Filling

  • For the Filling: To a medium saucepan add the cranberries, tangerine zest + juice, water, sugar, five spice and cinnamon and bring to a boil. Continue at a rolling boil for about 20 minutes or until the mixture has thickened. Take out 2 tablespoons of liquid from the cranberry sauce and place it in a small heat-safe bowl. Whisk in 1 tablespoon of cornstarch and then stir the cornstarch mixture back into the cranberry sauce. Continue at a rolling boil for 5 minutes more and then remove from the heat. Let cool and then put in the fridge until ready to assemble the pies. This must be completely chilled before assembling the cranberry apple hand pies.

For the Crust

  • Mix together the water + vodka in a cup and set in the freezer. In a large bowl whisk flour, sugar and salt until combined. Scatter the butter + shortening around the bowl using a pastry blender or your hands to work it into the flour until large pea-sized chunks of butter and shortening start to form. Don’t over mix. Drizzle the vodka-water liquid over the top of the flour mixture and press with the back of a spatula bringing the dough together. Get in their with your hands to gently press the dough together.
  • Lay two pieces of plastic wrap out on the counter, divide the dough between the two, shape into flat discs, wrap tightly and chill for at least 1 hour.

To Assemble

  • Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Place parchment paper on a baking sheet.
  • Remove your dough from the fridge and let sit for 15 minutes. Working with one dough round at a time, on a lightly floured surface roll the dough into a rectangle of ¼ inch thickness. Cut the dough into eight, equal-size rectangles (mine were about 4 1/2 inches by 2 inches).
  • Spoon about 1 1/2 tablespoons of filling on four of the dough rectangles, leaving a ½ inch border. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of finely chopped apple over the cranberry filling. Lightly moisten the border of each pie and match up the edges with a clean dough rectangle and use the tines of a fork to press down and crimp. Cut several slashes on top of each pie to vent.
  • Repeat Steps 2 & 3 with remaining pie dough.
  • Place the uncooked pies on the prepared baking sheet and place in the freezer for 15 minutes.
  • In a small bowl whisk together the egg yolk + cream. Lightly brush the egg wash over the cranberry apple hand pies and sprinkling with the sparkling sugar. Bake for 25 minutes in the center of the oven. Let cool before serving. I write this last sentence but I ate my first one still warm. I highly recommend you do the same.
Thanks for baking with me! Please rate + comment this recipe and tag me on social @displacedhousewife #displacedhousewife so I can see your beautiful treats! xo


Leave a Comment & Rate this Recipe

I love your comments, reviews and questions! If you love this recipe, please rate it when you leave a comment. Star ratings 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 help people discover my recipes. Your support means a lot, I look forward to chatting with you!

Rebecca xox

Recipe Rating


  • Coco in the Kitchen February 9, 2018 at 10:35 PM

    One of my fav treats….is anyone looking? …. are cinnamon sugar pop tarts!
    I’m a li’l embarrassed to admit that, but your hand pies are going to save me from myself and they’re wholesome for my li’l Daisy to eat!

    • Rebecca Firth February 10, 2018 at 4:15 PM

      YESSSS — let’s call them pop tarts and eat them for breakfast!!! xox

  • kate | tasty seasons November 21, 2017 at 6:38 PM

    so, recognizing that advice coming from someone who doesn’t have chickens to someone who does is a little bit of a problematic framework, when i went to a “how to raise backyard chickens” class (because, oh how i would love to have chickens!), they said that blue kote is really helpful in situations exactly like you’re describing. just thought i would throw that out there, in case it might be helpful. and regardless, i hope your whole flock is healthy soon! xo!

  • Natalie November 20, 2017 at 9:40 AM

    These look so good! I love apples and cranberries together ♥

  • Asha Shivakumar November 14, 2017 at 2:34 AM

    I love making handpies and these look simply amazing. Hilarious post and pretty pictures. Gosh, I would be addicted to these.

  • Kate November 13, 2017 at 3:22 AM

    these are adorable, okay!!?!???

  • Nathaniel Crawford November 11, 2017 at 4:37 PM

    I love handpies so much! These are absolutely adorable, Rebecca! Thanks for participating in the collab. :)

    • Rebecca Firth November 12, 2017 at 1:57 AM

      Me too!!! Thank you so much for including me — I had a great time!! xoxo

  • Erin Clarkson November 11, 2017 at 2:28 PM

    Yummmm these look amazing! Hand pies are my absolute fave!
    Hope your hen is feeling better v soon! xx

    • Rebecca Firth November 12, 2017 at 1:57 AM

      Me too and me too!!! Thanks Erin!! xoxo

  • Laura | Tutti Dolci November 11, 2017 at 3:19 AM

    These beauties are hand pie perfection and I’m all about that vodka crust too!

  • silvia November 10, 2017 at 9:19 PM

    I totaly understand you about shot prep and crazy times for shooting!
    Your photos are stunning !

    • Rebecca Firth November 12, 2017 at 1:59 AM

      Thank you Silvia for the sweet words! It was fun doing this with you all!! xo

  • Christine | What do you crave? November 10, 2017 at 5:39 PM

    OMG your poor chicken!! Glad you found her! And these look dreamy btw, I love hand pies and I seriously need to roll up my sleeves and try these out!

    • Rebecca Firth November 10, 2017 at 6:22 PM

      It was so sad!!!! She’s damaged, for sure. :( …come up and we’ll make them together!!! xoxo

  • Lyndsey Eden November 10, 2017 at 4:19 PM

    my mom swears by shortening too…I think of next crust i am going to have to try some shortening…i have always stuck to butter but i hear wonderful things about the other side haha these sound so delicious and look so so lovely Rebecca!!

    • Rebecca Firth November 10, 2017 at 6:24 PM

      Your mom is a genius!! ;) I would love to hear what you think of pie crust made with it!! Email/DM me when you try it!!! xoxo

  • Karen @ Seasonal Cravings November 10, 2017 at 11:39 AM

    Do tell us all your photography secrets! Can’t believe you take photos so early in the morning. These things look dangerously good and I am obsessed with all things cranberry right now!

    • Rebecca Firth November 10, 2017 at 2:36 PM

      Hi Karen! I don’t know that I have many secrets — I would share anything with you!! …I like to get some work done before I take my kids to school…I know, it’s a wee crazy. And ME TOO — I can’t get enough of the cranberries!! xo

  • Fatimah November 10, 2017 at 10:52 AM

    these look crazy amazing! i love your photos and recognize them right away even on pinterest lol i’ve been having the same dilemmas though like of course we all do but i can’t seem to get this food photo stuff! also i think you did the right thing with whitey she was clearly doing too much haha

    p.s ditto to what adam and ryan said! xo

    • Rebecca Firth November 10, 2017 at 2:34 PM

      Why thanks my dear — for all of it!!! So many kind words…I appreciate it! And yep, Whitey is a massive jerk!!! Sending lots of love!! xo

  • Adam & Ryan November 10, 2017 at 4:46 AM

    Our favorite thing about reading your blog (besides the gorgeous photos and literally flawless recipes) is that we feel like you’re talking to us when we’re reading. We can hear every word in your voice. Sending hugs and love! (And we’re making these handpies next time we hang out…)

    • Rebecca Firth November 10, 2017 at 6:14 AM

      Yesss!!! I would love that!!! Thanks you guys!!! xox

  • Mary Ann | The Beach House Kitchen November 10, 2017 at 4:06 AM

    I can tell by your gorgeous photos that these are crazy addictive Rebecca! I would have had a hard time stopping at two! I can’t wait to make a batch and share with friends! Another hilarious post! Thanks for the recipe and the laughs!

    • Rebecca Firth November 10, 2017 at 6:13 AM

      I’m glad I have people coming over tomorrow because otherwise I might eat them all myself!!! xox

  • Lanelle Neumann November 10, 2017 at 3:36 AM

    I’ve been looking for the perfect pie crust! I can’t wait to try the vodka in my pie crust and maybe a little sip too!

  • Ramona Puckett November 10, 2017 at 3:09 AM

    How did you know I am fixing to make pie crusts this weekend? It must have been the vibes! These hand pies look delicious and I will make them! Thank you so much for sharing!

    • Rebecca Firth November 10, 2017 at 3:19 AM

      ‘Tis the season, right?!?! I’m making a larger version of this to share…I think next week on Instagram. I hope you enjoy them and have fun baking!! xoxo

  • Joshua November 10, 2017 at 2:22 AM

    Wow, these look really great! I can’t wait to try the recipe. Keep up the great work!

  • Kelsey @ Appeasing a Food Geek November 10, 2017 at 12:52 AM

    Love these! I’m ready for the addictive hand pies. Also, I adore reading about your adventures in photo editing and dramatic happenings on that ranchette. xoxo

    • Rebecca Firth November 10, 2017 at 1:34 AM

      Why thanks sweet lady! Have a wonderful evening!! xoxo