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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 1 review
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Course: Pie
Cuisine: Dessert
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: 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 Pie 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 the Hand Pies: 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 tag me on social @displacedhousewife #displacedhousewife so I can see your beautiful treats! xo