• Fried Apple Hand Pie Recipe


The Ultimate Apple Pie Recipe

By Andrew Zimmern 

SweeTangos are my favorite apples, so when the short harvest season is in full swing, you better believe I stock up. Crunchy and juicy, tart yet sweet, they’re the perfect eating apples, but they also make for one killer pie filling. Try these addictive apple hand pies. With a flaky pastry crust coated in cinnamon and sugar with a luscious apple filling, what’s not to love? Plus, it’s a hand pie, so you won’t have to share.

Watch me make this recipe:


Fried SweeTango Apple Hand Pie


The Filling

  • 10 SweeTango apples (roughly one apple per cup of yield)
  • 1 stick salted butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ‘pumpkin pie’ spice
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Pastry Dough

  • 1 can evaporated milk (12 ounces)
  • 1 beaten egg
  • 5 cups AP flour
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon lard or shortening
  • Canola Oil for frying
  • Cinnamon and sugar for finishing


Make the Pastry Dough

Combine the milk and egg. Reserve.

Combine flour, salt, and sugar. Cut in the shortening (I use a pastry wire).

Combine the two mixtures, but don’t overwork. Cutting in as briefly as possible, work only until the dry mix is moistened. You don’t want clumps of dry mix, but when this dough over-mixes, the magic is gone.

Roll into a ball, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for several hours or overnight.

Prepare the Apple Filling

Peel and core 10 apples. Cut apples into half-inch dice. Discard peels and cores.

Heat a 14-inch non-stick sauté pan over medium heat. Add the butter and sugar. When foaming, add the apples, pumpkin pie spice and lemon juice. Turn the heat to medium-high.

Cook for 15 to 20 minutes, tossing as you go. The apples should sweat and give off their liquids. Reduce the mixture until the butter and sugar become thick and caramel-ed around the cooked apples.

Spill apples out onto a non-stick baker’s mat fitted into a tray. Let cool. Utilize in filling for hand pies.

Make the Apple Hand Pies

Roll pastry out onto a lightly floured board. Make circles about 6 inches across and 1/8-inch thick.

Fill half of the circle with apple mixture. Fold to make half moons. A turnover press works well.

Place canola oil in a plug-in deep fryer or a large pot. Deep fry the apple hand pies at about 335 degrees for 6 to 7 minutes, or until nicely browned.

Place hot pies, directly from fryer onto a baking tray. As they come out of the fryer, sprinkle reasonably heavily with sugar seasoned with ground cinnamon.

Photograph by Madeleine Hill.

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