This Fall you are Going to Fall in Love: Pretty Plate’s Easy Peasy Air Fryer Caramel Apple Hand Pies
Put those freshly picked apples from the orchard to good use this season by air frying these mini caramel apple hand pies. They take 10 minutes to make and these delicious mini apple hand pies have a sweet, buttery, flaky crust on the outside with a cinnamon brown sugar apple pie filling on the inside. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good full sized apple pie, but these mini hand pies take less time to make, are easier to make, easier to eat and they are more fun! This recipe is going to be a go to for me this fall season there is no doubt about it!
I absolutely love this recipe for a multitude of reasons:
They take little to no time to make, especially when you use store bought dough. I took a poll on my instagram story a week ago and asked all of you which option you prefer... already store bought pie dough OR homemade from scratch pie dough. To my surprise majority ruled the already store bought dough option. But, now thinking back on it, I don’t blame you! We all like easy and this recipe gives you just that. A tasty addicting treat with little effort. It’s a WIN WIN! With this recipe being so easy you: use store bought dough (which I did), make the filling by putting all ingredients into a pot and then heat and mix, then you fill the mini pies and close them and last, put them in the air fryer for a just a short 10 minutes! Trust me, this will be life changing this fall, you will fall in love once your try it!
The customization options are endless which makes these so fun to make. It is the perfect date night activity, family activity with your kids or bonding activity with your loved ones. And to make this activity even more special I highly recommend going apple picking to pick you own apples before making these, so you can have a full fun filled day! When customizing, you can create different dough shapes with cookie cutters or turn them into half moons, you can change the type of apple if you have a specific go to apple flavor you like (I used honeycrisp, I love the sweetness it provides!) or you have the option to sprinkle with sugar on top or brush with butter to give you that buttery crust or sweet crust (I actually did both! Buttery and sweet).
When it comes to the caramel, you have the option to play around with this as well. There is no written rule that you have to do anything a specific way. I love providing you with options so you can play around with the recipe and choose what you like best and then, I encourage you to share your results and feedback if you like. With the caramel, I did a caramel sauce, NOT syrup. There is a difference, I highly recommend the sauce. I created some apple pies with caramel inside of them and some without, I also drizzled the caramel ontop for some extra caramel flavor. You also have the option to do soft caramel chews in the middle instead of sauce. So, play around with it and let me know how they turn out!
These little guys are easy to eat and not messy. No fork, spoon or plate needed. Just your hands! You could say that they qualify as a easy grab and go item. They would be a perfect contribution at any gathering this season. Trust me when I say that I love a good slice of apple pie, but these mini hand held ones are so easy to eat with the filling being enclosed, plus their small size. These ones are about 3.5” in diameter. Plus, the best part about this is that you technically get a whole apple pie to yourself! No sharing required.
TIPS and TRICKS:
To cut the circles: No cookie cutter in the shape of a circle, no problem! All you need is a mason jar, coffee mug or drinking glass that is about 3.5” in diameter. It doesn’t have to be exactly 3.5” however, I thought this was the perfect size. Not too big and not too small. You flip whatever makeshift item you are using at home in replace of your cutter and just press down into the dough to create that perfect circle. Easy peasy!
When cutting the circles, I recommend placing a handful of flour down on your working surface, even if you do the store bought dough, it will be easier to handle and the dough won’t be as sticky.
DO NOT FORGET TO DO THIS! If you are using store bought dough, make sure you thaw the dough at room temperature before using and rolling out. If you don’t the dough will be crumbly and fall apart, it will not nicely roll out. So, when beginning this recipe first things first, remove the dough from the fridge so it can thaw out while you are preparing the filling. It will need to sit out for at least 30-45 minutes or until you can easily roll the dough out.
This is another one of those special recipes because my husband and I took the picking the apples ourselves route and we did a day date. We when to the orchard to pick these apples from the trees. So, we picked exactly what apples we wanted, got to taste a few during the process to narrow down which ones we wanted and we took some really fun photos. It was so much fun! Then, we went home made these mini hand apple pies together after. I highly recommend doing this! Spending time with your loves ones is so important to me and this is a great social distancing activity.
Are you feeling all the fall vibes and did you make this recipe? I hope that is a yes to both! Tag @prettyplatebymichelle and/or #prettyplatebymichelle and share your experience! I would love to see how you customized your mini caramel apple hand pies.
Makes 12-15 Mini Caramel Apple Hand Pies, INGREDIENTS:
4 Honey crisp apples, on the smaller side, peeled and diced
2 Boxes of Pie Crust, already made/store bought (this will give you 4 rolls total)
4 TSP fresh lemon juice
1/4 Cup corn starch
1 and 1/2 Cup water
1 TBSP brown sugar
1/2 Cup white sugar + more for garnish
2 Pinchs of nutmeg
3/4 TBSP cinnamon
Flour (to coat the dough)
1/4 Cup butter
1 Egg, whisked
Vanilla ice cream (OPTIONAL, but highly recommended to eat with on the side after pies have been air fried)
Remove your dough from the fridge and bring it to room temperature. Let it sit out while you prep the other items. Wash you apples, peel them and dice them. When all are diced, mix with fresh lemon juice and set aside.
In a bowl, mix the water and corn starch. Set aside.
Spray a pot with non-stick spray and place over medium to low heat. Add your apples, 1 TBSP brown sugar, 1/2 cup of white sugar, 2 pinches of nutmeg and 3/4 TBSP cinnamon. Mix well. Whisk your corn starch and water mixture again and then pour into your pot. Mix well and bring your pot to a simmer and let the sauce thicken with the apples.
Simmer for 10 minutes or until apples are soft and tender. Once done, remove from heat to let cool before you fill the dough.
On your surface, sprinkle some flour, enough to coat the whole sheet of dough on both sides. Carefully, roll out the dough. Using your cutter, begin cutting circles and coat both sides of the circle with flour. Continue this process until all circles are cut.
Crack one egg in a bowl and whisk. When apple pie filling has cooled, take one circle and fill it with 1 TBSP of filling. Using your finger, dip it in the egg wash and spread it around the filling to help the top stick.
Once the outside of the dough is coated in the egg, place a top circle over it and press down on the edges with your fingers to close. Using a fork, press down On the edges again to create the lines and close the hand pie even tighter. Using a small knife, cut two small slits at the top to make an ”x” or “+“. Continue this process with remaining dough and filling. ** NOTE: Here is where you have the option to add your caramel sauce to the filling or keep it out. **
When ready to air fry, preheat your air fryer to 350 degrees and melt your butter in the microwave.
Brush the tops with the melted butter and sprinkle with extra sugar. Place in the air fryer and air fry for 10 minutes.
Remove from the air fryer and serve right away or store in the fridge and eat cold later on. (I also recommend eating them a day later after they have become cold in the fridge, SO YUMMY!) You can drizzle extra caramel sauce on top after they have been removed from the air fryer and serve with vanilla ice cream (I recommend doing both).
PRETTY PLATE KITCHEN ITEMS USED: