Salted Caramel Apple Hand Pies

If you had to choose between pie and cake for dessert, what would you choose?

I always find it hard to choose. I love cake, especially a good layer cake slathered with thick frosting. But I also love pie, especially pie with fruit and a crumbly crust.

I think for me the best way to answer that question is to choose cake for dessert, and then save a slice of pie for breakfast the next day.

And you can easily trick yourself into eating these Salted Caramel Apple Hand Pies for breakfast – after all, I intentionally made them to resemble breakfast pastries like turn overs and pop tarts.

These individual pies fit nicely in your hand, although I do recommend serving them on a plate with a dollop of extra salted caramel sauce. Which takes them away from breakfast territory and places them right smack in the middle of holiday extravagance.

I’m not ashamed to admit that I did go the semi-homemade route again, using pre-made pie crust and jarred salted caramel sauce.

But I am ashamed to admit that after making these pies, I went on a date and I didn’t realize I had caramel in my hair. (And no, I don’t mean caramel highlights, although I do pay a pretty price for that. I mean legit salted caramel sauce on a big chunk of my hair.)

You are right in assuming that 1) it was my date who discovered the caramel, 2) I was horrified, and 3) I fought the urge to lick my own hair.

But back to these hand pies. They didn’t turn out perfect – some looked lumpy, some of the edges were a little too brown, some of the caramel oozed out while baking, and they were uneven in size.  But they tasted pretty darn good. I wanted to test-drive these for Thanksgiving, and gave away this batch to some friends. In return, I got tight hugs, beaming smiles, and mouthfuls of buttery and sticky thank you’s as they gobbled these up.

I think for now, cake does not stand a chance against these salted caramel apple hand pies. And for that I am thankful.

Yield: 9 hand pies

Salted Caramel Apple Hand Pies


2 pre-made pie crusts, thawed according to package directions (I used Trader Joe's frozen pie crusts)
2 cups small diced Granny Smith apples (you can also use Fuji, Braeburn, or Pink Lady appples, which are sweet-tart apples that are best for baking)
1 tablespoon all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch of salt
1/2 cup salted caramel sauce (I used Trader Joe's Fleur de Sel Caramel Sauce)
1 tablespoon sanding sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 425 F.
  2. Unwrap one pie crust and form into a large ball. Using a rolling pin, roll out and shape into a square (tip: sprinkle some flour on the surface first so the crust doesn't stick). Cut into 9 squares. Do the same with the other pie crust, set aside.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the chopped apples, flour, cinnamon, and salt. Spoon a small portion of the apples in the center of each square. Top with about a tablespoon of caramel sauce. Continue until all 9 squares from the first pie crust are filled.
  4. Place a second square of pie crust on top, and use a fork to crimp and seal the edges. Cut three incisions on top of each pie. Place hand pies on a parchment paper lined baking sheet.  Sprinkle tops with sanding sugar. Bake for 15-17 minutes or until the tops and edges are golden brown. Cool for at least 10 minutes.


I hope these little hand pies can be a simple reminder to be grateful for all the blessing we have, both big and small – whether it’s a table filled with your loved ones, laughing out loud, caramel in your hair, or an extra slice of pie for breakfast the next day.