Gravenstein Apple Hand Pies

Gravenstein Apple Hand Pies

Reprinted with permission from Tanya Holland’s California Soul: Recipes from a Culinary Journey West by Tanya Holland, published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House.

Text copyright © 2022 by Tanya Holland
Photographs copyright © 2022 by Aubrie Pick

Sonoma County is the lesser-known wine country, but it’s so much more. It’s nestled along the coast on the west side and brimming with farmland on the east side. Tart green Gravenstein apples are grown all over. These mini-pies are a smart way to use up leftover dough and filling, and thrift is a core tenet of the African-American kitchen.

Yield: 8 hand pies
Prep time: 40 minutes, plus 30 minutes to 12 hours of dough chilling
Cook time: 30 minutes



2¼ cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1 cup unsalted butter, cut into cubes and chilled
1 teaspoon salt
4 to 7 tablespoons ice water


2 Gravenstein apples (about 1 pound), peeled, cored, and diced ¼ inch thick
¼ teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
½ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon tapioca starch
⅓ cup apple butter
1 egg, lightly beaten


1 cup confectioners’ sugar
2 tablespoons apple cider


Combine the flour, butter, and salt in a food processor and pulse until the mixture resembles small peas. Add 4 tablespoons of the ice water and pulse just until the dough holds together when pressed between your fingers. If necessary, add more ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time. Be careful not to overprocess.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and press lightly to form a disk. Wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to overnight. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Line a sheet pan with a silicone mat or parchment paper. Toss together the apples, allspice, cinnamon, sugar, salt, and tapioca starch.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough into an 18-inch circle, ⅛ inch thick. Cut into twelve 4-inch circles. Gather and reroll the scraps to get four more circles for a total of sixteen. Spread 1 teaspoon of the apple butter in the center of eight of the dough circles, leaving a ½-inch border. Place ¼ cup of the filling on top of the apple butter. Brush the edge of the dough with the egg and top with a plain dough circle. Using a fork, seal the edges of the dough of each pie. Cut three slits into the top of each pie and place the pies on the prepared sheet pan. Refrigerate for 20 minutes. Brush the pies with the remaining egg and bake until golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes.

To make the glaze: Whisk together the confectioners’ sugar and apple cider in a small bowl until the sugar is dissolved. Drizzle the glaze onto the hand pies and let cool.

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