Fall is my favorite time of year for a whole slew of reasons. In Kentucky, the leaves change, the weather becomes crisp, and it's the perfect time for two things: desserts and bourbon. Pies rank high on the list, but it seems like everyone has a different favorite, which is why I love these hand pies; you can fill them with whatever your heart desires. With the holidays right around the corner, pumpkin and apple felt like the perfect choice.
This time around I used store-bought pie crusts, but you can absolutely make your own if you have the time. A package of two pie crusts got me about four pies, but I cut my shapes fairly large and had a little dough left over. There was also a good amount of unused filling, so if I'd had more pie crusts on hand, I definitely could have made double the amount with the leftover filling.
I used Jim Beam Bottled in Bond for my fillings, but truthfully, I think you could use just about any 100 proof or lower bourbon or rye that you have around the house. Two bottles that I regularly recommend for baking are Larceny and Maker's Mark. Both are reasonably priced, readily available, and have wheated mash bills, which really lets the sweetness of the corn shine and makes them ideal for the dessert world. I only added an ounce of the bourbon to each filling recipe in an effort to compliment, but not overpower, the apple and pumpkin flavors. You can absolutely dial it up a notch, just watch your filling consistency!
These are great to make with friends or family members (if you have little ones, be mindful that the alcohol may not 100% cook out on the pumpkin filling!), or just on your own for some baking & self care time. Once they're done, you have a causal, rustic, hand-held dessert that doesn't create a ton of dirty dishes when you serve them. Next year, I'm planning to make these for our outdoor Halloween movie night and maybe Friendsgiving, too.
Okay, let's get to making some hand pies. Pro tip: Enjoy a pour (within moderation) while you bake!
Fall Bourbon Hand Pies - Pumpkin & Apple
- 2 Pie Crusts (makes 4-6 pies)
- 1 egg
- 1/4 c. milk
- 3/4 c. pureed pumpkin
- 1 oz. bourbon (100 proof or less)
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1/2 c. brown sugar
- 2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
- 1 egg
- Dash of salt
- 2 apples, chopped (I used Honeycrisp)
- 1 oz. bourbon (100 proof or less)
- 1 Tbsp. butter
- 1/4 c. brown sugar
- Squeeze of lemon juice (~1/2 a lemon)
- Dash of cinnamon
1 Preheat oven to 425F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2 If you're using store bought pie crusts, take them out of the fridge so they can start to come to room temperature (~20 minutes).
3 For the pumpkin filling, mix all ingredients in a bowl and set aside
4 For the apple filling, add the chopped apples to a medium-sized skillet and set to medium-high heat. Stir in all of the remaining ingredients and cover, allowing the apples to soften and the sauce to reduce, about 10 minutes (stir occasionally to avoid burning). Remove the skillet from the stove and allow to cool.
5 Unroll your pie crusts onto a lightly floured surface and cut out the shapes you want. I created my shapes by pressing a square and circle-shaped saucer into the dough (one for apple, one for pumpkin), but you can create different shapes. You'll need an even number of each shape so that you have a bottom and top piece for each pie.
6 Place the bottom dough shapes onto the parchment paper, spaced evenly.
7 Spoon pumpkin filling onto the center of half of your dough shapes. Spoon the apple filling onto the other half. Be careful not to overfill, or it will get messy when it comes time to seal them.
8 Place the remaining dough on top of the corresponding shapes. Gently stretch to cover the filling, if needed. Use a fork to press the top and bottom together around the outside edges of each pie. It's important that they stay mostly sealed so that the filling doesn't escape. If you're having trouble, try brushing the edges with some hot water before crimping them together.
9 Cut small slits in the center of the top of your pie, then place the baking sheet in the fridge for about 15-20 minutes.
10 Mix egg and milk in a small bowl to create an egg wash. Remove the baking sheet from the fridge and brush the tops of the pies with the egg wash, including the edges.
11 Bake the pies at 425 F for about 15 minutes, or until the crust starts to brown.
12 Remove pies from the oven, allow them to cool slightly, then enjoy!
Did you make this recipe? Let us know!
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