Hand Pies Are the New Baking Hack You Have to Try for the Holidays This Year

You don't want to admit it, but baking a full pie is a hassle. Make hand pies instead!

Holiday dinners put a lot of pressure on the person making dessert. Family and friends expect pie—pumpkin pie, apple pie, pecan pie. But let’s be honest, baking a pie isn’t always easy. You can make a lot of pie mistakes. So, forget baking a pie this year. This holiday season, you’re off the hook. It’s time to try hand pies instead.

Sure, mini-pies and tarts have been in bakers’ repertoires for years. But this year seems to be the Year of the Hand Pie. Hand pies are more forgiving, less “pretty” and more rustic-looking. They are to full-sized pies what cupcakes are to full-sized cakes. And everyone loves cupcakes, amiright? Yes. So, everyone will love your hand pies, too.

Hand pies also come with two major benefits. First, you won’t need extra utensils to clean (you know, because you can use your… hands). And perhaps the best thing about them: You don’t have to share!

What’s the Difference Between Hand Pies and Turnovers?

Not much. If you’ve ever baked turnovers, or even homemade “Pop-Tarts,” you’ve already made a hand pie. The key difference is that turnovers are made from a folded piece of dough while hand pies are circular (or sometimes square) and pressed closed on all sides. In either case, you can make the crust yourself or use store-bought puff pastry or refrigerated pie dough.

What Hand Pie Should I Bake for the Holidays?

Any of the traditional pie fillings will do. Caramelized apple hand pies are perfect for the fall and winter holidays. (Check out this cool video on how to make apple hand pies).

Non-traditional fillings can also be a hit. Nutella hand pies or figgy hand pies with dried fig, maple and walnut are sure crowd pleasers. If you have some berries or cherries frozen from the summer, those work great too.

What If I Can’t Even Bake a Hand Pie?

You can always buy ready-made from the store, such as Trader Joe’s Apple Pumpkin Hand Pies. Just heat them up and serve. Don’t worry, we won’t tell anyone!

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