Sarah's Kitchen Creations: Local Apple & Pear Hand Pies

Hand pies make the cutest little desserts and can highlight any in-season fruit! These apple and pear hand pies are kid-friendly with no added sugar, no peeling, and super simple ingredients.

WHAT YOU NEED FOR LOCAL APPLE & PEAR HAND PIES:

1 package of frozen pie dough or homemade pie dough

3 local apples

2 local Asian pears

1 cinnamon stick

DIRECTIONS:

1) Thaw frozen pie dough or make Homemade Sour Cream Pie Crust

2) Using a grater, grate the local apples and pears and place into a sauce pan with a lid adding one cinnamon stick. Make sure to stop grating before you hit the core and seeds.

3) Heat the grated apples and pears in a sauce pan with a lid on medium heat and continually stir fruit until softened approximately 15-30 minutes.

4) Remove cinnamon stick from filling and let the filling cool slightly before assembling hand pies.

5) Preheat oven to 375F.

6) Using a cookie cutter or ring from a mason jar lid, cut out circles from pie dough. You’ll need two circles for one hand pie. If you have a decorative smaller cookie cutter, you can cut the middle of the top dough just for decorative and venting purposes.

7) Using a spoon, scoop a small amount of filling onto one of the cut pie doughs and place in the middle. Make sure not to get filling on the edges or it will be hard to close up. Cover the filling and first pie dough with the second layer of dough and cinch the edges of the two doughs together with your fingers and then use the tip of a fork to press the edges together again.

8) Place on a baking sheet with parchment paper and bake for 20 minutes or until hand pies are golden brown. Cool & serve!

THIS RECIPE CAN BE MADE WITH ANY FRUIT FILLING!

It is apple and pear season right now but this recipe would also work when it is peach season, berry season, or if you don't have fresh or frozen fruit, you could even use jams, jellies, or any fruit preserve.

WHY A GRATER?

I originally made this recipe with kids in mind. We feature it for in a Cooking with Kids episode with the Champaign Farmer's Market, and I wanted to make this recipe as accessible as possible. You can use a knife to slice up your apples and pears but I think it is actually a lot easier to just grate your fruit. Because this recipe cooks the filling ahead of time, I wouldn't bother peeling the apples!

"NO SUGAR ADDED? ARE YOU SURE?"

The Asian pears and the Rubyjon apples that I used in this recipe were so sweet they didn't need any added sugar. You're welcome to add cane sugar or maple syrup but I honestly thought it was sweet enough. If you were using Granny Smith apples or other very tart apples, sure, go ahead and add a tad bit of sugar... or not!