Cheddar Rye Apple Hand Pies

Desserts, Fall, Pie, Thanksgiving

Cheddar Rye Apple Hand Pies

I gotta a new pie book in the mail and I LOVE IT! Immediately these Cheddar Rye Apple Hand Pies leaped out at me!

The world needs more pie, I think. Especially this week (and after last week) lol. Last year, I was in Chicago for work so I took a quick trip to Detroit to visit my brother who just moved there for a job. And while he was at work, I asked some of you for recommendations and the number one place you cute people told me to visit was Sister Pie. I was super excited. I jumped in his car (he lent me) and drove to Detroit. As I cruised around the city, I decided to drop in to Sister Pie.

The place is vibrant, warm and feels like a place that serves the community. Because I was so excited to be there AND because their case was jam-packed with baked goods, I ordered one of everything!

Sister Pie Cookbook

As I was thumbing through the book, lots of things jumped out at me to make, but I settled on these Cheddar Rye Hand Pie Apple Pies because I’ve always wanted to add cheddar to my pie crust and never have. I figured this would be a good time!

Cheddar Rye Pie Crust–Let’s Talk About It!

The dough made me scratch your head a bit and wonder if all was going to be ok. I was like,“Are these going to bake up? Are they just gonna get all melty and weird?”

I can assure you, they did not bake up weird…instead they baked up like regular pie dough, in fact maybe they were a more beautiful brown color because of the cheese? Who knows.

They are ridiculously flakey and crispy. I love what the cheddar and rye contributes to the pie dough.

Cheddar Rye Apple Hand Pies

The Oven Needs to Be A Bit Hotter!

Ludowski calls for a 450 degree F oven to bake the hand pies. And that is pretty high for pie. (All my recipes call for 400 degrees F).

The super high temperature helps the cheese to not ooze out of the dough. The recipe calls for “aged Cheddar” in the pie dough, which isn’t super duper melty. So this absolutely helps, too!

And the rye flour adds a nice nuttiness. These tasted like comforting flavors of all–SO GOOD.

If you’re looking for another recipe for Hand Pies? These Bananas Fosters Hand Pies are FIRE!

Crispy Cheddar Rye Apple Hand Pies

Cheddar Rye Apple Hand Pies

5 from 3 votes
Prep Time: 2 hours
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 40 minutes
Serving Size: 24 hand pies


Cheddar Rye Pie Crust:

  • 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons ice cold water
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup dark rye flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 cups 3 sticks unsalted butter, straight from the fridge (They recommend European-style butter, I just regular!)
  • 2 ounces aged Cheddar cheese, grated

Apple Filling:

  • 2 Northern Spy, Idared, Golden Delicious or Honey Crisp apples, peeled, cored and diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice, about 1/4 lemon
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons tapioca starch or 1 tablespoon corn starch
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg


To Make the Cheddar Rye Pie Crust:

  • In a large stainless steel bowl, combine the all-purpose and rye flours, sugar, and salt and stir to mix well. I am a firm follower of the grating butter method. They recommend a pastry cutter, but I don’t own one, so I recommend grating the butter, using a cheese grater, into the dry ingredient mixture. Transfer to the freezer to chill for about 5 minutes. Mix the butter into the flour mixture, until throughly combined, breaking up the butter bits until they resemble the size of peas. The rest of the pie dough should look like canned Parmesan cheese. Speaking of cheese, now is the time to add the Cheddar and mix in quickly until evenly distributed.
  • At this point, add the water-vinegar mixture all at once, and give it a good mix. I like to use a spoon for this part. Scrape as much of the mixture as you can from one side of the bowl to the other, until you can’t see visible pools of liquid anymore. Now it’s hand time. Scoop up as much of the mixture as you can, and use the tips of your fingers (and a whole lot of pressure) to press it back down onto the rest of the ingredients. Rotate the bowl a quarter-turn and repeat. Scoop, press and turn. With each fold, your intentions is to be quickly forming the mixture into one cohesive mass.
  • Remove the dough from the bowl, place it on a lightly-floured counter, and use your bench scraper to divide into two equal pieces. Gently pat each into a 1-inch thick square, working quickly to seal any broken edges before wrapping them tightly in a double layer of plastic wrap. Refrigerate the dough for at least 2 hours, or, ideally, overnight.
  • You can keep the pie dough in the fridge for a few days or in the freezer for up to 1 year. If frozen, remove the dough and place tin the refrigerator to thaw one full day before you intend to use it.

To Make the Apple Filling:

  • Place the cubed apples in a large bowl and toss with a the lemon juice. Add the granulated sugar, brown sugar, tapioca or corn starch, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Toss until evenly distributed.
  • Remove the first disk of dough from the fridge. Lightly flour your work surface and roll the dough out to a 1/2-inch thick round. Using a 3-inch or 4-inch round cookie cutter, stamp out rounds of pie crust and transfer them to a baking sheet or tray. You should be able to re roll the scraps and end up with about 40 rounds.
  • I stuck them in the freezer for about 10 minutes just to firm up a bit. Remove the rolled-out pie crust from the fridge or freezer and lay half of them out onto a lightly floured surface. Brush each round entirely with beaten egg. Add a heaping teaspoon of the diced apples to the center of each round, leaving at least a 1-inch border. Using the tines of a fork (dipped in flour), press the edges together and do this around the edge of the entire round, making a decorative edge. Take the 3-inch or 4-inch cutter (whichever one you used) and cut the hand pie once more to clean and define the edges. Repeat with the remaining hand pies.
  • Transfer them to the freezer to chill for about 10 minutes. Meanwhile preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
  • When the hand pies are done chilling and the oven is preheated, brush the tops with the remaining egg wash and sprinkle with turbinado sugar. Transfer to the oven (I did this in batches) for about 15 to 20 minutes, until the tops are golden brown.


*If you want to freeze the hand pies to bake later, do that right after they're assembled.
Transfer them to a baking sheet and place in the freezer. When frozen, place in a freezer storage bag and freeze for up to 3 months. Transfer from the freezer directly to the oven to bake.
Did you make this Recipe? Tag me Today!Tag @acozykitchen on Instagram and hashtag it #acozykitchen

Cheddar Rye Apple Hand Pies

Recipe from Sister Pie by Lisa Ludwinski

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Recipe Rating

  • Reply Emilia April 2, 2020 at 3:47 pm

    5 stars
    Yum! Especially with Ice cream! Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply Mathilde January 28, 2020 at 12:37 pm

    5 stars
    Thank you for this recipe. I didn’t have rye flour on hand so I used buckwheat instead, and it was absolutely delicious. Everyone was rather skeptical when I said “apple” and “cheddar” in the same sentence, but they bit into it, there was no one left to protest! These little pies have such a cozy feeling about them, it was just perfect, and your directions made it all very easy to bake.

  • Reply Joanna October 13, 2019 at 8:31 am

    5 stars
    I too wish I had read your blog before making my first batch of cheddar cheese hand pies. I burned them, and couldn’t believe I only needed two apples for the filling. I thought it might be helpful it the amount apples needed was provided in grams because vary so much in size. I love the Sister Pie cookbook. It’s totally changed the way I make pie crust. So delicious. We’ve met the author. I’m originally from Detroit and have been to the Sister Pie shop. I couldn’t be happier for the success of the Sister Pie crew. I’ve also made the caramelized onion, delicata squash and sage hand pies. Superb!!!!

  • Reply Lisa November 13, 2018 at 4:22 pm

    Can this recipe only call for two apples to make 24 hand pies? Am I reading that right?

    • Reply Adrianna Adarme November 14, 2018 at 3:24 pm

      Because you only use like a teaspoon of filling since the hand pies are quite small 🙂

      • Reply Lisa November 15, 2018 at 5:33 am

        Ah . . , ok, Thank you!

  • Reply Pooja Mittal October 17, 2018 at 10:31 am

    We made these!!! Thank you for making the pie so accessible to make – I have been lurking here for a long time thinking about making pie but this made me take the plunge. We used pears instead and they were AMAZING! not as cute as yours but the taste was great. thank you!

  • Reply mary October 14, 2018 at 1:50 pm

    Apples and cheddar are so perfect together – love the idea of this and the rye flour giving it a little extra flavor and texture. Lovely! I may have to get the book:)

  • Reply Marisa Franca October 14, 2018 at 4:48 am

    Can’t wait to make them — they look so doggone good. I remember seeing the addition of cheese in pie dough but I don’t remember the filling. The hand pies are adorable.

  • Reply Veronica October 7, 2018 at 1:51 pm

    I wish I read your directions, I burned mine following the sister pie directions 🙁

    • Reply Adrianna Adarme October 8, 2018 at 10:54 am

      ahh! yes i put a timer on for 15 minutes and was like, “whoa! they’re almost done!” i think i baked mine for about 20 minutes! 🙁

      • Reply Veronica October 8, 2018 at 3:43 pm

        We scrapped off the burnt parts and still ate them at least we didn’t waste them! and they were so flaky!

  • Reply Kamille October 5, 2018 at 6:20 pm

    I might not be able to stop myself! These are the kind of things that keep me eating until my tummy pops. Yum! and Thank You for sharing! I’m baking and gobbling them up this weekend with Cardamom Ice Cream (slirp, smack!)

  • Reply Dana October 5, 2018 at 10:44 am

    I love apple pie with cheddar cheese. It’s my favorite. My husband laughs at me – I won’t go near apple pie with ice cream.