cardamom apple hand pies with manchego {fall dessert}

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of KitchenAid. All opinions and text are mine.

I could not be anymore excited to get this Palm Springs summer heat behind me.  I am dreaming of pumpkin patches, warm butternut soup and apple everything.  We have an enormous apple orchard nearby and taking my kids pickin’ is one of my favorite fall activities.  Once you get home though, it is what do I make with all of these apples?!

#applechallenge apple hand pie

Of course, there are a million ways to use apples in both sweet and savory applications.  My first thought today when preparing an apple dish, was to go with a pork tenderloin… love pork and apple together so much.  My daughter was insisting I make a pie though (snooze), so I took that idea and spun it a bit with ingredients and shape – hand pies!  Hand pies are really popular in the south and I have great memories attached to them.  There couldn’t be anything better than a portable dessert, after all.

apple cardamom manchego hand pie recipe #applechallenge

This is a pretty classic recipe, but I decided to add some cardamom and fresh ginger because when I hear cinnamon, these are ingredients I think of adding.  I also wanted to get creative – and then my mind went to cheese.  I remember as a kid watching people shred cheddar cheese onto their apple pies.  At the time, this seemed like the grossest thing to me.  As I matured into an adult and my palate expanded, I warmed up to the idea but never tried it.  I mean, I have eaten a lot of cheese and fruit platters in my life… so why not?  I wasn’t feeling keen on cheddar so I opted for a creamy, Spanish sheep cheese – manchego.  Manchego won’t overwhelm the apples like a sharp cheddar can, it simply enhances the overall flavor of the filling.

manchego apple hand pie #applechallenge

First round of these hand pies, I left the apple filling as so and decided to top the pie later on with warm manchego.  cop out.  total cop out.  If you are going to do it, just do it, right?!  Next round, I put the manchego right in the filling and HOLY COW was that a smart move.  The creaminess of the manchego adds an extra richness to the hand pie, balancing out all of the sweet on sweet flavor.  This was kind of a game changer for me.  Filling these buttery dough disks with not only apple, but manchego?  win.

how to make a hand pie #applechallenge

I have a faint and distant memory of what my life was like before this hand pie.  All I can tell you is, it wasn’t as great a life.  I’m fairly certain my family will not allow too much time to pass before requesting more of these delicious, creamy, unctuous, sweet, crispy, gooey, buttery, flaky and mesmerizing hand pies.

apple hand pie #applechallenge

When it comes to what kind of apple to use in your hand pie, I say, whatever you can find to pick!  I went with a half and half combo of Granny Smith and Braeburn.  They seemed to have contrasting qualities and both equally delicious – any apple combo will work, though!


Do you have a great apple pie recipe?  Submit it to the KitchenAid Apple Challenge through Instagram or Twitter using #AppleChallenge or to or   You have a chance to win an AH-mazing prize – a private cooking lesson with Chef Geoffrey Zakarian (omg) and the new black stainless suite of appliances from KitchenAid.  Yes, so get to cooking!  Recipes can be anything sweet or savory, just make sure the apple is the true hero of the dish!

apple manchego hand pie #applechallenge

cardamom apple hand pies with manchego

pie pastry

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
  • 2 1/2 stick unsalted butter, cubed and COLD
  • 1/3 cup vegetable shortening, cubed and frozen
  • 6-7 Tbl ice water

apple filling

  • 4 apples, peeled, cored and diced
  • 2 Tbl butter
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 Tbl honey
  • 1 tsp cardamom
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg, freshly grated
  • 1 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1/3 cup manchego, freshly shredded

egg wash, demerara sugar

  1. In a food processor, pulse together flour, salt and sugar.  Add butter and shortening (both very cold) and pulse a few times to combine.  The butter pieces should not be smaller than a pea size.  Add water, a couple Tbl at a time, pulsing until dough is moist.
  2. On a well-floured surface, combine dough and cut into two pieces.  Form both into disks, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 3-4 hours or overnight (I prefer overnight).
  3. Over medium high heat, combine all of the filling ingredients except the manchego.  Cook until the apples soften.  You do not want them mushy, but cooked through is best.  Add in manchego and stir until melted.  Turn off heat.
  4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line two sheet pans with parchment paper.
  5. Remove a dough disk and place on a well-floured surface.  Have extra flour on hand.  Roll out the dough until just over 1/8 inch thick.  Cut out six 4-5″ circles with a ring mold or bowl (I used a kids bowl).  Place onto baking sheets.
  6. Spoon a Tbl-ish of apple/manchego mixture into the middle of each circle.  Brush edges with egg wash, fold in half over mixture and pinch the seam closed.  Crimp the edges with a fork, brush egg wash over, sprinkle with demerara sugar all over.  Cut an “X” into the top middle of each pie.
  7. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown, cool for 10 minutes.
  8. From the first-ever black stainless steel to the first-ever five-door refrigerator, KitchenAid pushes the limits with our appliances, so our home cooks can do the same with their cooking. See the revolutionary new line of KitchenAid appliances or visit the Kitchenthusiast™ blog for recipes, tips and more.

    This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of KitchenAid. The opinions and text are all mine.

Previous post

fairy godmother pretzel wands and fairy dust {Descendants}

Next post

getting kids outside every day {Joshua Tree}


  1. April 2, 2017 at 6:53 am — Reply

    Hi, Neat post. There is a problem with your website in internet explorer, would test this… IE still is the market leader and a large portion of people will miss your magnificent writing due to this problem.

  2. April 3, 2017 at 9:37 am — Reply

    you have got an ideal blog here! would you prefer to make some invite posts on my blog?

  3. April 4, 2017 at 2:50 am — Reply

    Really enjoyed this article, can I set it up so I get an email when you write a fresh article?

  4. April 4, 2017 at 3:11 am — Reply

    Simply want to say your article is as surprising. The clearness in your post is just spectacular and i could assume you’re an expert on this subject. Fine with your permission let me to grab your feed to keep updated with forthcoming post. Thanks a million and please continue the gratifying work.

  5. April 4, 2017 at 7:33 am — Reply

    Howdy! I’m at work surfing around your blog from my new apple iphone! Just wanted to say I love reading your blog and look forward to all your posts! Carry on the excellent work!

  6. April 4, 2017 at 7:46 am — Reply

    It’s appropriate time to make a few plans for the long run and it is time to be happy. I’ve read this put up and if I may I desire to recommend you few interesting issues or suggestions. Perhaps you could write subsequent articles referring to this article. I desire to learn more things approximately it!

  7. April 5, 2017 at 4:27 am — Reply

    I really appreciate this post. I have been looking all over for this! Thank goodness I found it on Bing. You have made my day! Thx again

  8. April 6, 2017 at 2:25 pm — Reply

    Does your site have a contact page? I’m having problems locating it but, I’d like to shoot you an e-mail. I’ve got some ideas for your blog you might be interested in hearing. Either way, great site and I look forward to seeing it develop over time.

  9. April 8, 2017 at 4:36 am — Reply

    It is in point of fact a nice and useful piece of information. I’m glad that you shared this useful information with us. Please stay us informed like this. Thanks for sharing.

  10. April 9, 2017 at 9:29 am — Reply

    Hello There. I found your blog using msn. This is a really well written article. I will be sure to bookmark it and come back to read more of your useful info. Thanks for the post. I will certainly comeback.

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *