Apple Rhubarb Hand Pies | Father’s Day

apple rhubarb hand pies

Houston is a bustling, sprawling, noisy city, not to mention the incessant heat and humidity. The bugs are bigger, the hair is bigger and the trucks are bigger in Texas. The freeways are endless and lie intertwined like snakes in a pit. In between this mess of concrete and metal, buildings sprout out of the ground like glass flowers, sparkling in the fierce sunshine.

However, on the south and southwest side of Houston, life is a little bit quieter and here you will find farm land scattered amongst new housing developments and small city centres. This is where we lived before we moved to Colorado. We were right in between farm land on one side and a big developing city on the other.

apple rhubarb hand pies

It was quite ideal actually; you felt you were in the country side with all the amenities of the big city. If it wasn’t for the bugs and the heat, I may have considered staying.

Just ten minutes down the road, we had access to a farm. I was ecstatic to find that you could pick your own strawberries, something I hadn’t done since I had left England. I took my children and let them experience the joy of picking their own fruit where more fruit makes it to the mouth than the basket!

Since Texas doesn’t really have seasons, this farm was open all year round and had a fabulous farm store. Twice a week I was there stocking up my refrigerator with farm fresh produce. Not only did this farm store have inexpensive, home grown produce and fresh beans (pinto, black eyed, creamer), they also had the best fried pies. 

My husband could not resist these pies. Anytime he came with me, his first stop was at the pie window where he eagerly rifled through the hot pies in their paper wrappers, looking for what flavour would catch his eye that day.

apple rhubarb hand pies

If your husband, father or grandfather has a sweet tooth, then these are perfect for a Father’s Day BBQ. Unfortunately, I didn’t have time to do a series of Father’s Day posts because of my hectic move. I know my husband, and he would prefer these apple strawberry hand pies to any steak or meat post. 

My grandfather was crazy about desserts too. I know that if he was alive today, he would most certainly be my biggest supporter and taste tester. His craving for sweet was so bad that occasionally, when I was on holiday in India, I would catch him at the fridge spooning out his favourite mixed fruit jam and a big dollop of cream (off the top of the fresh milk, I might add) and eating it standing with the fridge door wide open.

Since rhubarb is still in season and I like to take advantage of it while it is, I decided to make these apple strawberry hand pies for my husband. They are much healthier than the ones at the farm because they are baked instead of fried and are made with an all butter pastry.


You can enjoy them at room temperature or warm; with or without ice cream. I like them warm with ice cream but they can easily be served at room temperature for a BBQ or picnic.

apple rhubarb hand pies

apple rhubarb hand pies

Apple Rhubarb Hand Pies | Father’s Day

Prep time: 

Total time: 

Serves: 10 or 11 pies

A deliciously sweet and tart hand pie with a creamy fruit filling and buttery, flaky crust.
  • 3 cups/355g rhubarb, sliced (about 4 large stalks)
  • 3 cups/345g apples, small sliced chunks (about 3 medium apples)
  • ¾ cup/172g sugar (use ½ cup if you like the tartness)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon lemon zest
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 quantity butter pastry or use good quality shop bought
  • 1 egg, beaten for brushing
  • 2 tablespoons coarse sugar for sprinkling
  1. In a medium size pan, add the rhubarb, apples, salt and sugar.
  2. Add a drizzle of water if necessary and heat on medium.
  3. The rhubarb will begin to release liquid and break down.
  4. The apples will soften and the sugar will dissolve.
  5. Heat the mixture till the moisture has evaporated and the it begins to thicken.
  6. This will take about 25-30 minutes.
  7. Once the mixture is thick and spoonable, add the lemon juice, lemon zest and cinnamon.
  8. Place on a plate and chill in the fridge.
  9. Meanwhile make the pastry if you haven't already.
  10. Before the pastry is chilled, divide the dough into 10 balls.
  11. Chill the balls for 15-20 minutes.
  12. Working with one dough ball at a time, roll it out to a 6 inches/15 cm diameter circle.
  13. Place 2 tablespoons of the chilled apple rhubarb mixture on one half of the circle and fold over the other half.
  14. Press out the air and seal the edges with a fork or crimp the edges like a pie.
  15. Place on a tray or plate in the fridge to chill while you make the others.
  16. Repeat with the other dough balls.
  17. While the completed hand pies are chilling, preheat the oven.
  18. At this point the pies can also be frozen.
  19. Preheat the oven to 400℉/200℃.
  20. Line a baking sheet with foil and keep aside.
  21. When the pies have chilled for about 20 minutes, place them on the foil lined baking sheet.
  22. Brush with the beaten egg, sprinkle with coarse sugar and cut 3 vent slits down each pie.
  23. Place the sheet on the bottom rack of the oven and bake for 25 minutes, or until golden brown and bubbly.
  24. Cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes and then remove to a rack.
  25. Best eaten warm but are great at room temperature and reheated in a toaster oven.

apple rhubarb hand pies

I hope you enjoyed one of my husband’s favourite treats, the apple rhubarb hand pie. Of course, he pretty much likes all desserts, cakes and puddings and my blog would be one endless tribute to all things sweet if I posted everything he likes!

apple rhubarb hand pies

My kitchen is not a 100 percent quite yet and so I am taking it slow with cooking and posting. Wishing all the wonderful fathers out there a very special week and Father’s Day. I am lucky to be married to a wonderful man who is an awesome father and I could not be the mother I am without him. I am also lucky to have a wonderful father, one that gave me everything while I was growing up, amazing grandfathers, may they both rest in peace, awesome brothers, uncles and cousins. Each one of them are exceptional fathers and I am proud to be related to them.

Have a wonderful week and if I don’t see you again, a very Happy Father’s Day!

  1. Pingback: Apple Rhubarb Hand Pies | Real Food Recipe Roundup

    • You can most definitely put more apple, all apple or any other fruit that you desire. We used to enjoy all kinds of flavours with the fried versions.

  2. You mirrored my feelings about Texas in general and Houston in particular. I haven’t been to Hiuston, but I lived in Austin for a while, and this is exactly how I felt about it. The main cities are terrible mess of concrete and steel, surrounded by havens of nature. The pies looks beautiful…….hope you had a fab Father’s Day. I stopped getting email updates, so came looking for you. Don’t know what happened. Subscribed again.
    Minnie@thelady8home recently posted..Slow cooked crock-pot lamb short-ribs – “And the mountains echoed” book review.My Profile

    • Austin is nice, probably because its a college town. They’re all nice towns in Texas but the heat is a killer for me.

  3. These are beautiful Nanzeen. I know it is difficult when you move and have to sort through things but you will get there. I love rhubarb pies and so does my dad can’t wait to give these a try. Perfectly portable than the traditional pies and has portion control built right in and thats a good thing as they look addictive.
    Bam’s Kitchen recently posted..Emerald Chicken KabobsMy Profile

  4. Hi Nazneen, I absolutely love rhubarb – it’s not used nearly enough in my opinion. I used to eat way too much as a kid and went off it a bit (my mother had a bush in her garden and was always serving it to us, haha) but I’m really getting back into it now. These little pies look so sweet, and I love the effect the sugar sprinkled on top has too – lovely!

    • I know what you mean Charles! My mum did that to me with spinach and mince! She used to make it all the time so when I got older, I hated it! Still kinda do 🙂

  5. Nazneen, the hand pies look delicious. I love rhubarb and apple together..especially in a crumble. Now I want to try out your recipe. How very sweet of you to make them for your husband. My grandfather had a sweeth tooth too…a big one! And he was the reason behind my love for sweets. Loved your post. Happy Father’s day to all the fathers in your family.
    Sugar et al recently posted..Whole Orange Almond Mini Cakes with Orange SyrupMy Profile

    • Thanks Sonali! I love pie and I grew up eating rhubarb and apple crumble. That’s where I got my inspiration from and the fact that my husband is a big pie lover (or anything sweet)!

    • Ha ha! Thanks Suchi for posting that! That was so funny! Thank you for stopping by and leaving such a wonderful comment! I hope to see you around.

    • Thanks John! I agree, rhubarb has been gorgeous even at the stores. I am jealous of your rhubarb! I am finally moved in, yes, still tinkering around but big stuff is done.

  6. I had not heard of the term “hand pies” before but I love it and it perfectly describes these little beauties! You have reminded me of my dear departed grandfather’s sweet tooth — I definitely take after him.

    • Thank you Danielle! I guess they are just pies you can hold in your hand…having said that, I still used a plate and fork! My son enjoyed eating them with his hands.

  7. Such a beautiful photography on these hand pies! Apple and rhubarb sound like a great combination as I’ve seen it before somewhere else too. I haven’t cooked rhubarb at home yet, but I’d love to try. These hand pies make me so tempted to try this recipe! Thank you so much for sharing the recipe!
    Nami | Just One Cookbook recently posted..Cherry BarsMy Profile

    • Thanks Nami! I take that as a highest compliment coming from you 🙂 Apple and rhubarb is a very popular combination in England. I grew up eating apple and rhubarb crumbles and I have always loved that combination.

  8. Another great recipe, Nazneen, even if I really am not a fan of rhubarb. I do enjoy a good hand pie though, especially apple, and yours all look fantastic. I could easily substitue a little more apple for the rhubarb and be very happy. ) I hope the men in your life all have a great Father’s Day!
    ChgoJohn recently posted..Baked HaddockMy Profile

    • I was thinking about you as I was making and typing up this recipe! I knew you’d go “ugh…another rhubarb recipe to flood the web” You can easily add more apple, or swap the rhubarb with strawberry. May have to add a bit of cornstarch to thicken it up. Let me know if you try them!

    • You need to start using rhubarb!! Of course, it is an acquired taste, not everyone likes the tart grassy taste.

  9. This was such a nice post. It totally reminds me of my dad. He always advocated for dessert – even for breakfast. If you can’t enjoy dessert, life isn’t good. My parents always have a rhubarb plant growing and usually make rhubarb or strawberry rhubarb crisp. I think I will have to give these a go, just for memory’s sake. Did you get your rhubarb from the store or the farmer’s market? (BTW, I haven’t forgotten our date to the farmer’s market, hoping for after Ramadan, inshallah.) The one pictured looks so beautiful.

    • Thanks mariyam. I bought the rhubarb at Sprouts actually. Haven’t hit any markets yet. Too tired still! Looking forward to Sunday!

  10. Great recipe and a lovely tribute. Its just rhubarb season here and these would be perfect for Mr Glam who also has a ridiculously sweet tooth. They’re almost like fruit pasties, although anyone Cornish would tell you there’s no such thing. GG xx
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    • They are a bit like pasties aren’t they and you are right, the Cornish would get quite offended! I did get a chuckle out of your comment! I hope Mr Glam likes them. xx

    • Thanks Uru! My mouth was watering too but that could be that the rhubarb was a bit tart!!