Amish Half Moon Pies Recipe - Delicious Dried Apple Pies

Amish Half Moon Pies

Amish Half Moon Pies Recipe - Delicious Dried Apple Pies
Region / culture: Amish | Preparation time: 30 minutes | Cooking time: 50 minutes | Servings: 8


Amish Half Moon Pies
Amish Half Moon Pies

Amish Half Moon Pies, also known as apple hand pies, are a delightful treat that combines the simplicity and wholesomeness of Amish baking with the comforting flavors of apple pie. These pies are made with a flaky pastry crust enveloping a sweet and spiced apple filling, creating a portable and delicious dessert. Perfect for picnics, lunches, or a cozy afternoon snack, these pies embody the warmth and tradition of Amish baking.


The tradition of making Half Moon Pies can be traced back to the Amish and Mennonite communities in the United States, where simplicity and frugality in cooking are highly valued. These pies were a convenient way to use leftover pastry dough and seasonal fruit, making them a practical yet delicious treat. Over time, they have become a beloved part of Amish cuisine, enjoyed by many beyond the Amish communities.


How to prepare

  1. Cook the dried apples in a saucepan with water and salt.
  2. Once the apples are soft and pulpy.
  3. Add the sugar, orange, and cinnamon.
  4. Simmer until the water has cooked away.
  5. Roll out the pastry and cut it into 8-inch circles.
  6. Place generous portions of the mixture on half of the pastry rounds; fold the pastry over and pinch the edges tightly together.
  7. Bake in a 450°F (232°C) oven for 10 minutes.
  8. Reduce the heat to 350°F (177°C) and bake for about 35 to 40 minutes longer or until golden brown.


  • Consider adding other dried fruits such as pears or peaches to the filling for a different flavor. Spices like nutmeg, allspice, or clove can also be added to complement the cinnamon.

Cooking Tips & Tricks

To ensure your Amish Half Moon Pies turn out perfectly, consider the following tips:

- Use cold butter and water when making the pastry to achieve a flaky crust.

- Cook the apple filling until it's thickened to prevent the pies from becoming soggy.

- Be sure to pinch the edges of the pies tightly to keep the filling inside while baking.

- Brush the tops of the pies with an egg wash before baking for a golden, shiny finish.

Serving Suggestions

These pies are best served warm, either on their own or with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. For a festive touch, dust them with powdered sugar or drizzle with a simple glaze.

Cooking Techniques

For a flakier pastry, try incorporating a technique called "laminating," which involves folding and rolling the dough multiple times to create layers. Additionally, cooking the apple filling over low heat will ensure it thickens properly without burning.

Ingredient Substitutions

For a healthier version, substitute the sugar with honey or maple syrup, and use whole wheat flour for the pastry. Vegan butter can be used in place of regular butter for a dairy-free option.

Make Ahead Tips

The apple filling can be made ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. The pastry dough can also be prepared in advance and kept chilled until ready to use.

Presentation Ideas

Serve the pies on a rustic wooden board with a dusting of cinnamon and a few fresh apple slices for garnish. A dollop of whipped cream or a drizzle of caramel sauce can also add a decorative and delicious touch.

Pairing Recommendations

Amish Half Moon Pies pair wonderfully with a cup of hot coffee or tea. For a dessert pairing, consider a glass of dessert wine such as a late harvest Riesling or a spiced apple cider.

Storage and Reheating Instructions

Store leftover pies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days or in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. To reheat, place in a 350°F (177°C) oven for about 10 minutes or until warmed through.

Nutrition Information

Calories per serving

Each pie contains approximately 300-400 calories, making it a substantial snack or dessert option. The exact calorie count will vary based on the size of the pies and the specific ingredients used.


Each Amish Half Moon Pie contains approximately 45-55 grams of carbohydrates, primarily from the sugar and flour used in the recipe. The dried apples also contribute natural sugars and a small amount of dietary fiber.


The fat content in these pies largely comes from the pastry, which includes butter or shortening. Each pie contains approximately 10-15 grams of fat, depending on the specific recipe used for the pastry.


Amish Half Moon Pies are not a significant source of protein, containing only about 2-3 grams per serving. The small amount of protein comes from the flour in the pastry.

Vitamins and minerals

The dried apples in the filling provide a modest amount of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, potassium, and a small amount of iron. However, these pies should not be relied upon as a significant source of nutrients.


Common allergens in Amish Half Moon Pies include wheat (from the flour) and dairy (from the butter). Those with allergies or sensitivities to these ingredients should exercise caution.


While Amish Half Moon Pies are a delicious treat, they are high in sugars and fats, making them best enjoyed in moderation. They offer a small amount of dietary fiber and nutrients from the dried apples but are not a significant source of vitamins, minerals, or protein.


Amish Half Moon Pies are a delightful and traditional treat that brings the simple pleasures of Amish baking into your home. With their flaky pastry and spiced apple filling, these pies are a comforting dessert perfect for any occasion. By following the tips and variations provided, you can customize the pies to suit your taste and enjoy a piece of Amish culinary heritage.

How did I get this recipe?

I vividly recall the moment I first laid eyes on this recipe for Amish Half Moon Pies. It was a warm summer day, and I was visiting my dear friend Mary in her quaint little farmhouse in the countryside. Mary was an Amish woman who had a natural talent for cooking, and she had graciously invited me into her kitchen to watch her prepare a batch of these delicious pies.

As I watched Mary work her magic in the kitchen, I was immediately drawn to the aroma of cinnamon and nutmeg that filled the air. The sweet smell of fresh dough baking in the oven was enough to make my mouth water. Mary worked with such precision and care, each step of the process executed with a grace and ease that only comes from years of experience.

I asked Mary where she had learned to make these pies, and she smiled warmly as she told me the story of how she had acquired the recipe. It had been passed down through generations of her family, a cherished secret that was only shared with those who truly appreciated the art of baking.

Mary explained that the key to making the perfect Half Moon Pies was in the dough. It had to be just the right consistency – not too sticky, not too dry – and rolled out to the perfect thickness. The filling, a sweet and tangy mixture of apples, cinnamon, and sugar, was carefully spooned onto the dough and then folded over to create the distinctive half-moon shape.

As Mary placed the pies in the oven to bake, she told me that the secret ingredient in her recipe was love. She believed that when you cooked with love and care, it infused the food with a special kind of magic that made it taste even better.

After what seemed like an eternity, the pies were finally ready. Mary pulled them out of the oven, their golden crusts glistening in the sunlight that streamed through the kitchen window. She offered me a taste, and as I bit into the warm, flaky pastry, I knew that I had just experienced something truly special.

I begged Mary to share her recipe with me, and she agreed, on one condition – that I promise to pass it on to future generations, just as she had done. I eagerly agreed, knowing that I had been given a precious gift that would be treasured for years to come.

When I returned home that day, I set to work recreating Mary's Half Moon Pies in my own kitchen. I followed her instructions to the letter, carefully measuring out each ingredient and rolling out the dough with the same precision that Mary had shown me.

As the pies baked in the oven, I could hardly contain my excitement. The smell of cinnamon and apples filled the air, transporting me back to that sunny day in Mary's kitchen. When the pies were finally done, I pulled them out of the oven and marveled at their perfect golden crusts.

I took a bite, and the taste was even better than I remembered. The sweet apples and spicy cinnamon melded together in a symphony of flavors that danced on my tongue. I knew then that I had truly mastered the art of making Amish Half Moon Pies.

Over the years, I have shared Mary's recipe with friends and family, passing on the tradition of baking these delicious pies to all who are willing to learn. Each time I make them, I am reminded of that fateful day in Mary's kitchen, and the warm memories that it holds.

And so, as I sit here now, writing this story for future generations to read, I can only hope that they will appreciate the magic of these pies as much as I do. For in each bite lies a taste of history, a legacy passed down through the generations, and a reminder of the power of love in the kitchen.


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