In a large bowl, mix the flour and salt for the shortcrust pastry. Add in half the cubed butter and smush into the flour using your hands. Then add in the other half of butter and smush into flakes in the flour. Make sure to leave flakes of butter.
Add in the ice water a little at a time and compact until it starts to stick into a ball. Don't overwork it. Separate the pastry into two discs and wrap in siran wrap. Refrigerate for at least 20 minutes.
In a large saucepan, combine all the ingredients for the apple filling and mix together on medium-low heat. Cook for about 5 to 10 minutes until the filling starts to thicken and get sticky. Take off heat and set aside.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out first disc of pastry until its ½" to ¼" inch thick. Using a 4" bowl or cookie butter, cut out circles from the pastry. Place the circles onto a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Preheat oven to 375°F. Mix egg and a tablespoon of water in a small bowl for egg wash. Add a rounded tablespoon of filling onto the middle of each circle. Brush the outside rim of a filed circle with egg wash, then fold in half over the filling. Use a fork to crimp the edges shut. Brush the outside with egg wash and sprinkle with sugar. Then using a small knife, cut a few slits into the top.
Do this with all your pastry and filling until you run out. You should get about a dozen. Place 6 hand pies on a baking sheet. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown. Enjoy!
**Vegan Option: Use melted dairy free butter, a couple of tablespoons as an "egg wash" instead.