Cherry Hand Pies

Forget the plates and utensils! This is the best way to bring a pie to a cookout or picnic! As I have mentioned numerous times I am a huge fan of fruit pies, but sometimes they are just too messy to bring to a cookout. That’s where these hand pies come in!

No plate or utensils needed for this pie…it’s all right there in its own little pie crust that fit right in your hand! A sweet cherry pie filling stuffed into a flaky, tender crust…how can you go wrong? :) So what are you waiting for? Ditch the fork and bring these tasty hand-held pies to your next summer get together!

Cherry Hand Pies

A sweet cherry pie filling stuffed into a flaky, tender little pie crust that fit right in your hand!

Yield: 24 Hand Pies

Cook Time: 20 minutes


For the Pie Dough:
2 1/2 cups (12 1/2 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
1 teaspoon table salt
2 tablespoons sugar
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
1/2 cup cold vegetable shortening, cut into 4 pieces
1/4 cup vodka, cold
1/4 cup cold water
1 large egg, lightly beaten with 1 teaspoon water
Turbinado sugar

For the Cherry Filling:
1 red plum, halved and pitted
3 cups (about 1 pound) pitted sweet cherries or 3 cups pitted frozen cherries, halved
1/4 cup sugar
pinch table salt
1/2 tablespoon juice from 1 lemon
1 teaspoons bourbon
1 tablespoons instant tapioca, ground
dash ground cinnamon


For The Pie Dough: In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade, process 1 1/2 cups flour, salt, and sugar until combined, about two 1-second pulses. Add butter and shortening and process until dough just starts to collect in uneven clumps, about 15 seconds; dough will resemble cottage cheese curds and there should be no uncoated flour. Scrape bowl with rubber spatula and redistribute dough evenly around processor blade. Add remaining cup flour and pulse until mixture is evenly distributed around bowl and mass of dough has been broken up, 4 to 6 pulses. Transfer mixture into medium bowl.
Sprinkle vodka and water over mixture. Using a folding motion, use a rubber spatula to mix, pressing down on dough until dough is slightly tacky and sticks together. Divide dough into 2 even balls and flatten each into 4-inch disk. Wrap each in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 45 minutes or up to 2 days.
Remove 1 disk of dough from refrigerator and roll out on floured work surface to 12-inch circle, about 1/8 inch thick. Using a 4-inch round biscuit cutter, cut circles out of the rolled dough. Transfer the circles to a parchment-lined baking sheet and place in the refrigerator to chill for about 30 minutes. Repeat the rolling, cutting and chilling process with the remaining half of dough.
In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade, process the plum and 1/2 cup halved cherries in food processor until smooth, about 1 minute, scraping down sides of bowl as necessary. Strain puree through fine-mesh strainer into large bowl, pressing on solids to extract liquid; discard solids. Stir remaining halved cherries, sugar, salt, lemon juice, bourbon, tapioca, and cinnamon into puree; let stand for 15 minutes.
Remove the chilled dough from the refrigerator, and let stand at room temperature until just pliable, about 2 to 3 minutes. Spoon about 1 tablespoon of filling onto one half of each circle of dough. Fold it in half so the other side comes down over the filling, creating a semicircle. Seal the hand pie by pressing with tines of a fork. Repeat process with remaining dough and filling. Place the hand pies back on the parchment-lined baking sheet and return to the refrigerator to chill for another 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Remove the chilled hand pies from the refrigerator, cut a small slit in each and lightly brush with the egg wash. Sprinkle sanding sugar generously over the pies, and place pies in the oven to bake. Bake until the hand pies are golden brown and filling is bubbling, about 20 minutes. Remove the pies from the oven, and let stand to cool slightly before serving.

Source: adapted from Smitten Kitchen originally adapted from Cook’s Illustrated’s Sweet Cherry Pie

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12 Responses to “Cherry Hand Pies”

  1. #
    thekalechronicles — July 5, 2012 @ 9:54 am

    Plum in cherry pies — for the color? For the sweetness? Or tartness?

    • Christina replied: — July 13th, 2012 @ 6:28 pm

      The plums are used to tame the cherries’ sweetness and get them to break down into a wonderful juicy texture as well as letting us cut back on the amount of sugar that is needed in the filling.

  2. #
    Linda Gartner — July 5, 2012 @ 10:00 am

    Christina: I would love to make these. What could I use in place of the Vodka in the crust?

    • Christina replied: — July 13th, 2012 @ 6:28 pm

      The vodka is essential to the texture of the crust and imparts no flavor. However, if you don’t want to use the vodka, I would suggest using a different pie dough recipe. Here is a link to one of my favorites…

  3. #
    cravesadventure — July 5, 2012 @ 11:17 am

    Cherries in dessert – my fav – these look so good:) Have a Lovely Day!

  4. #
    ChgoJohn — July 5, 2012 @ 12:16 pm

    Any kind of hand pie, sweet or savory, is just perfect for a picnic. Pie in one hand, beer in the other. See? Perfect.

  5. #
    Elisabeth — July 5, 2012 @ 3:36 pm

    This is perfect timing!! I just picked cherries in my friends back yard and made some pie filling. I really didn’t feel like making a whole pie. I can hardly wait to make these for our Sunday potluck!

  6. #
    Villy — July 6, 2012 @ 7:29 am

    They look lovely and delicious!!

  7. #
    ashley — July 9, 2012 @ 12:30 am

    These look simply amazing :)

  8. #
    El Oso con Botas — July 10, 2012 @ 3:57 am

    These hand pies must be delisious…¡¡¡

  9. #
    Lauren @ Part Time House Wife — July 14, 2012 @ 12:03 am

    I can already taste the tart from the cherry and the crispy crumble of the crust. I have a ton of cherries that need to be used! Buzzed ya!

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