Summer’s best produce tucked into a portable pie. A simple sour cherry pie filling folded in and all-butter crust – sour cherry hand pies are perfect for dessert or breakfast!
If you’ve read my blog before, you know I’m a junkie for new ingredients. If I spot something I’ve never cooked with, I have to have it. Some of my experiments turn into successes, like when I spotted gochujang at my Asian market and had to try it. Others are not so great – like the time I bought a big jar of amchoor – or ground unripe mango – and made an Indian eggplant dish with it. I’m convinced I did something wrong because the dish was downright awful (and the rest of the jar went in the trash).
So when my Dreyer Farms CSA gave me sour cherries a couple weeks ago, I was not intimidated. I’d never cooked with them before, but that just made me even more eager to try them. I considered preserves or compote, but I knew my husband and dad would love some pie. And portable pies would be perfect for my husband to take to work for breakfast. And so I made my very first batch of sour cherry hand pies. And know what? I’m a fan. A single serving of pie I can hold in my hand. Oh yeah!
The filling is cooked so it doesn’t ooze all over when baked. Chill everything! The filling, the dough. Then chill it again before you pop them in the oven. This recipe made 10 pies, 8 of which have been baked and eaten and two of which are in the freezer, ready to go in the oven. (Dad was away when I made them so I had to save him some!)
- 1½ cups flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1½ sticks chilled unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- ¼ cup ice water
- 1½ pounds fresh sour cherries, pitted
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- ⅔ cup sugar
- ¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 tsp. lemon juice
- 1 egg, lightly beaten, for eggwash
- To make the dough, pulse the flour, salt and sugar in a food processor to combine. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture is pea-sized pieces. Add the water and pulse until the dough comes together. (Add a little more water if needed).
- Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and form it into a ball with your hands. Divide it in half and wrap each half in plastic wrap. Refrigerate at least 1 hour.
- To make the filling, melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the cherries, sugar and lemon juice and stir. Whisk a couple spoonfuls of the juices from the pan with the cornstarch. Simmer cherries for 6 minutes then stir in the cornstarch mixture. When the cherries have thickened, transfer to a bowl to cool. Once cooled, refrigerate for at least an hour.
- Preheat oven to 375F.
- To make the hand pies, roll out on of the pieces of dough to ⅛ inch thick. Cut out 6-inch rounds (I used a bowl). Transfer rounds to a baking sheet lined with parchment. Roll any scraps into a ball and return to the refrigerator. Repeat with other piece of dough and then with the scraps until you cannot make anymore rounds. You should have about 10.
- Place about ⅓ cup of the filling on one side of each round. Fold the other half of the dough over to form a semicircle and crimp edges with a fork to seal. Brush each with egg. With a sharp knife, cut three small vents in each pie. Return to the refrigerator for 15 minutes.
- Bake for 25 minutes or until crust is golden brown.
- Cool for about 10 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.