Fruit pies are one of my favorite ways to enjoy fresh summer fruits. The minute I saw the pie on the cover of the latest issue of Bon Appétit magazine, I knew that I had to give it a try while sour cherry is still in season. These Sour Cherry Hand Pies are packed with juicy, tart cherries, which are lightly sweetened and baked until the ruby-red filling inside becomes thick and bubbly. The texture of the pie crust is perfect; it’s buttery, crisp, flaky, and has just a touch of sweetness. Bursting with bright and vibrant flavors, it’s a quintessential summer dessert best served with a generous scoop of vanilla ice cream on a warm evening!
This batch of hand pies got their shape from a round five-inch bowl that I used to trace out the circles (you can also use a large cookie cutter), filled and then sealed by pressing the edges together with a fork. Like any traditional fruit pie, you want to create vents on top to let the steam escape. I used these mini cookie cutters to make the heart shape, but you can also use a paring knife to make several slits.
Also, don’t be tempted to overfill the hand pies – a heaping spoonful of the cherry filling should be enough, otherwise, it can leak all over the baking sheet as you bake them. The hand pies actually require less filling than the amount required for the entire pie (I adjusted the recipe below). With the leftover filling, I turned them into sour cherry cobblers, which can be dug into and enjoyed as you are waiting for the hand pies to set.
They taste like a sophisticated version of the much-loved Pop Tart! And when it’s fresh and warm in your hand, it’s hard to stop at eating just one.
These little pastry parcels pack up nicely and can be easily taken to potlucks and picnics. No plates and utensils required. Just watch out for sticky fingers!