Sour Cherry Hand Pies

IMG_3020tFruit 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!

Bon Appetit June 2014
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!

Sour Cherry Hand Pies

Yields: About 8 hand pies


For the crust:
1/3 cup almond flour
¼ cup granulated sugar
1 tsp salt
2½ cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into ½ inch cubes
2 large egg yolks, beaten
¼ cup ice cold water, plus more if necessary
For the filling and assembly:
2 lbs fresh sour cherries (or 6 cups frozen sour cherries), pitted, halved
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 tsps lime zest, finely grated
2 tbsps cornstarch
Pinch of salt
1 large egg, beaten
Demerara sugar or granulated sugar, for sprinkling

Pulse almond flour, granulated sugar, salt, and flour in a food processor. Add butter and pulse until mixture resembles coarse cornmeal. Drizzle egg yolks over flour mixture until well blended. Pulse, drizzling in more ice water as needed, until dough just comes together (a few dry spots are okay). Gently knead dough on a lightly floured surface until no dry spots remain, about 1 minute. Divide the dough into two discs and wrap each one separately in plastic wrap. Chill dough for at least 2 hours.

In a large mixing bowl, toss cherries with sugar, lime zest, cornstarch, and salt. Let the fruit mixture sit while you roll out the dough.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Let dough sit at room temperature to soften slightly, about 5 minutes. On a floured work surface, roll each dough to ¼ inch thick and cut out rounds with a large cookie cutter, gathering and re-rolling scraps as needed (I got about 4 rounds from each dough). Transfer them to parchment paper lined baking sheets.

Using a miniature cookie cutter, punch out a hole on one side of each round (or cut slits on top later once the pies are assembled). Place a large spoonful of cherry filling onto each round and fold the pastry over to make a turnover. Press the edges to seal and crimp with a floured fork. Brush the tops of the pies with beaten egg and sprinkle with some sugar.

Bake pies for about 35-40 minutes, or until the filling is bubbly and the crust is golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool for at least 10 minutes before handling. Serve warm or at room temperature.


Recipe adapted from Bon Appetit (

*Pie dough can be made 3 days ahead. Store tightly wrapped in the refrigerator.


  1. Grace Ratni Ebenezer says

    You left out the amount of the almond flour in the recipe. A question mark appears!

    • Karen says

      Hi Grace, sorry about that and thanks for letting me know! I didn’t realize that the 1/3 fraction symbol doesn’t work in Ziplist recipes. Just fixed it!

  2. Julianne says

    I made this for a BBQ this past weekend and it was a big hit! A friend commented that it was like eating a pop tart :)