Sour Cherry Hand Pies

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Sour Cherry Hand Pies

Sour Cherry Hand Pies

Sour Cherry Hand Pies 

Sour Cherry Hand Pies

I was excited to find out that the cherries falling over our fence from the neighbor’s tree are sour cherries.  Sour cherries {otherwise known as pie cherries and tart cherries} are hard to come by.  They are more fragile than Bing, Rainer and other sweeter varieties of cherries and therefore they don’t have a long shelf-life.  You won’t likely find them in super markets but if you’re lucky, you know someone with a pie cherry tree or you can find them at a farmer’s market.  The majority of sour cherries are dried or canned for pie filling.  As the name implies, these cherries are sour and not great for eating as you would other cherries but they are wonderful for baking.  If you can’t find sour cherries you can use a sweeter cherry and reduce the amount of sugar in the filling.

Hand pies {also known as pocket pies} are individual servings of pie that transport well for picnics and lunchboxes.  They were the perfect choice for me because I only had one cup of sour cherries to work with.  I used half of the dough to make four 5-inch pies and two 4-inch pies and I’m saving the rest of the dough for later.  This time I made them in the traditional hand pie shape but you can cut them into fun shapes like I did last summer with my Apricot Pocket Pies.   I continue to use the pastry dough recipe from Williams-Sonoma Kitchen that is a basic pate brisee because it’s easy to work with and has a buttery flavor and flaky texture.  I paired my cherry hand pies with almond whipped cream.       

Sour Cherry Hand Pies
Recipe type: Dessert
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 10
Hand pies are individual servings of pie that transport easily and are the perfect size for picnics and lunchboxes. You can fill them with your favorite fruit or filling.
Pastry Dough
  • 2½ cups flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 2 sticks cold butter, cut into ½-inch cubes
  • 6-8 Tbsp ice water
  • 1 egg
Sour Cherry Filling
  • 2 cups of pitted cherries
  • 3-4 Tbsp sugar, to taste
  • 3-4 tsp flour
  • 3-4 tsp water
Pastry Dough
  1. Beat the flour, salt and 2 Tbsp sugar.
  2. Add the diced cold butter cubes, beating for 30 seconds on low.
  3. Then beat for 1½ minutes longer at a medium-low speed.
  4. Add 6 Tbsp cold water and beat for 20 seconds on low.
  5. If the dough is still crumbly, add more water, 1 tsp at a time.
  6. Divide the dough in half and cover each ball with plastic wrap.
  7. Let it chill in the refrigerator for several hours or overnight.
Sour Cherry Filling
  1. In a small saucepan over low-medium heat, dissolve the flour in the water.
  2. Add the pitted cherry halves and let them cook, adding more flour or water if needed as the cherries cook down.
  3. Stir in the sugar to taste.
  4. Cook the cherries for 10 minutes or until they make a chunky purée.
  5. Remove them from the heat and let them cool.
Assembling the Hand Pies
  1. Working with one half of the chilled dough at a time, roll the dough out until it is roughly ¼-inch thick.
  2. Using a biscuit cutter or a glass, cut out 5-inch circles.
  3. Place the circles on a lightly greased baking sheet.
  4. Spoon 1-2 Tbsp fruit filling on one half of the circle.
  5. Brush water around the edges with your finger.
  6. Fold the empty portion of dough over the filling to make a semi-circle.
  7. Press the edges together and crimp them with a fork.
  8. Make a slit with the knife on the top crust to allow the steam to vent as they cook.
  9. Repeat the process.
  10. Beat one egg with 1 tsp water and brush the egg on the top crust of the pies.
  11. Sprinkle the pies with granulated sugar if desired.
  12. Bake them at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes, or until the pie crust is light golden brown and the fruit filling is beginning to bubble out the slit.
  13. Let the pies cool and serve them with vanilla ice cream or almond whipped cream.

Sour Cherry Hand Pies

Sour Cherry Hand Pies 

{The pastry dough recipe comes from Williams-Sonoma.}

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