I’ve got this thing for mini pies. Which is ironic since I’m totally a filling girl and these are heavy on the crust. Just look at how cute they are, can you blame me? Plus I like that I can sneak one just about anytime I want, like a cookie…but better!
Yup, little Cherry Hand Pies have it aaaall going on. Homemade cherry pie filling is just about the tastiest thing in the world and if you’ve never made it you’ll be shocked at how easy it is. Take a little help from a frozen bag of sweet dark cherries, pop them in a pan with a few other ingredients, and in no time you will have a jar full of perfectly sweet and delicious, chunky, fruity filling.
Plus that pie filling is great spooned over vanilla ice cream, or dolloped on top of your morning yogurt and granola for a sweet treat, or just eaten by the spoonful right out of the jar (not that I would EVER do such a thing!) Gosh, I love this stuff.
And if you have any of that scrumptious filling left after all of the snacking, spoon it between two pieces of buttery pie dough and bake. Oh, my goodness is it good. And not just for summer! Oh, no. These sweet babies will brighten up the greyest winter day with their happy pie vibes.
Cherry hand pies à la mode anyone?
- 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 cups fresh cherries, stemmed and pitted, or about 12 ounces frozen pitted cherries, unthawed
- 2/3 cup dried cherries
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 package pie crust (2 crusts)
- Flour (for dusting)
- 1 large egg
- raw sugar
- Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Stir cornstarch and 1 1/2 tablespoons cold water in a small bowl to blend.
- Combine cherries and next 4 ingredients in a large saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until cherry juices are released, about 5 minutes. Add cornstarch mixture; bring to a boil, stirring often.
- Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally.
- Whisk egg and 1 tablespoon water in small bowl for egg wash.
- Roll out pie dough on a lightly floured surface. Using a 3-4" square cookie cutter to out 16 squares total (8 from each pie round).
- Using a small heart shaped cookie cutter, cut one small heart out of the center of half of the square. These will be the tops.
- Scoop about 2 tablespoons cherry mixture onto one side. Brush edges with egg wash and top with heart cut out square.
- Crimp edges with a fork to seal. Place on prepared baking sheet; repeat with remaining dough and filling.
- Brush tops with egg wash, then sprinkle with raw sugar. Chill for 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 375°. Bake pastries until tops and bottoms are golden brown, 20-25 minutes.
- Transfer to wire racks; let cool completely.
- Pies can be made 1 day ahead and stored at room temperature.
- Store filling in refrigerator until ready to use if making a day ahead! Save your extra filling for spooning over vanilla ice cream or eating with yogurt and granola.
photos by Leah Bergman