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Sour Cherry Hand Pies

Sour Cherry Hand Pies

Sour Cherry Hand Pies

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.
By Kelsey Hilts

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.  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.  The pastry dough from Williams-Sonoma Kitchen is a basic pâte brisée that’s easy to work with and has a buttery flavor and flaky texture.

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Sour Cherry Hand Pies

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Sour Cherry Hand Pies

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  • Author: Kelsey Hilts {Itsy Bitsy Foodies}
  • Total Time: 3 hours
  • Yield: 10 1x


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 {Recipe Courtesy of Williams-Sonoma Kitchen}

  • 2 1/2 cups (248,4g) flour
  • 1 tsp (5g) salt
  • 2 Tbsp (24g) sugar
  • 2 sticks cold butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 68 Tbsp (88-118mL) ice water
  • 1 egg

Sour Cherry Filling

  • 2 cups of pitted cherries
  • 34 Tbsp (36-48g) sugar, to taste
  • 34 tsp (6-8g) flour
  • 34 tsp (15-20mL) water


Pastry Dough {Recipe Courtesy of Williams-Sonoma Kitchen}

  1. Beat the flour, salt and 2 Tbsp (24g) sugar.
  2. Add the diced cold butter cubes, beating for 30 seconds on low.
  3. Then beat for 1 1/2 minutes longer at a medium-low speed.
  4. Add 6 Tbsp (88mL) cold water and beat for 20 seconds on low.
  5. If the dough is still crumbly, add more water, 1 tsp (5mL) 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 1/4-inch (0.6cm) thick.
  2. Using a biscuit cutter or a glass, cut out 5-inch (12,7cm) 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 (5mL) 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.
  • Prep Time: 2 hours 30 mins
  • Cook Time: 30 mins


View Comments (2)
    • Hey Lucille,

      Yes, unfortunately – the Print link doesn’t work at the moment. We’re waiting for the good people who developed the recipe plugin to update it so it works. Sorry for the trouble!

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