cherry hand pies

My parents came to visit Grant + me in Des Moines for the 4th of July this year. It was weird not celebrating in Milwaukee but it was fun to host them in our apartment for the first time (yay!). 

My mom, bless her, spent a lot of time in our kitchen that day, making potato salad, chicken, and some chocolatey-peanut buttery-rice krispie-magic bars.

My contribution? These mini cherry pies. I love pie but I love these hand pies more. 

You get WAYYY more crust this way.


I am a pie crust fiend. I love to eat pie crust and Grant thinks I’m a weirdo but I will gladly accept that title if it means I can keep eating pie crust. 

I’ve made these a fewww more times since the 4th of July to perfect my recipe (and to eat them. Duh). You could use fresh cherries instead of frozen to make these – I haven’t because, well when fresh cherries are in season Grant and I eat them so fast we can’t bake them into anything! I also have to confess that I don’t know how to pit cherries so there’s that….

Fun fact: When I was a kid, I would just swallow the pits when I ate cherries because, well, I was incredibly lazy. One day my mom saw me and told me that CHERRY PITS HAVE ARSENIC IN THEM YOU NEED TO STOP so I don’t do that anymore. 

When you make these, and I know you’re rushing into your kitchen as we speak to do just that, don’t leave out the almond extract – it gives the filling that extra OOMPH that makes it soo hard to not eat it all on it’s own. 

If you buy frozen cherries (like I did) make sure you move them to the fridge about a day in advance to thaw. 


Learn how to make the crust here

  • 2 cups sour cherries (fresh or frozen)
  • 1/4 cup cane sugar + extra for sprinkling
  • 3 TBS flour
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • 1 egg (egg wash)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Make the crust and roll it out. 

For the pie filling, combine cherries, sugar, flour, and almond extract in a bowl and gently mix. Use a glass to cut out circles from the pie dough (mine were about 5.5 inches across) and use a cookie spatula to gently transfer them onto the cookie sheet.

Once you have about 6 circles on the cookie sheet and 6 additional circles cut out, add 1-2 spoonfuls of filling into the center of each circle on the cookie sheet. (I used a mini cookie cutter to cut shapes out of the top pieces.) Don’t overcrowd the cookie sheet. It’s ok if some of the filling leaks out before you seal each pie. It happened to mine but they still turned out fine.

Crack egg into a small bowl and beat with a fork (for your egg wash). Brush the edges of each circle all the way around with egg wash. Lay a circle of dough on top of each circle on the cookie sheet, and lightly press the edges together to seal the pies. Using a fork, crimp the edges and then brush all over with egg wash + sprinkle with cane sugar. Repeat until all the dough is used. If you have a tiny amount of dough left, you can cut out shapes with small cookie cutters + sprinkle with sugar. Bake those for about 5-10 minutes on a separate cookie sheet.

Bake pies for 16-20 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through. Tops will be a light golden brown when done, and the filling will be bubbling. Let cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack. Serve with ice cream, duh. 

Yield: about 10 pies + 5 cutout flowers (depending on what size you make the pies)

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