Sweet Cherry Hand Pie

I must admit that I have never tried a cherry pie until I made this sweet cherry hand pie recipe.

My relationship with pie is undeniable. I make pies. I can’t believe I’ve never tried cherry pie!

Maybe it’s because the only canned cherry pie I’ve ever had was bright red and gloppy with too much high-fructose corn syrup.

In a Lancaster, Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania Dutch family-style restaurant, I once dipped my finger in a bit of cherry pie filling that was so sweet it made my eyes pop out of my head. Quite a bit.

But the other day when I was at the market, I saw these cherries, and…

Indeed, that’s how it turned out. A plate of warm, gooey cherry hand pies was in order.

Many cherry pies call for sour cherries, but we found only sweet ones at the store. “Whoever said you can’t make a good cherry pie with sweet cherries was lying,” said Deb Perelman of Smitten Kitchen.

I reduced the amount of sugar and added some lemon juice for tang. The plan was a smashing success.


  • 2 cups of pitted fresh or frozen sweet cherries halved
  • 1/3 cup of sugar (you can also adjust to taste)
  • 2 tbsp. of cornstarch
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 2 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. of sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. of salt
  • 11 tbsp. of butter (about 150g)
  • 4-5 tbsp. of ice water
  • 1 egg (for eggwash, add 2 tbsp. of water)


  1. Bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit, and get the oven ready. The cherry filling is ready when the sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice, and cherries are thoroughly combined. Putting aside.
  2. Using a food processor, combine the flour, sugar, salt, and butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs; use this as the basis for the dough. Make a dough by mixing it in the water. If more liquid is required, add it.
  3. Cut out shapes from the dough by rolling it out to a large rectangle about 14 inches thick and cutting out circles or squares. Roll out the scraps and cut more circles until you have ten. Distribute the cherries among five of the circles and arrange them on a baking sheet (reserve the excess juice). Crimp the top closed and make holes in the top, then cover it with the remaining five circles. Run a spoonful of cherry juice through the vents and into the pies. Use an egg wash to paint.
  4. Bake on the center rack for 40 to 45 minutes, or until golden.
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