Tart cherry hand pies made with puff pastry are an easy summertime dessert everyone will love! With a homemade cherry filling, this is everything you love about cherry pie but in a hand-held mini version!
This is a true fact. I very well may turn into a cherry this summer. I may or may not have eaten my body weight in them these past 4 weeks - I CAN'T GET ENOUGH! They are so good! Sweet, tart, and completely addicting.
Fresh cherries are only in season for a short time in the summer so I am taking full advance recently and I am not upset about it.
In my quest for consuming pounds of cherries, I decided to bake with them too. Something simple and easy but oh so delicious! These tart cherry hand pies are kinda like a cross between a toaster strudel and a cherry pie in all the very best ways. And I am not upset about it.
Enjoy these for breakfast (our personal fav around here), brunch, middle of the day snack with a cup or tea, or dessert. Really any time of day is perfect to sit down, relax, and treat yourself to a mini slice - or pie - of heaven!
- Pepperidge Farm Frozen Puff Pastry Dough - I love how easy puff pastry is! It takes all the work out of making your own pie crust for this recipe. Plus the flaky crust gives you grown up toaster strudel vibes and I am here for it! You will need a whole box for this recipe, but it very easy to half and make 4 of them if you would like (in which case you will only need one sheet and you can save the other one for later).
- Fresh Cherries - the star of the show! These are in peak season late June through August. Get them while you can! If you're out of season and still want to make, you can use frozen cherries. See below for the substitution!
- Sugar - to sweetened the filling a touch.
- Lemon - helps brighten the filling up a bit. We will use the zest and juice!
- Salt - can't forget a pinch of salt in every baking recipe to help round out all the flavors.
- Egg - needed for an egg wash.
- Powdered Sugar - this plus a touch of water is what will be used to make a super simple glaze to drizzle on top of the tart cherry hand pies!
Kitchen Equipment Needed
Besides your basic kitchen equipment like a pot and bowl, there are a couple other things that will help you make this recipe. Note - all links are affiliate links.
- Lemon Zester
- Cherry Pitter - SEE BELOW FOR ALTERNATIVE OPTION
- Rolling Pin
- Pastry Cutter or Knife
- Pastry Brush
How to Make
PRO TIP BEFORE STARTING! Make sure you thaw the puff pastry in the fridge 24 hours before starting this recipe!
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Pit the fresh cherries and add to a medium size saucepan along with sugar, lemon juice, zest, and salt. Cook on medium heat and bring to a low boil for 15-20 minutes and let reduce down slightly. Remove from the stove, pour in a bowl, and let cool.
- While the cherries are cooking, prepare your dough. Lightly flour a countertop and place 1 sheet of thawed puff pastry dough on top. Lightly flour the top as well and flour as needed to prevent any sticking as you roll out the dough. With a rolling pin, gently roll the dough into a 12x12" square.
- With a pastry cutter or knife, cut the dough into 4 even 6x6" squares.
- Repeat with the second sheet of dough.
- Gently beat 1 egg with a splash of water in a bowl.
- Once you have all of your squares ready, spoon 2 tablespoons of the cherry filling in the middle of one square. Lightly brush 2 of the edges with the egg wash and then fold the other side on top forming a triangle. With a fork, gently crimp the 2 edges sealing the pie completely. Transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Repeat filling each hand pie and preparing with the same process.
- Once all the pies have been filled and crimped, gently cut a 1-inch slit in the middle of each top. Then brush each pie with the egg wash.
- Place in the oven and bake for 20 minutes until the dough is golden brown on the top and fully cooked on the bottom.
- Remove and let cool for 10-20 minutes on a cooling rack.
- In a bowl, add the powdered sugar and water. Whisk together until a thin glaze is formed. If your glaze is too thick, add just a little bit more water so that it is more of a "drizzly" consistency. Be careful because it doesn't take much liquid to thin out. If the glaze is too thin, add more powdered sugar until the right consistency.
- Lightly drizzle the glaze over each hand pie and then enjoy!
How Do I Pit Fresh Cherries?
I am not going to lie...pitting fresh cherries is a bit tedious. But I think the results are so worth it. If you have a cherry pitter* then it makes the job a bit easier. If you do not have one like me, then I used this method of using a wooden skewer to poke the pit through. I found it easier to go through the bottom and pop it out the top. Use the flat side of the skewer NOT the pointy side and be extra careful when holding so not to poke or puncture your other hand. No cooking wounds over here!
Can I Freeze and Make Ahead of Time?
Good news - yes you can! These freeze beautifully and are a great way to make in advance if needed.
Follow the recipe all the way through step 8 but do not brush with an egg wash. Pop the baking sheets in the freezer for 30-60 minutes or until the homemade tart cherry hand pies are completely frozen. Store the frozen pies in a freezer safe zip top bag, vacuum seal, or container for up to 6 months.
Once ready to bake, place on a baking sheet with parchment paper, brush with the egg wash, and bake from frozen at 400 for 20-25 minutes or until the tops are golden brown and the bottoms are fully cooked.
Frequently Asked Questions
Store leftovers in the fridge for 3-4 days.
Yes! Although I find them best made fresh when you are wanting to serve - these make great leftovers and can be made ahead of time if needed. Make completely but do not ice. Store in the fridge until needed. You can serve cold, room temp, or pop in the microwave for about 20 seconds to warm up. Drizzle the icing over before serving!
See above for freezing instructions.
I love using fresh cherries in this recipe but in a pinch or to make this easier, cherry pie filling will work just the same. Follow the recipe completely and use 2 tablespoons of pie filling to fill each pie. This will result in a slightly different flavor than making the filling homemade, but will still be delicious and work.
Yes! If you are out of cherry season, using frozen cherries will work just the same. Thaw completely in the fridge before making the filling. Follow the recipe as directed.
More Pie Recipes
- Apple Hand Pies
- Key Lime Pie
- Southern Pumpkin Pie
- My Mom's Apple Pie Recipe
- Mama's Pecan Pie
- Peach Slab Pie
- Homemade Cherry Pie
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