Cherry almond hand pies are a celebration of summer flavors. We use deep red cherries that are packed with flavor and color. They are informal and fun, which makes them perfect for summer! Read below for helpful baking and styling tips for this recipe.
What are Cherry Almond Hand Pies?
Cherry almond hand pies consist of homemade cherry pie filling, almond cream (also known as frangipane), and flaky pie dough.
The butter, flaky pie dough is one of the easiest pie doughs to make because it uses a food processor. It’s more forgiving because you do a lot of the kneading by hand, and it’s almost impossible to over knead it! I learned a lot by watching this video on pie dough.
The cherry almond hand pies celebrate the freshnesses of summer cherries, and we add the almond cream to give the cherries nice contrast and variety. The pie dough is slightly sweet and is ever so tender, making each bite a wonderful experience to eat.
How to Make Homemade Cherry Pie Filling
Homemade cherry pie filling consists of fresh cherries, sugar, lemon juice, cornstarch, and water. It’s super simple but packed with flavor. We maximize the flavor of the cherry filling by picking cherries that are super ripe.
Don’t know how to pick ripe cherries? To pick ripe cherries, look for cherries that are deep red in color and have green stems. The cherries shouldn’t be wrinkly, bruised, or soft to the touch. Instead, they should be firm to the touch.
- To make the cherry pie filling, first pit and half the cherries. If you do not own a cherry pitter (I highly recommend this one, as it makes cherry pitting a breeze), then you can use a knife. To remove the cherry pit, cut around the cherry pit starting at the stem and ending on the other side of the stem, twist and pull the halves apart. Remove the pit and stem, and repeat until you have 2 cups of fresh cherry halves.
- Next, stir cornstarch and sugar together to “dissolve” any cornstarch lumps.
- Add cherries, sugar/cornstarch, lemon juice, and water to a medium pot. Bring to a simmer and simmer for 10 minutes. Cool for at least an hour before using.
4 Tips for Making Beautiful Hand Pies
- Make the top crust slightly larger than the bottom crust so you have more to work with when covering the filling. It allows you to make a pretty edge without running short on dough.
- Brush the hand pies with an egg wash so that they crisp up and the crust has a nice shine to it.
- Dust the tops of the unbaked cherry hand pies with coarse sugar or granulated sugar so that the crust has some extra sparkle.
- Make a pretty design with the air vents or slits on the tops of the hand pies. This allows the steam to escape and gives them visual attraction.
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Cherry Almond Hand Pies
- Prep Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
- Cook Time: 25 mnutes
- Total Time: 33 minute
- Yield: 6 hand pies 1x
- Category: Pie
For the Buttery, Flaky Pie Dough
- 1 1/2 Tbs granulated sugar
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 3 Tbs cold unsalted butter, cubed
- 5 Tbs frozen unsalted butter, cubed
- 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 4–5 Tbs ice cold water
- 1 egg + 1 Tbs water, mixed (for egg wash on top of the hand pies)
- Coarse sugar for topping the hand pies
For the Cherry Filling
- 1 cups fresh cherries, pitted and halved
- 2 Tbs granulated sugar
- 1 tsp cornstarch
- 2 tsp fresh lemon juice
- 2 Tbs water
For the Almond Cream
- 1/3 cup almond flour
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1 egg
- 1/8 tsp almond extract or emulsion
- 2 Tbs all purpose flour
To Make the Cherry Pie Filling
- First, stir sugar and cornstarch together to help break up any cornstarch lumps.
- Combine cherry pie filling ingredients in a medium sized pot and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally. When the mixture begins to simmer, reduce to medium low and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring 2-3 times during the 10 minutes.
- Pour into a bowl with a lid and refrigerate for at least one hour or until cool.
To Make the Flaky Pie Dough
- While the cherry pie filling is cooling, make the crust.
- Add flour, salt, sugar, and cold butter to a food processor and pulse until butter pieces are no bitter than green peas.
- Next, add the frozen butter pieces and pulse until butter is no bigger than green peas.
- Sprinkle in the vinegar and 4 tablespoons of water and pulse a few times. If you are able to squeeze a handful of the crumbly pie dough and it comes together into a dough, then it is ready. If it still seems dry, add another tablespoon of water and pulse. You should not need more than 4-5 tablespoons unless you added more flour than was called for.
- Pour crumbly dough out onto a work surface and gently knead until all of the dough comes together. Wrap dough in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
- If the dough chills for more than an hour, let the dough sit out for 10-15 minutes so that it’s easier to work with. The dough gets really firm when it chills for a long time.
To Make the Almond Cream (Franipane)
- Cream butter and sugar on medium low in a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Add egg and cream and almond emulsion, but note that the butter might look curdled at this point.
- Add the almond flour and all purpose flour and mix until combined.
To Make the Cherry Almond Hand Pies
- On a lightly floured work surface, roll the dough out into a circle that is 1/8 inch thick.
- Cut out equal amounts of pie rounds that are 3 1/2 inches and 3 5/8 inches. Group the pie rounds in sets of 2 with one small and one large round so there is a top and bottom.
- Next, pipe or spoon a thin layer of the almond cream in the center of each smaller pie round and spread, leaving a 1/4 inch border.
- Add 6-7 cherry halves with the cherry filling to the center of each hand pie.
- Place larger pie rounds on top and press to seal the edges. Use a fork to make a pretty border, or crimp the edges.
- Place pies on a parchment lined sheet pan and place in the fridge for 1 hour to chill the dough so it bakes up nice and flaky.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Take cherry pies out of the fridge, cut at least 3 slits for vents on top, brush with egg wash, and dust with coarse sugar if desired.
- Bake for 23-28 minutes, or until tops are golden brown.
- Allow hand pies to cool for 30 minutes, and enjoy! Pies can be stored at room temperature in a container for up to a week.
The pie crust recipe was inspired by this video, which was very helpful in making good quality pie dough.
Keywords: cherry pie filling, cherry almond hand pies, almond cream, frangipane