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Cherry Almond Hand Pies

flatlay of cherry hand pies

Ingredients

Scale

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
  • 45 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

Instructions

To Make the Cherry Pie Filling

  1. First, stir sugar and cornstarch together to help break up any cornstarch lumps.
  2. 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.
  3. Pour into a bowl with a lid and refrigerate for at least one hour or until cool.

To Make the Flaky Pie Dough

  1. While the cherry pie filling is cooling, make the crust.
  2. Add flour, salt, sugar, and cold butter to a food processor and pulse until butter pieces are no bitter than green peas.
  3. Next, add the frozen butter pieces and pulse until butter is no bigger than green peas.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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)

  1. 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. 
  2. Add the almond flour and all purpose flour and mix until combined.

To Make the Cherry Almond Hand Pies

  1. On a lightly floured work surface, roll the dough out into a circle that is 1/8 inch thick.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Add 6-7 cherry halves with the cherry filling to the center of each hand pie. 
  5. Place larger pie rounds on top and press to seal the edges. Use a fork to make a pretty border, or crimp the edges.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Bake for 23-28 minutes, or until tops are golden brown.
  9. 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.

Notes

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