Recipe courtesy of Heather Earnhardt

Sour Cherry Hand Pies

We bake off exactly eight of these each day, and often customers are upset if they arrive in the afternoon and there isn't one left. Some customers have taken to calling in the morning and having us reserve one for them in the afternoon. We prep them in big batches and freeze.
  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 4 hr 10 min (includes chilling and freezing time)
  • Active: 30 min
  • Yield: 8 hand pies
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1 pound frozen pitted sour cherries

3/4 cup granulated sugar 

3 tablespoons instant tapioca 

2 teaspoons almond extract 

1 batch of your favorite double-crust pie dough 

Egg wash

Turbinado sugar, for sprinkling 


  1. In a small saucepot over medium-high heat, cook the cherries, sugar, tapioca and almond extract until the cherries are bubbling.
  2. Continue cooking until the syrup is thick and bubbly, about 20 minutes. Remove the filling from the stove and chill it in the refrigerator until you're ready to make the pies, about 2 hours.
  3. Portion the dough into 8 equal discs (about 3 ounces each).
  4. On a lightly floured surface, roll the discs out into 6-inch circles about 1/4-inch thick. Scoop a few tablespoons of the chilled filling into each circle, leaving a 1-inch border.
  5. Brush the border with egg wash, fold the dough over to make a half-moon shape, and crimp the sides.
  6. Freeze the pies until firm, 30 to 40 minutes.
  7. At this point, the pies can be wrapped and kept in the freezer for up to 6 months so you can bake them off as desired.
  8. When you're ready to bake the pies, preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
  9. Brush the tops of the pies with egg wash and sprinkle them with turbinado sugar. Arrange the pies on a baking sheet and bake until dark golden brown, 22 to 25 minutes, rotating the sheet halfway through (don't worry if some of the filling bubbles out--this is okay).

Cook’s Note

When making these, you might have a little bit of dough left over. I like to make mini galettes, or stuff the hand pies with a bit of savory filling such as Loaded Chicken Potpie filling or even Brunswick stew.