Introduction: Easy Cherry Hand Pies
For reals, this is a super easy pie recipe. It takes about 2 hours total, but that includes chill time in the fridge. Your friends will be impressed and delighted by these delicious, delicious noms.
Plus, although a few pieces of specialty equipment are handy, they aren't necessary. This is cherry pie the way nature intended! ;-)
Step 1: Filling Ingredients
For the cherry pie filling:
- 2 lbs sweet cherries
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 10 tsp corn starch
- 1 Tbsp butter
Using a paring knife or a cherry pitter, pit the cherries and put them directly in a two quart saucepan. Toss with sugar, salt, and corn starch and let mascerate for 15-20 minutes, or until the cherries have started to let out their juice. Turn the burner on high heat and cook the cherries until they bubble. Drop in 1 Tbsp butter and stir occasionally to let the sauce thicken. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature. The filling will thicken up even more as it cools.
Step 2: Crust Ingredients
For the hand pie crust:
- 2.5 cups all-purpose flour
- 1-2 Tbsp sugar
- 1-2 tsp salt
- 1 cup (8 oz) butter
- 2-4 Tbsp ice water
*Just a note: pie crust is easiest to work with when it's very cold. (Some bakers chill all their ingredients ahead of time--even the flour!)*
Start by sifting together the flour, sugar, and salt. Using a pastry cutter or a couple of knives or forks, cut in the butter until it is evenly distributed throughout the flour. You can also rub the butter into the flour with your hands, but if you take too long, the heat from your hands will melt the butter and you'll lose the flakiness that would otherwise remain when the butter is left in pea-sized, chilled pieces. Once all the butter is incorporated, add the chilled water one tablespoon at a time until the dough starts to come together. Form a disk or a ball with the dough and chill in the fridge for about an hour; the flour will absorbe more moisture and it will be easier to work with.
Step 3: Gather Your Hardware
You'll need a variety of implements, all pretty simple:
- 2 large baking sheets
- parchment paper
- 2 quart saucepan
- small pit bowl (or rubbish bin)
- large mixing bowl
- measuring cups and spoons
- stirring spoon
- pastry cutter (or two knives or two forks)
- cherry pitter (or a small, sharp paring knife)
For pie finishing:
- 1 egg, whisked
- sprinkle of turbinado (raw) sugar or sprinkles
Step 4: Put It All Together
Put it all together:
With a clean countertop, cut the pie crust into 8 equal pieces.
Roll each piece into a ball and flatten to an 1/8" disc with a floured rolling pin. Spoon about 1/3 of the cherry hand pie filling into the center of the disc.
With one swift movement, fold the disc in half and crimp the edges. If necessary, brush one half of the pie crust disc with water before folding, then crimp with a fork.
Repeat 7 more times until you have 8 filled pie crust pockets. Arrange the pies on two baking sheets lined with parchment paper.
Brush with egg wash (one whisked egg) and sprinkle with turbinado sugar or, as is the case here, red sugar sprinkles.
Cut a few slits in the top for steam to escape (you don't want exploding pies!!!).
Bake at 350 degrees F for 25-35 minutes, or until the pies are beaufully golden brown and oozing delicious cherry hand pie deliciousness.
Let cool for a half hour and then top with ice cream or wrap in a napkin and distribute to adoring fans. :-)
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