“Easy-as-pie” cherry hand pies

Updated in April 2016 just for you all lovely folks:

There are those days, you know. Yep, there are those days when you simply need pie.  There are days when you don’t have a lot of time to make pie, even though you need pie. There are days when you don’t want an entire pie, also, just a piece or two.

Perhaps today is one of those days.

In the summer when my daughter and I used to bake for our local farmer’s market, we would make armloads of these hand pies. People love these babies. They’re the perfect size for two people if you’re generous with the size (and we are) although sometimes a person will buy one or two with that greedy gleam in his eye, indicating that he plans to go home and pour himself a cup of coffee, or a big glass of milk, add a generous scoop of ice cream, and make his supper out of this one of these hand pies.

This happens, it really does, and it’s not my position to judge. Especially since I may have just made my lunch out of one of them, with a large green smoothie perhaps, to ease my nutrition conscience.

It’s a free country. 🙂 Pie for lunch, whyever not?

Aren't these just beautiful?

Aren’t these just beautiful?  Don’t you need one?

Anyway. These hand pies have everything going for them–they’re delicious (of course), you can fill them with whatever filling you choose (we usually go with rhubarb, or cherry, or apple) and they’re portable.  And, they are easy-peasy to make. I promise! You simply stir together your filling (3 ingredients) and then you stir together your pastry (four ingredients), and then you roll out the pastry into circles, add the filling, crimp, brush, sprinkle, and you’re done! The hardest part of the entire recipe is waiting for them to bake (and fending off the wild-eyed maniacal folks who will beat a path to the kitchen when they smell pie baking).

But I think you’re up for that. You can do it. I know you can.

Here's a sheet full of these lovelies ready to go into the oven.

Here’s a sheet full of these lovelies ready to go into the oven. I brush them with milk, and then sprinkle them liberally with sugar, to get the lovely sparkly pastry that I love.

But enough with the pie chitter-chatter.  Here’s the recipe.

“Easy-as-pie” cherry hand pies
Recipe Type: pie!!
Author: Amy from vomitingchicken.com
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 6
This pastry can be filled with your favorite filling, although we tend to like fruit fillings best. Plus, all the antioxidants from the fruit–bonus!
  • Filling:
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 3 Tb cornstarch
  • 5 1/2 cups fresh or frozen* unsweetened pitted tart red cherries
  • Pastry:
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1/3 cup lard
  • 8 to 10 Tb cold water
  1. First, stir together sugar and cornstarch.
  2. Add cherries; gently toss until coated and let stand for 15 minutes or until a syrup forms, stirring occasionally.
  3. (If using *frozen cherries, let stand 45 minutes or until fruit is partially thawed but still icy.)
  4. Now, make your pastry: stir together dry ingredients, and then with your mixer or a pastry blender cut in shortening until pieces are pea-sized.
  5. Sprinkle the water on your mixture,1 Tablespoon at a time, and toss with a fork until all flour mixture is moistened.
  6. Roll a ball about the size of a tennis ball (or smaller, if you like smaller pies) out into a circle about 10″ across, on a well-floured surface.
  7. Put approximately 2/3 cup filling on half of each pastry circle, folding the other half over and crimping the edges (see photo). Place pies on parchment paper lined cookie sheet and brush with milk, and then sprinkle with sugar.
  8. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes or until golden brown and crackly. Yum!

Now go, Gentle Reader, and make some pie!

*big flaky pie-crumbed hugs*

40 thoughts on ““Easy-as-pie” cherry hand pies

  1. Shawn

    You are a bad influence! I just decided to start my fruit/veggie eating for the summer. Now you want to talk pie. Where were you with your pie recipe a week ago? lol

  2. Chef William

    Another great reason for me to travel to Nebraska, I mean, why do all the work of making my own when I can just visit the farmers market and buy a bunch from you already made. The challenge will be to buy enough to last the ride back to Wisconsin, and still have some left. Let’s see, a pit stop about every 200-250 miles at a Starbucks or Micky’D’s for coffee to go with them, yap we’ll need a doz. just for the trip back…….

    1. dramamamafive Post author

      Oh Chef, that would be a delightful surprise for you to stop at our farmer’s market . . . but we don’t start until May! Let me know ahead of time and I’ll make you a nice selection!

  3. Alethea

    These looks so delicious! My kids would love these. Wonder if they would work with my pie crust, which cuts out the need for heavier fats. It’s 2 C flour (I tend to use half whole wheat), 2/3 C canola oil, 1/3 C water and a pinch of salt. It yields a light, flakey crust. I think I might try it with your individual pies! 🙂

    1. dramamamafive Post author

      I’m going to have to try your recipe. I’m always looking for ways to make a recipe healthier! Thanks!

  4. Elle

    These look yummy and have me craving pie and it’s only 10am here but I know what I want for lunch. Thanks for sharing. Our shop baker makes these and we have a hard time keeping them on the shelf. Mmmmmmmmmmmmm.

    1. dramamamafive Post author

      What do you know, Anita-Clare, you can write poetry too! Love your poem and thank you for stopping in!!

  5. Rose

    those look de-lish! I will have to try this for the bake sale at work – it looks easier and more efficient than making rounds and using a cupcake tin to make mini pies – and covering with “lids”.

    Thanks for the idea!

    1. dramamamafive Post author

      part of the reason I like to make these hand pies so much is that they are (relatively) easy to make. Even easier to eat . . .thanks so much for your comment.

  6. Dianne

    What a wonderful recipe. They remind me of the old hostess fruit pies but I am sure yours are much tastier. What at wonderful idea to make and take these on a picnic.

    1. dramamamafive Post author

      The secret to a flaky crust–well, two secrets–use a good recipe (like mine) and treat it with kid gloves. That is, only mix it at long as you have to, and not one moment longer.

  7. Toni Nelson

    LOVE cherry pie. The only thing that would make this recipe better would be if it had brown sugar crumbled on top:) Oh and vanilla ice cream! I just realized I can print the recipe!! Thanks!

    1. dramamamafive Post author

      Brown sugar crumbled on top sounds awesome, and I’ll try that the next time I make these. And vanilla ice cream goes well with practically anything, doesn’t it?

  8. The Great Gordino

    I’m going to be honest, at the end of your post where you say go and make some pie, I replaced it mentally with go an buy some pie!
    I’ve never been into baking – I love eating stuff baked by others, and sure I enjoyed my own baking in my school days, but it just doesn’t push my buttons enough to make the effort myself.

    I loved your pics as usual, and smiled at the teeeny weeny pie in the top picture! ha!
    Maybe I should really give it a go!

    1. dramamamafive Post author

      GreatGord, I know that not everybody has time to make pie–but if you someday MAKE time, I’d love to hear about it! And that teeny little pie was especially for little Mack. 😉

  9. Debbie

    My daughter loves to make pie. I have copied it so she can make it when cherry season comes. I don’t really care for fruit pie, but the rest of the family does.

    1. dramamamafive Post author

      Hehee Rose, I’ll do that! I’ll add “How to make Runzas, featuring my mama’s dough recipe” to my blog posts, in honor of your request! See . .. you’re my favorite!! (But don’t tell anybody! Shhhh . .. )

      1. rose/cookinmom

        Now I’m really in trouble…just when I was behaving myself. I tell my girls not to make desserts but once a week. Otherwise, I would be big as a house! Buuttt…I’m willing to fill these with something for dinner! Maybe SOS chicken? Or Mexican or pot roast pie? Ok, I’ll stop!

        1. dramamamafive Post author

          My Amalia loves to make thick, fudgy brownies. . . and cookies . . . and little Mack has just discovered how easy it is to make ice cream in our little hand-powered ice cream freezer. Oiy. I may never fit back into my skinny jeans . . . 😉

          1. rose/cookinmom

            Have you tried the blender no sugar added ice cream…oh my, so easy and good! Frozen banana cut up, tablespoon of cocoa and tablespoon of peanut butter in a vitamix blender. Oh dear…BUT, it’s all good for you!

          2. dramamamafive Post author

            Rose, that sounds wonderful! We make souped-up smoothies that might as well be dessert, they’re also quite a bit like ice cream!

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