Sour Cherry Hand Pies

July 19, 2015 § Leave a comment

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I love going to the farmers market on the weekends, even if it means not having the luxury of sleeping in. There is something special about interacting with the people who actually cultivated the produce that you transform into delicious meals or simply snack on. Many times, the produce is harvested just the day before you buy it so it doesn’t get much fresher than that!

When I saw a pint of sour cherries at my local farmers market, I was super excited. I knew I had to buy them since I cannot usually find them in the grocery store and the season for sour cherries is short. I didn’t even know exactly what I was going to do with them but I was up for the challenge. That’s kind of what I like about farmers markets- I go there with a blank canvas and become inspired based on whatever produce looks freshest and is in season.

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My first inclination was to make a classic sour cherry pie, but I wasn’t in the mood to make a whole pie, especially since I would be the only one eating it. Instead, I decided to make these cute little hand pies! This way, I could easily share them with my friends. Plus, smaller desserts have less calories so I can eat more of them, right? These hand pies are perfect for people who love a flaky crust and wish they had more of it when eating a regular pie.

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These hand pies are absolutely scrumptious. An easy, laminated dough is used for the pie crust and it yields such a flaky, tender dough. It is also flavorful, which is especially important in hand pies, which have a higher crust to filling ratio than a traditional pie. The tartness of the sour cherries with the hint of cinnamon work so well in this. They have so much flavor that even though there is more crust, you definitely still taste the summer cherries.

Hurry up and get some sour cherries from your local farmers market and make these delicious, cute hand pies!!

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Sour Cherry Hand Pies

Yield: 8 hand pies

Adapted from King Arthur Flour and Food Network

Ingredients:

Flaky pie dough

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cubed and chilled
  • 1/2 cup sour cream, chilled

Sour Cherry Filling

  • 1 to 1.5 pounds whole sour cherries (3 cups pitted cherries, roughly chopped)
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice

Topping

  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • Granulated sugar or raw sugar

Directions:

For Pie Dough:

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder. Using a pastry blender or your hands, work in the cold butter into the flour mixture so that the butter is in large pea-sized pieces and the dough resembles a coarse mixture. The large pieces of butter throughout the dough are needed for a flaky dough.

Stir in the cold sour cream; the mixture won’t fully come together. Use your hands to bring the dough together in the bowl. Then turn out the dough onto a clean, floured work surface and gently knead it until it is cohesive.

Pat the dough into a rough log and roll it into an 8″ x 10″ rectangle. Make sure each side of the dough is floured. Take the shorter end and fold it in thirds, like a business letter.

Flip the dough over and rotate it 90°; roll into an 8″ x 10″ rectangle and fold in thirds again.

Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and let chill for at least 30 minutes before using.

For Sour Cherry Filling:

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine pitted cherries (don’t include excess juice), granulated sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Cook, stirring, until cherries have released its juices and sugar is dissolved, about 5 minutes. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring, for 5 more minutes.

Spoon about 2 tablespoons of the juice into a small non-reactive bowl; stir cornstarch until dissolved. Pour cornstarch slurry into cherry mixture and continue to simmer, stirring, until very thick, 6-8 minutes.

Transfer to a non-reactive bowl, stir in lemon juice, and let cool.

Assembly:

Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat oven to 425°F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.

Take dough out of the fridge and roll into 14″ x 14″ square. Using a pastry cutter or knife to trim the edges so they are even and straight. Cut out sixteen 3.5″ squares.

Divide filling among eight of the squares, about a heaping tablespoon for each. Be careful not to use too much filling or else the pies will not seal correctly. Brush some of the beaten egg along edges of each filled square.

Cut a vent into each of the remaining eight squares, using a knife or decorative cookie cutter.

Top each filled square with a vented square and use a fork to crimp and seal the edges.

Brush the top of each pie with the remaining beaten egg and sprinkle with sugar. Transfer the pies to the prepared baking sheet.

Bake for 18-20 minutes (my oven only took 13-14 minutes), or until the tops are golden brown. Remove them from the oven and let cool for 20 minutes before serving.

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