Sweet Cherry Hand Pies

8 pies
1 hr 5 min

are little packages of flaky pastry with fruity filling that don't require a fork or knife; they don't even need a plate. These pies are great for single-serving, parties, and picnics.

A cherry hand pie that is cut in half.

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Adding fresh summer cherries to a flaky homemade butter pie crust makes hand pies a sweet treat and a great alternative to making a big pie. Honestly, they are just fun to make, I like crimping the dough to make the pretty edge.

And if you love cherries, you will love this Cherry Upside Down Cake with Apricots. It's the tastiest way to use stone fruit.

Why I Love Hand Pies

  • They make the perfect on-the-go treat - wrap them up, take them with you for camping and picnics, and even add them to lunch boxes.
  • These are great for a single serving for those days you want dessert. And, they are perfect for the kids to pick up and eat.
  • Who doesn't enjoy a tasty mini dessert?
  • If you are in a hurry, make this a shortcut recipe using two store-bought pie crusts and canned cherry pie filling.

Labeled ingredients for cherry hand pies.
Ingredient Notes

Pie Crust - I use this homemade pie crust recipe that is easy to work with and bakes up flaky and golden brown for today's hand pie recipe.

Cherries - fresh sweet red Bing cherries are easily found in groceries and farmers' markets. Rainer cherries can also be used, but they are less sweet. You can also use frozen cherries.

Cinnamon - I love cinnamon and it pairs well with cherries and adds a pop of delicious flavor.

Egg - I like to give the top of the hand pie dough a quick egg wash that creates a nice glaze.

Tools You Will Need

Since we are using a pie crust, a good rolling pin is a must. This heavy French rolling pins; makes rolling out dough easy.

I love pastry mats for rolling dough.

You need a 5-inch round cutter to make the circles. This set has various sizes for other projects too.

How To Make Homemade Hand Pies: Step by Step

These pies are easy to make; see the recipe card for the complete instructions.

Step 1. Prepare the pie dough first so it can chill. You can make the dough and keep it in the fridge until needed.

Step 2. Mix the cherries, sugar, and cinnamon to prepare the cherry pie filling.

Step 3. Roll out the pie dough and cut it with a 5" round cutter. If you have a 4-inch cutter, that will work too.

Step 4. Fill each round with the cooked cherries, then fold the dough over to make the hand pies and crimp the edges with a fork. Brush with an egg wash and cut small vents on the top of the pies.

Step 5. Bake for 25 - 30 minutes until golden brown.

Pie tip ~ The importance of crimping and venting. You need to crimp around the edges of the dough which seals the pies to keep the filling inside. Cut a few vents in the top so the steam can escape, which keeps the crust from getting soggy.

Make the pie dough
Roll the dough and cut
Add sugar to the cherries
Cook until thickened
Fill with pie filling
Bake until golden brown

Pile your mini cherry hand pies on a pretty serving plate. Their crispy crust and juicy cherry filling make them crowd-pleasers at any gathering or event. Whether you prefer them warm out of the oven or chilled in the fridge, these little pockets of goodness will satisfy your sweet tooth.

Three baked hand pies on a white plate.
Baking Tips

  • This recipe can be used with just about any summer fruit. The filling can be prepared by cutting whole raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, peaches, or nectarines into small pieces and cooking them just like the cherries.
  • You can use sliced frozen cherries. Don’t thaw the fruit before cooking, and increase the cornstarch to 2 tablespoons.
  • Make sure the filling is cool when you spoon it onto the pie crust.
  • If the unbaked pies get too warm or soft while assembling, pop them in the freezer for 10 minutes before baking. This will help them hold their shape in the oven.
  • You can assemble these hand pies beforehand, crimp the edges, cut vents in the pies, and place them in the fridge for a couple of hours before baking.

Can I Freeze These Hand Held Pies?

To freeze the unbaked pies, place them on a parchment-lined sheet pan in the freezer for 30 minutes, then transfer them to a plastic freezer bag to store for up to three months. Bake from frozen, adding a few minutes to the baking time.

More pies to bake

  • This Lemon Cake Pie recipe is unusual because it has a lemon custard filling with a thin cake layer all nestled in a flaky pie crust.
  • This classic is made with a twist, and it's so delicious. Make this Bourbon Pecan Pie for the holidays, but I think it deserves to be made in the middle of the week in April too!
  • No pie plate, no problem. Make this Apple-Cranberry Galette, which is a free-form pie. Just roll out the dough and fill it with fruit.

More To Make and Eat
A strawberry jam tart slice on a white plate with a fork.

Jam Tart Recipe - (Bakewell Tart with Strawberry Jam)

Two baked biscuits on a white and gold towel.

Easy Homemade Biscuits

Scrambled eggs, toast, strawberries on a white plate.

Basic Scrambled Egg Recipe

Cottage cheese crescent rolls on a wire rack on a blue towel.

Butterhorn Recipe with Cottage Cheese

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First published: Feb. 6, 2018; last updated: April 11, 2023, for better readability.

Thank you for stopping by the One Hot Oven blog. Please leave a comment to say Hello or tell me what you are baking these days; I always love hearing from fellow bakers. Have any questions or want to chat about the recipe? Please visit my about page for information, and I’ll be happy to help!

About Jere'

From learning to cook on a farm in Indiana to culinary school in California, my passion for food is never-ending. Turning on my oven to bake something for friends and family is my happy place, and I am glad to be here at One Hot Oven sharing both sweet and savory family-friendly recipes for your cooking and baking inspiration.

Recipe details
  • 8  pies
  • Prep time: 30 Minutes Cook time: 35 Minutes Total time: 1 hr 5 min
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Sweet Cherry Filling
  • 3 cups red cherries pitted and halved
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
Pie Crust
  • 2 1/2 cups AP flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup butter cubed and cold
  • 1/2 cup solid vegetable shortening cold
  • 6-7 tablespoons ice water
Topping Ingredients
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
Sweet Cherry Filling
In a medium saucepan combine the cherries⅓ cup of sugar, and cinnamon.  Over medium heat, cook until the cherries are juicy and the sugar has melted about 4-5 minutes.
Turn the heat to simmer and cook 5 more minutes.  Continue stirring.
In a small bowl add 2 tablespoons of the cherry juice, then add the cornstarch.  Stir to combine. Pour this mixture into the pan with the cherries, stir and cook over simmer until the mixture becomes thick; about 6 minutes.
When the cherries are cooked and the juice has thickened, remove the pan from the burner and stir in the lemon juice. Pour into a small bowl to cool.
Making the Pie Dough
In a large bowl mix the flour and salt.
Cut the butter into small cubes, then add to the flour along with with the cold shortening. Cut the butter and shortening into the flour with a pastry cutter or two knives, until you have pea-sized crumbs.
Add the ice water one tablespoon at a time to the flour mixture, and mix with a fork until the dough forms into a ball.
On a floured surface, turn out the dough and form it into a disk. Cut the dough in half and wrap them in plastic wrap and chill for 15 minutes or longer.
Filling and forming the hand pies
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a baking pan with parchment.
Roll one of the pie dough disks on a floured surface to make a large round. Then cut circles using a 4 or 5-inch round cutter.
Place a large spoonful (about a heaping tablespoon) of the mixture into the center of each round. Fold half of the round over on top of itself (creating a half-moon shape) and press the edges firmly together. Use the back of a fork to crimp and seal.
Repeat with the other disk of pie dough. Reroll any scrapes and cut more circles if you have enough dough.
Cut two or three small slits in the top of the pies to let the steam escape while baking.
Place the pies on the prepared baking sheet. Break the egg into a small bowl and beat with a fork, then brush on the top of the pie and sprinkle with sugar.
If the hand pies are no longer cool to the touch, freeze them for 10 minutes before baking. The colder they are going into the oven, the better they’ll hold their shape.
Bake for 25 - 30 minutes until the pies are golden brown.  Remove from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes then place on a cooling rack.
Serve warm or at room temperature
Storing the hand pies
Place the pies in an airtight container for a couple of days. For warm days, store in the refrigerator.
  • Assembled and unbaked hand pies can be covered and refrigerated for up to 3 days.
  • Unbaked pies
  • To freeze unbaked hand pies, make as directed, then place the pies on a parchment-lined tray and place them in the freezer for a half-hour. When frozen place the pies in a freezer container, or a plastic freezer bag for up to three months.
  • When ready to bake, there is no need to thaw; simply add an extra couple of minutes to the baking time.
  • Baked pies
  • To freeze baked pies, make sure they are completely cooled, then place them in an airtight container for a freezer bag and freeze.
  • Thaw in the refrigerator, then bring to room temperature before serving.
Jere Cassidy
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