Sour cherries are all the rage come pie season, but I think nothing beats the taste of a sweet cherry pie. I made a special trip to the Greenmarket for some to make a pie recently—and got sidetracked by some cute sparkly silver shoes on the way. When I got home and made the dough, I decided I couldn't bare the thought of all that luscious filling oozing out after the first slice, so decided to make some hand pies. Those yummy pockets are long gone, but the shoes are here to stay, much like this recipe. - Jennifer Perillo —Jennifer Perillo
Test Kitchen Notes
I've been trying to make hand pies for a couple of years. It seems the perfect solution when there are only two of us in the house. And I like the idea of hand pies in the freezer, easy to bake off one at a time, whenever the spirit moves me. Until Jennifer Perillo taught me the basics though, my hand pies were a failure. Her pies, and her crystal clear instructions, are perfect. Just the right size and no spilling out of the seams. Jennifer's hand pie recipe also introduced me to the idea of sweet cherries in a pie filling. What a revelation! Delicious. I plan to make more of these and also to try with other fruits as the season progresses. Thanks Jennifer, for solving my hand pie dilemma. - MrsWheelbarrow —The Editors
To prepare the dough, add the flour, sugar and salt to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse to combine. Add the butter and pulse until it forms a sandy crumb. Starting with 4 tablespoons, sprinkle the water over the flour-butter mixture and pulse until it forms a ball, about 45 seconds to 1 minute. Add another tablespoon or two of water if necessary. Dump onto an unfloured counter and form into a flat disc. Wrap in plastic or waxed paper and let chill until firm, but still pliable, about 1 hour (you can quick chill it in the freezer for 20 minutes too, which is what I tend to do while pitting the cherries).
Preheat oven to 400ºF. Line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.
For the filling, combine the cherries, sugar and all purpose flour, or tapioca flour if using, and salt. Stir to mix well and set aside.
On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to 1/8 to 1/16-inch thick. Cut out 5-inch circles. It's okay to re-roll the scraps until all the dough is used up. Place cut circles on the prepared baking sheets (do not forget to place on parchment before forming pockets or they will be to delicate to transfer). Spoon 1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons of filling into the center of each circle, fold over, making sure the filling is not spilling out the edges, and crimp the edges with a fork. Pierce tops with the tines of a fork to create steam vents.
Brush tops with egg wash and sprinkle with coarse sugar, if using. Bake for 15 minutes, until golden. Let sit on sheets for 2 minutes, then transfer to a wire cooling rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Jennifer Perillo is the Consulting Food Editor at Working Mother magazine, and a regular a contributor to Relish Magazine and FoodNetwork.com. She shares stories about food, family and life at her blog In Jennie's Kitchen and in her debut cookbook, Homemade with Love: Simple Scratch Cooking from In Jennie's Kitchen (Running Press 2013).