My family love pies but since I started working in the church kitchen, I rarely spend time making special treats like I used to. Cobbler's children have no shoes, right? When I saw frozen cherries at Sam's Club, I wanted to surprise my family with some cherry hand pies for dessert.
Not wanting to spend a lot of time on fillings, I simply tossed the frozen cherries with sugar, lemon zest, tapioca, and for flavoring, almond extract.
Brush the tops with egg white and either raw or granulated sugar can be used for sprinkling.
My 8-year old insisted that he'd have one for breakfast next day. Hey, why not, it sure beats a Pop Tart.
Cherry Hand Pies
Makes about 8 hand pies
Adapted from Bon Appetite
12 ounces frozen pitted cherries, slightly thawed, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons tapioca
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup granulated sugar, extra for sprinkling
2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon almond extract
1/8 teaspoon table salt
1-double pie crust of your choice, rolled out and chilled well (click here for pie crust recipe)
1 large egg white
1 tablespoon water
Preheat oven to 375°F.
Toss together in a bowl the first 8 ingredients. Refrigerate while working with the dough.
Whisk egg white and 1 tablespoon water in another small bowl for egg wash, set aside.
Take the chilled crust, roll out to a large rectangular shape about 18" x 16". Use a pie crust cutter and a clean ruler, cut the crust in smaller rectangles about 4x5, or so. Chill the pastry and work with one rectangle at a time.
Using your finger or a pastry brush, apply the egg white mixture on the edges of the small rectangles. Scoop a heaping tablespoon of filling mixture, fold over the dough, forming a packet. Seal the edges well by using a fork to crimp the edges. Cut two or three slits on top with a paring knife. Repeat the process with remaining pastry and filling. Makes about 8 packets. At this point, these can be frozen for later use.
Line two baking sheets with two sheets of parchment paper. Place the pies, fits about 4 on each pan. Brush tops with egg white mixture, then sprinkle with granulated or raw sugar is fine, too. Bake until tops are golden brown and filling oozes out, about 30 minutes. Transfer to wire rack and cool before serving.