Cherry Hand Pies {gluten free option}

  • Prep Time: 1 hour
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 25 minutes
  • Yield: Makes 8 to 10 large (6-inch) hand pies.


What makes our Cherry Hand Pies wicked good? A sumptuous homemade tart cherry pie filling made with plenty of fresh picked cherries as well as an easy to prepare tender yet flaky cream cheese pastry with just the right buttery richness you would expect in a darn good tart cherry pie. Simply irresistible. And, did we mention easy? Yes, the component recipes are incredibly easy. What’s not to love about that?



For the Tart Cherry Pie Filling

For the Egg Wash

  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) water

For the Vanilla-Almond Glaze

  • 1½ cups (168 grams) confectioners’ sugar
  • 3 tablespoons (45 ml) whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) pure vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon (just over 1 ml) pure almond extract

Special Equipment & Supplies


  1. Prepare the Hand Pies: Remove pastry dough from refrigerator and allow to soften at room temperature until pliable, about 10 minutes.
  2. Prepare work surface and rolling pin by dusting with flour. Unwrap dough and place on floured work surface.
  3. Roll pastry dough out thinly into round circle about 1/8-inch thick. Dip 6-inch round cookie cutter, or cutter sides of 6-inch dough press, into flour to coat and cut pastry into rounds. (Alternatively, use a 6-inch diameter plastic or metal lid as a cutter.) Reroll scraps as necessary.
  4. Score the dough (make a light mark or indentation) to indicate the halfway point by using the sharp edge of a ruler or knife taking care not to cut through. This will be a visual guide.
  5. If desired, create a decorative steam vent by cutting into dough on one side of dough circle in the center, horizontally and vertically. I used a decorating tip (Wilton No. 3) to create a round “cherry” and then made two slits for “leaves”. If using a dough press, place dough round in press and pat into the hollow area and onto the “teeth”.
  6. Fill each pastry round with about 3 tablespoons of filling onto one half of dough round leaving at least a ¼-inch border for sealing.
  7. If using a dough press, moisten edges of dough using finger dipped in water. Carefully close and push dough press together to seal.
  8. If not using a dough press, carefully fold pastry to enclose filling and seal up sides by hand crimping decoratively with fingers or by using fork tines to seal.
  9. After sealing, place unbaked pies onto rimmed baking sheets lined with parchment paper leaving at least 1 inch of space between each. Place in refrigerator to chill, about 20 minutes.
  10. Meanwhile, arrange oven racks to lower and upper thirds of oven. Preheat oven to 375ºF.
  11. Prepare the Egg Wash: In a small bowl or prep bowl, whisk egg and water together until thoroughly combined. Set aside.
  12. Remove baking sheets with unbaked pies from refrigerator. With pastry brush, brush egg wash over the tops of the unbaked pies. If not already done so, create steam vents by carefully cutting two or three slits into top of each hand pie. This will allow steam to escape during baking. If you have created decorative steam vents, skip this step.
  13. Bake hand pies on bottom and top racks in preheated oven for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, rotate the sheets and bake until golden brown and filling is bubbly, about 10 to 12 minutes longer. Transfer to wire racks to cool for 30 minutes.
  14. While pies are baking, prepare the Vanilla-Almond Glaze.
  15. Prepare the Vanilla-Almond Glaze: Into a small bowl, sift confectioners’ sugar. Add milk and extracts; beat until smooth with wire whisk. (The glaze should be thin enough to drizzle or paint on pies using pastry brush.)
  16. With a pastry brush, brush glaze over tops of slightly warm pies. Let stand until glaze has set, about 10 minutes. Serve immediately.

Recipe Notes


Keep Vanilla-Almond Glaze covered with plastic wrap until ready to use. This will keep it from drying out and an undesired crust from forming.

Hand pies will keep at room temperature in an airtight container up to 2 days.

Leftovers can be stored up to 5 days in the refrigerator and can be re-crisped in 350ºF. preheated oven until heated through. If you plan on leftovers, leave pies unglazed; then glaze upon reheating.

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