June 7, 2010

Cherry-Apricot Hand Pies

You know its officially summer when one day there were no cherries to be seen and the next, they're everywhere you look.

When I got off the train at my station on Thursday night, there was a fruit stand overflowing with bags of dark red cherries... two dollars a bag! Well, that was all the incentive I needed to by some and figure out what to do with them later. When I saw perfect little apricots at another stand, my plan was solidified.

Hand pies are a wonderful alternative to whole pies and easier to make than turnovers because the pastry is just plain old pie dough. I made these look fancier than they had to be just because they were first hand pies of the season and therefore deserved a little more fanfare. But really, they don't need to be anything fancy at all. Fold a circle of dough over your filling and crimp the edges with a fork and your done!

Oh and do yourself a luxurious little favor. Yes, it only does one thing, and yes it seems like a waste which is why it took me this long to treat myself. That being said, get yourself a cherry/olive pitter. For the eight or nine bucks its going to cost you, not standing in a hot kitchen cutting and pitting two pounds of cherries for god knows how long is so worth it.

As with all my favorite recipes, this is completely adaptable - any fruit, any nut. This will work with every mix of fruit and nuts you can up with. 

Cherry-Apricot Hand Pies
1 -1 1/2 lbs  pitted cherries, roughly chopped
8-10 apricots, roughly chopped
3/4 cup toasted slivered almonds
1/2 cup sugar (plus more for dusting)
1 tbs vanilla extract
1 heaping tbs of soft butter (or the "fake" stuff like Smart Balance)
2 generous pinches of Kosher salt (if using table salt, 1 pinch)
1 tbs lemon juice
1/4 cup cornstarch
4 9"-10" rounds of pate brise or pate sucree (can also be bought)
Egg wash

-Preheat oven to 375.
-Combine cherries, apricots, nuts, sugar, vanilla, butter, salt, and lemon in bowl. Taste, depending on the ripeness of the fruit, you might want to add a little more sugar. Just remember you will be adding sugar to the outside of the hand pie before baking too.
-Add cornstarch and mix well. The mixture should be coated and slightly thick. If you feel its too loose due to the juicy-ness of the fruit, I would suggest pouring out the extra juice. Be careful about using to much cornstarch or things will get gummy and taste like paste.
-Cut out squares or circles of pastry. Fill with fruit mixture, but don't over fill otherwise you wont get a good seal on the dough. Pinch or crimp the edges of the hand pie. Brush the outside of the pie with egg wash and sprinkle generously with sugar.
-Bake hand pies for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.
-I added a dollop of Marscapone cheese to the top of them, but they don't really need a thing. Will make anywhere from 12-18 hand pies depending on size. These are great the next day too, just cover them with some tin foil, don't refrigerate.


  1. Ohhhh, those are DARLING!! Making Pate Brisee is on my Must Do Soon List, and I have fresh cherries at home too. HOORAY! I'm so making these pronto! :-)

  2. I love the size of these pies and they sound yummy with these summer fruits. Bet one is never enough!

  3. Zerrin, your right! 1 is never enough... but it rarely is huh?

  4. I can't wait for you to come out to the beach house and make these adorable yummy little tarts with whatever we find at the fruit stands. Maybe I could even try making them myself - but then you know me, I'd try making them with whole wheat flour and no sugar. Yuck!


  5. Oh my god....I need these right now....