cherry hand pies – bring on summer

Time to shed my city clothes.

For the next few months, my kitchen whites and clogs will be replaced with overhauls and work boots.

cherry hand pies - bring on summer - bite

Time to repair fences, mow pastures, pull dandelions, edge perennial beds, dig up shrubs that didn’t survive the winter and prune back the dead wood on those that did. Fix trellises, tie up climbing roses, divide woody herbs, clean and fill bird feeders, hang the wind chimes, till the vegetable garden and open the windows. It sounds like a lot of work but not work when you love it. Bring on summer.

In eastern Canada, we’re waiting with frosted breath to pick our local rhubarb. The temperature is unseasonably low but we have faith. Until then, we rely on imported fresh fruit. The display of Bing cherries at the grocery store was irresistible so I grabbed a pound, a package of puff pastry dough and made a batch of cherry hand pies. It’s a bit time consuming to pit the cherries, especially when you don’t own a cherry pitter, but the difference between canned and fresh is worth the effort. You can easily substitute homemade pate brisee, if you don’t have puff pastry on hand. My friends get a kick out of eating their own little hand-held pie so I make a big batch, bake a few then freeze the rest, to bake from frozen, when we have company.

cherry hand pies - bring on summer - bite

CHERRY HAND PIES – adapted from Williams-Sonoma Taste

1 lb [450 g] commercial puff pastry
2½ cups Bing cherries, pitted and halved
¼ cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon cornstarch + 1 tablespoon water
Flour for rolling out the dough
1 large egg, beaten
Sanding sugar for sprinkling

THE STEPS:

  • In a medium-sized, heavy bottom saucepan, mix the cherries, sugar, and lemon juice.
  • Cover and cook over-medium-low heat, stirring often, until the cherries are juicy and tender, about 10 minutes.
  • In a small bowl, stir the cornstarch into 1 tablespoon of cold water until dissolved.
  • Quickly stir the cornstarch mixture into the simmering cherries and cook until thickened, about 30 seconds.
  • Remove from heat and place mixture into a small bowl to cool.
  • Place the bowl in the fridge until cold.

  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Roll out the puff pastry on a lightly floured surface into a rectangle about 1/8 inch thick.
  • Using a sharp edged ring or pastry wheel, cut 16 large circles.
  • Place 2 tablespoons of the chilled filling in the center of a pastry circle.
  • Make some sort of vent in the top crust – I used an aspic cutter -.
  • Using a small brush, dampen the edge of the bottom crust then place the top crust over the fruit.
  • Using a fork, press and seal the edges closed.
  • Place on the baking sheet.
  • Repeat with the remaining pastry circles and filling.

  • Refrigerate, uncovered, for 30 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven to 375°F .
  • Brush the tops of the pastries with some of the beaten egg.

cherry hand pies - bring on summer - bite

  • Sprinkle the tops with the sanding sugar.
  • Bake 20-25 minutes or until the pies are puffed and completely golden.
  • Let cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes.
  • Serve warm or at room temperature.

cherry hand pies - bring on summer - bite
THE LOVE: Roll your pastry rounds out, a little further, after you’ve cut them out to avoid having to hand stretch the dough. These hand pies freeze perfectly. Freeze before baking then bake from frozen. They’ll take longer, so watch carefully.

cherry hand pies - bring on summer - bite

Its going to be a fun chock-a-block summer at the farm with family and friends. Hope you’ll visit often…

Thanks for reading.

cherry hand pies - bring on summer
Print
AUTHOR:
:
:
:
Yield: 6-8
INGREDIENTS
  • 1 lb [450 g] commercial puff pastry
  • 2½ cups Bing cherries, pitted and halved
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch + 1 tablespoon water
  • Flour for rolling out the dough
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • Sanding sugar for sprinkling
THE STEPS:
  1. In a medium-sized, heavy bottom saucepan, mix the cherries, sugar, and lemon juice.
  2. Cover and cook over-medium-low heat, stirring often, until the cherries are juicy and tender, about 10 minutes.
  3. In a small bowl, stir the cornstarch into 1 tablespoon of cold water until dissolved.
  4. Quickly stir the cornstarch mixture into the simmering cherries and cook until thickened, about 30 seconds.
  5. Remove from heat and place mixture into a small bowl to cool.
  6. Place the bowl in the fridge until cold.
  7. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  8. Roll out the puff pastry on a lightly floured surface into a rectangle about ⅛ inch thick.
  9. Using a sharp edged ring or pastry wheel, cut 16 large circles.
  10. Place 2 tablespoons of the chilled filling in the center of a pastry circle.
  11. Make some sort of vent in the top crust - I used an aspic cutter -.
  12. Using a small brush, dampen the edge of the bottom crust then place the top crust over the fruit.
  13. Using a fork, press and seal the edges closed.
  14. Place on the baking sheet.
  15. Repeat with the remaining pastry circles and filling.
  16. Refrigerate, uncovered, for 30 minutes.
  17. Preheat the oven to 375°F .
  18. Brush the tops of the pastries with some of the beaten egg.
  19. Sprinkle the tops with the sanding sugar.
  20. Bake 20-25 minutes or until the pies are puffed and completely golden.
  21. Let cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes.
  22. Serve warm or at room temperature.