Cherries, sugar, lime, and flaky pastry - that's all you need for a heavenly bite of summer. These Cherry Hand Pies are the perfect way to capture the essence of the season in a convenient, handheld form.
Cherries are delicious, am I right? I LOOOOVE cherry season when the red orbs suddenly appear in stores and are full of flavor.
I always buy up loads and although I like to just eat them straight, I also love to bake with them.
One of my go-to cherry recipes is these super easy hand pies!
If you're a fan of fresh, fruity flavors and a bit of buttery, golden pastry, this recipe is a must-try.
Cherries are at their prime during the summer, and when they're plucked fresh from the tree, their sweet-tart flavor is simply irresistible.
Combine them with a flaky, buttery pastry, and you have a dessert that's hard to resist. These hand pies are not only easy to make, but they also allow you to savor the taste of summer on the go.
But wait, what if it isn't cherry season? Don't worry, you can just use frozen cherries!
Simply cook up the cherries into a homemade cherry pie filling. Then load it onto pieces of store bought pastry (or make your own!), then bake.
A little lime zest really brings out and balances the amazing sweet flavor of the cherry filling.
This recipe was originally published on October 3, 2017, and updated with next text October 18, 2023.
Why You'll Love This Recipe
A quick and easy pie.
Small individual pies, so perfect for picnics, parties or dessert.
These hand pies are like homemade, from scratch, Pop-Tarts.
A tasty way to use up seasonal fresh cherries.
The lime makes the flavor of the cherries really pop.
If you want to make them super easy and ready in minutes, you can 'cheat' and use store-bought pastry and canned cherry pie filling.
Easily vegan if you use vegan pastry.
If you'd like to make your own pastry, it's quite easy.
If you'd like to add some colour to your cherry hand pies, why not make my beetroot pastry - the vegetables bring colour and a bit of goodness to the pastry, but you can't taste it!
- Fresh Cherries: The star of the show, cherries provide that sweet-tart burst of flavor. If fresh cherries are out of season, you can use frozen cherries as a substitute.
- Caster / Superfine Sugar: Adds sweetness to the cherry filling. Granulated sugar is a suitable alternative.
- Lime Zest and Juice: The zest adds a zingy, citrusy note, while the juice balances the sweetness. You can use lemon as a substitute.
- Vanilla Extract: Enhances the overall flavor and aroma.
- Cornstarch/Cornflour: Helps thicken the cherry filling, preventing it from becoming too runny.
- Water: Mixed with cornstarch to create a slurry for thickening.
- Shortcrust Pastry: The buttery, flaky envelope for your cherry filling. If you'd like to make your own pastry, it's quite easy. If you'd like to add some colour to your cherry hand pies, why not make my beetroot pastry - the vegetables bring colour and a bit of goodness to the pastry, but you can't taste it!
- Milk: Used for brushing the pastry, giving it a lovely golden hue.
- Demerara Sugar / Sugar-in-the-raw: Sprinkled on top for a touch of sweetness and a bit of crunch.
How to make cherry hand pies
This recipe is super easy. Just follow these instructions, then scroll down to the recipe card for the full ingredients list and method.
Preheat oven to 190°C/375°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Remove cherry pits with a pitter gadget or a knife.
In a large saucepan over medium heat, combine cherries, sugar, lime zest, lime juice, and vanilla. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 5 minutes.
Make a cornstarch slurry by dissolving it in water, then stir it into the cherry mixture. Bring it to a boil, cook for 1 minute, and remove from heat.
Unroll the dough and cut it into 6 squares. Spoon 2 teaspoons of filling onto one side of each square.
Brush the edges with milk, fold, crimp with a fork, and cut slits in the pastry.
Sprinkle with demerara sugar, bake for 20-25 minutes, and serve warm or cold.
- Don't Overfill: When spooning the filling onto the pastry squares, avoid overfilling to prevent leakage while baking. About 2 heaped teaspoons should do the trick.
- Seal Securely: Ensure a proper seal by pressing the edges of the pastry firmly with a fork. This prevents the filling from escaping during baking.
- Cool Before Serving: While it's tempting to dive in right away, let the hand pies cool for a few minutes after baking. This allows the filling to set and avoids any accidental burns.
- Customize Pastry Thickness: If you prefer a thicker pastry, you can roll out the dough slightly before cutting it into squares. Just be mindful of the baking time, as it may need a few extra minutes.
- To avoid crimson-stained hands, I use a Cherry Pitter. It may be one of those gadgets that you only use occasionally, but it's inexpensive and every time I need it I'm soooo pleased by how much easier it has just made my life!
- Try a different flavor of filling! Raspberry Compote, Blueberry Compote or another Compote Recipe would be perfect.
- Try adding a light sprinkle of cinnamon or ground ginger to the pastry.
- Mix up a simple icing of powdered sugar and water to spread onto the cooled hand pies to turn them into Pop Tarts.
- Try zest of lemon or orange for a different flavor.
If you love this recipe for cherry hand pies, you'll love these other cherry recipes too!
- Cherry Bars with Oats and Almonds
- Coconut Cherry Popsicles with Dark Chocolate and Almonds
- Lime and Fresh Cherry Pie
- Black Forest Cherry Chocolate Avocado Mousse
- Vegan Black Forest Cake
- Cherry Jam
- Cherry Ripple Ice Cream
If you happen to have any leftovers, store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator. They should keep well for a couple of days.
If you'd like to enjoy them warm, a quick reheat in the oven or toaster oven will bring back that flaky goodness.
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Absolutely! If fresh cherries aren't in season, frozen ones work well as a substitute. You may need to cook the cherry filling a few minutes longer.
Yes, you can prepare the cherry filling a day in advance and store it in the refrigerator.
Get the recipe
If you make this recipe, please tag it with #veggiedesserts on Instagram or other social media. I LOVE seeing your recreations of my recipes!
Cherry Hand Pies
- 1 ½ cups (200g) fresh cherries pitted
- 2 tablespoons caster sugar
- Zest and juice of ½ a lime
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch/cornflour
- 2 teaspoons water
- 1 x 375g package shortcrust pastry defrosted if frozen
- Milk for brushing
- Preheat oven to 190°C/375°F. Line a baking sheet with baking parchment paper (or use the parchment from the pastry packet)
- Remove the pits from the cherries with a pitter gadget (much easier!) or carefully with a knife.
- Add the cherries to a large saucepan over a medium heat with the sugar, lime zest and juice and vanilla. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to low and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Make a cornstarch slurry by dissolving it in the water, then add it to the cherry mixture and stir to combine. Bring back to the boil, heat for 1 minute, then remove the pan from the heat. It will be thick but not overly gelatinous.
- Unroll the dough and cut into 6 equal-sized squares. Spoon 2 heaped teaspoons of the filling onto one side of each pastry square. Brush a little milk around the edges, fold the dough over and use a fork to crimp and seal the edges. Brush with some more milk, then use a sharp knife to cut slits in the pastry. Sprinkle with the demerara sugar and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until golden. Serve warm or cold.
The nutritional information provided is approximate and can vary depending on several factors, so is not guaranteed to be accurate. Please see a registered dietician for special diet advice.