Trevor’s been asking me to make these ever since he saw me looking over the recipe in Bon Appetit. Little handheld pies, both delicious and convenient, and packed full of plump fresh cherries.
But I put off making them.
Everything was almost perfect, the bing cherries were in season, the recipe was easy (using frozen puff), but I had one issue stopping me.
No cherry pitter.
There’s no particular reason I don’t own a pitter. To be honest? Mostly laziness. My laziness is usually the reason I end up buying a million tools for my kitchen, making my baking escapades easier. But in this instance, Trevor and I have a tendency to eat all the cherries in the house before I have a chance to pit them and bake them. So I’ve never bought a cherry pitter.
The internet came to my rescue.
You can use a metal piping tip to pit cherries! Did you know this? The decorating tool for cakes, is an unexpectedly efficient cherry pitter.
Just pull the stem off the cherry and stem side up, push the cherry over the tip, and out pops the pit. Sometimes the pit got stuck in the tip, but the point is that it wasn’t in the cherry anymore which is all that matters in the end.
It’s a messy method but it totally works.
You gotta get a little messy in the kitchen to have fun!
After the pitting it’s all pretty straightforward. Cherries cooked up with a few other ingredients to make a filling.
Store-bought puff rolled out, measured, cut and filled. Then baked until golden and bubbly.
Actually, I lied, there was one other part that wasn’t so straightforward. The original recipe used a single 14 oz. sheet of puff pastry and my supermarket had a 17.3 oz. package of two sheets. So I had to do a little math to get the puff to work out. But if you have my same issue, I’ve shared my math with you below.
Also, there was the slight issue of what to do with the extra puff. You’ll figure something out!
(First sheet: cinnamon & sugar; second sheet: raspberry jam & white chocolate; third sheet and bottom photo: nutella, hazelnuts & white chocolate)
And even if you don’t use up the scraps, you’ve got yourself some little pockets of cherry pie.
More like pockets of awesome.
Cherry Hand Pies
Recipe from Bon Appetit
- 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 cups fresh cherries, stemmed and pitted, or about 12 ounces frozen pitted cherries, unthawed
- 2/3 cup dried cherries
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 14-ounce package all-butter puff pastry, thawed in refrigerator (I used a 17.3 oz. package of 2 sheets of puff)
- Flour (for dusting)
- 1 large egg white
- 1 1/2 teaspoons raw sugar
- Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Stir cornstarch and 1 1/2 tablespoons cold water in a small bowl to blend. Combine fresh cherries and next 4 ingredients in a large saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until cherry juices are released, about 5 minutes. Add cornstarch mixture; bring to a boil, stirring often. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally.
- Roll out pastry on a lightly floured surface to an 18×15″ rectangle. Using a sharp knife or pizza cutter, cut dough into nine 6×5″ rectangles.
- (If using a 17.3 oz. package, roll out one sheet to a 15×12″ rectangle. Cut dough into six 6×5″ rectangles. Move rectangles to the side and repeat with other sheet of puff for a total of 12 rectangles. The three extra rectangles can be spread with various fillings and rolled up. Bake them at 375 degrees F for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown and puffed.)
- Whisk egg white and 1 tablespoon water in another small bowl for egg wash.
- Working with 1 pastry rectangle at a time, place on a work surface and brush edges with egg wash. Scoop 3 tablespoons cherry mixture onto one side; fold dough over filling so that short ends meet, forming a 5×3″ packet. Crimp edges with a fork to seal. Using a sharp knife, cut a few slits in top of pie to vent. Place on prepared baking sheet; repeat with remaining dough and filling.
- Brush tops with egg wash, then sprinkle with raw sugar. Chill for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 375° F. Bake pastries until tops and bottoms are golden brown, 30-40 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes on baking sheet. Transfer to wire racks; let cool completely.
Makes 9 hand pies, can be made 1 day ahead. Let stand at room temperature.
I didn’t know this but it is the greatest method ever! Now I want to make these!
Brilliant method! Thanks for sharing.
I’ve been staring at that recipe for a month!! You just opened a whole new world of cooking with cherries. I’m about to run for my piping tip!
Wow! I never knew that you could use a pastry tip to get the pits out of cherries. I’m definitely going to try that next time I’ve got some. Brilliant!
All of you let me know which piping tip size you used and how well it worked! I just used what I had on hand so I don’t even know if it was the best option or not. Speaking of which I should go check what size I used and include it in the post… haha… Hope the method works as well for everyone else as it did for me!
I’ve been looking for this recipe whole year round! Good thing I had stopped by your blog. Thanks!
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