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How To: Make Hand Pies

Hand pies pack all the flavor of traditional fruit pies into a cute, portable package. They’re perfect for picnics and potlucks.

Hand pies pack all the flavor of traditional fruit pies into a cute, portable package. They’re perfect for picnics and potlucks. You can make hand pies using purchased refrigerated piecrust, but for the best flavor and texture, we like to make our own pastry. Stir together sour cream, egg yolks and lemon juice. Combine flour, baking powder, sugar and salt in your food processor. Then add your chilled butter and shortening. Just a few quick pulses will do! We’ll stop when the crumbs are the size of peas. Now pour the liquid all over the mixture and pulse again! The mixture should still be crumbly and clumpy. So now we’ll transfer the pastry to a bowl or the counter and gently knead it together to make a ball. Divide the pastry into four parts, wrap them in plastic wrap and chill them for 45 minutes or overnight. While the pastry chills, let’s make our fruit filling. In a saucepan, combine fresh or frozen tart cherries, sugar, cornstarch, orange zest and orange juice. We’ll cook the filling over medium heat until it’s thickened and bubbly. Just whisk an egg with water. Now we’re ready to make the hand pies! Roll one of your chilled pastry portions to a thickness of about an eighth of an inch. Use about a 4-inch round cookie cutter to cut circles from the pastry. Set the circles on a parchment-lined baking sheet. For round pies, spoon 2 big tablespoons of fruit into the center of the circle. Now let’s brush the edge around the fruit with our egg wash, and lay a pastry top over it. Crimp the edges with a fork to seal. Our recipe makes 8 circle hand pies, but we could also make 16 half-moon pies. Just use less fruit. Fold the pastry circle in half, brush with egg wash, crimp to seal and prick with a fork. Brush the tops of the pies with egg wash and sprinkle them with coarse sugar for a little sparkle. Now we’ll just pop them in the oven for about 18 minutes. When the hand pies are cool, pack them in a basket for your potluck or picnic!