Cherry Hand Pies – Secret Recipe Club

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Cherry Hand Pies |

It’s Secret Recipe Club Reveal Day! Each month, we members get assigned a fellow food blogger and are charged to make one of his/her recipes. In turn, someone is assigned to each one of us and we all reveal on the same day our mystery bloggers along with some mouthwatering recipes (as seen in thumbnails below.)

This month, I had Jess @ Life’s Simple Measures. Once I started stalking exploring her blog, I couldn’t stop. It was such fun to learn more about her – she got engaged this year to her long time college boyfriend (wedding in September 2014) and just moved to Chicago from Omaha a week or so ago (I believe the day of this reveal is her first day at her new job – good luck, Jess!)

And man, can this gal cook. I wanted to make her Blueberry Pie Bars and Mama’s Challah Bread and Brazilian Cheese Puffs and so many more. Plus, you must check out the gorgeous cupcakes she made for a wedding reception recently.

In the end, Jess’s Cherry Hand Pies won out because a) cherries are my absolute favorite fruit and b) they are in season now (albeit a way way WAY too short season.) (I came close to making these Soft Pretzel Bites for my post, being a Philly gal who loves her pretzels. But those will be for another day…)

Cherry Hand Pies |

I made some tweaks to the pies, including adding in some lemon zest and almond extract to the cherries. I also used some white whole wheat flour and butter with coconut oil in place of the shortening. And I opted for a turbinado sugar topping in place of the simple icing.

Turns out Mason jar lids make excellent mini pie cutters (especially for tattooed 6 year olds to handle.)

Cherry Hand Pie |

Cherry Hand Pies – Secret Recipe Club

Makes about 16 hand pies.


    For cherry filling:
  • 2 pounds (4 cups) cherries, pitted and quartered
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • Zest of half of lemon
  • 1/8 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • For the dough:
  • 1 2/3 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons virgin coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup nonfat milk
  • Cooking spray
  • Turbinado sugar


  1. For the filling, in a small bowl, mix cherries, sugar, 3 tablespoons flour, lemon zest, almond extract and 1/8 teaspoon salt. Set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  3. For the dough, in a large bowl, mix together flours, baking powder and 1/8 teaspoon salt. With pastry knife or your hands, mix in coconut oil and butter until dough becomes crumbly.
  4. Slowly mix in milk until dough starts to come together.
  5. On a floured surface, roll dough until it becomes a smooth dough ball. With rolling pin, roll out into 1/3-inch thickness. Cut into 3-inch round circles and then roll each circle into about 5-inch circle (dough will be thin.)
  6. Place each circle on parchment paper on a cooking sheet. Spoon about 1 1/2 tablespoons of cherry filling onto each circle. Fold over and seal edges. Spray with cooking spray and sprinkle with turbinado sugar.
  7. Bake for about 25 minutes or until dough becomes slightly golden brown. Cool slightly and serve.


Cherry Hand Pies |

The dietitian in me loves the built in “portion control” of hand pies and the foodie in me loves the versatility of being able to swap in whatever fresh fruit you’d like! You could also experiment with different fruit & herb/spice combos like peach & thyme, strawberry & basil, lemon & ginger, plum & lavender – endless possibilities.

Do you ever make mini or hand pies? What’s your favorite summer pie?

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  1. says

    My mum used to make me a ‘special’ pie all to myself. I LOVE hand pies. I make them healthier now, than my mum did and super quick. I use big spoons of fruit sweetened jam. Though I love inventing, when I make these pies I use traditional strawberry or marmalade jam. I made cherry scones for this month SRC, next time I need a pie I’ll be trying cherry, maybe I’ll go wild and add vegan chocolate chips!

    Good SRC pick. wonderful photo’s too!

  2. says

    What a great choice! Those cherry pies look amazing with that golden turbinado sugar on top. I really enjoyed checking out your blog this month and am definitely a new follower. :) You have so many awesome recipes I want to make and I so appreciate the healthy spin. :)
    Gloria – The Ginger Snap Girl recently posted..Blueberry Lemon CurdMy Profile

    • says

      Again, another food/cooking thing we share – I rarely make pie crust (that’s what frozen crust are for!) Definitely get the kids involved – Mia actually thinks it’s fun to pit the cherries…though that can get rather messy rather fast.

  3. says

    Hi Deanna,

    So glad I stumbled across your blog on google+! Good choice with these pies. I have to say, my favourite fruit in desserts is probably apple, so when I try these I might try with apple and cinnamon for my own twist. Love the idea of a hand held, portable dessert. I was wondering, as you’ve used coconut oil does this affect the taste of the pastry? Because I am not sure coconut would marry well with every flavour.

    Sita :)

    • says

      Sita – thanks for stopping by – I look forward to checking out your blog! Great question about the coconut oil, it didn’t have any “coconuty” flavor in the crust so I think you could use it for your apple cinnamon (sounds delicious!) hand pies or of course, swap in butter if you prefer.

    • says

      So fun! I can’t believe I’ve never ate them nor baked them until now :) BTW, love your grilled plum & arugula salads and looking forward to part 2 :)


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