Cherry Almond Hand Pies
Updated: Apr 27, 2019
Cherry almond hand pies... you can eat these for breakfast, snack, or dessert and they're great hot or cold. My favourite way to eat them is to pop one in the microwave for 20 seconds and enjoy it alongside a cup of coffee. I really cannot get enough of these!
So, here's a little not-so-secret secret: I absolutely love almond paste. It has a wonderful flavour and it's such a quick and easy addition to these hand pies (or most other things). I may have snacked on a bit of the extra almond paste after I cut out what I needed.
The cherry filling I used in these was a homemade cherry jam but you could definitely just pick up some store-bough cherry jam and use that though, no one will know!
Second confession for this recipe: I didn't measure anything. The amount of almond paste and cherry jam you'll need will largely depend on the shape and size of your pies. I put a bit too much cherry jam (story of my life, I always add too much filling!) so there was a bit of jam leaking out, but that's ok since it adds a little bit of rustic charm, right? You're going to want to aim for a somewhat thin layer of jam rather than heaping it on like I did. Or heap it on a little if you don't mind a little spillage, just make sure you'll still be able to close them up.
I made these into half circles, but you could make these in whatever shape you want. If you want to make half circles, you'll only be adding filling to half of it so that you can fold the other side over your filling to close it up. To make your dough circles, flip a soup bowl upside down and use a sharp knife to cut around the bowl. Or you could cheat like I did and use frozen tart shells. I took them out of their little tins, gently flattened them into circles and then doubled them up one on top of the other and used a rolling pin to thin them back out. One tart shell alone was much too small when flattened into a circle, but it was the perfect size when I doubled them up. Quick note - tart shells are more crumbly than pie dough, but it'll be delicious either way!
Your favourite pie dough
Almond paste (I used about 1/2 a tube of it)
1 tbsp milk or 1 egg, lightly beaten
Some sugar to sprinkle on top (optional)
Preheat oven to 375°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Roll out your pie dough and cut out your desired shapes, then lay them onto your prepared baking sheet.*
Lay out a sheet of wax paper and roll out some almond paste** on it. Cut out shapes that will work to fill your pies while leaving a border of about 1 cm to seal the edges. I used a circle cookie cutter and then cut each of those in half - filling for 2 pies in one go!
Place your almond paste over your pie dough, leaving a 1 cm border uncovered along the edge of your dough. Repeat for each hand pie.
Spoon your cherry jam over the almond paste and use the back of the spoon to even it out a bit.
Using a pastry brush, apply a bit of milk or egg along the 1 cm border you left exposed earlier and then cover your pie filling by either folding or using the top pieces set aside earlier.
Press down all along the edge with the tines of a fork.
Apply a thin coat of milk or egg over the whole pie.
Sprinkle with sugar if desired.
Bake for 16-20 minutes until golden then transfer to cooling rack.
* If you're making shapes that require 2 separate dough cut outs (a base and a top) rather than one that will be folded over, make sure you set aside a top for each of your bases.
** You might find it easier to roll out if you first knead the almond paste with your hands a bit to warm it up.