Thursday, December 7, 2023

Cherry Christmas Tree Hand Pies


Cherry Christmas Tree Hand Pies

Karri Perry | Blue Ribbon Favorites 


Dough-store bought or homemade (recipe follows)

Cherry Pie Filling (store bought or homemade. Both are great options)

1/8 tsp Almond extract

1/4 tsp cinnamon 

Egg-beaten for egg wash

1 Tbs Lemon juice

2 tsp milk

1 cup Confectioner’s sugar

1/4 tsp vanilla 

Sanding sugar or cinnamon-sugar mix 

Seasonal sprinkles for glaze finish

Homemade Pie Dough

2 cups all purpose flour

1-2 Tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder 

1 tsp. salt

10 Tablespoons unsalted butter

2 Tbs Crisco-plain or butter flavored 

¼ cup cold water

Cherry Filling:

1 12-ounce can Cherry Pie Filling-Store bought… and add 1/8 tsp almond extract and 1/4 tsp cinnamon 

Homemade Cherry Pie Filling: mix together 2 cups of pitted cherries (sour and sweet) reserve 1/2 cup of the juices. 

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 tsp salt

1/8 tsp almond extract

1/8 teaspoon cinnamon 

1 tsp fresh lemon juice

2 generous Tablespoons arrowroot

In a saucepan, stir the cherries, reserved cherry juice, salt, lemon juice, and arrowroot together on low heat, bringing the mixture just to a boil-the juices will have thickened. For a brighter red-add 1 drop of red food coloring, stir.  Allow cherry mixture to cool to room temperature before using as filling in hand-pies. 

Citrus Vanilla Glaze:

1 cup confectioner’s sugar

1Tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1-3 teaspoons milk

1/4 tsp vanilla extract 

Pinch salt

Step 1: Dough: Mix together flour, sugar and salt, cornstarch, cinnamon and baking powder. set aside.  Make pie dough by cutting in (using a pastry blender, a fork or food processor) butter, and into the flour, sugar, salt, cornstarch, cinnamon and baking powder mixture.  The butter should break down into small bits, and dough will look shaggy. Add liquid, sprinkling over the dough, mix together gently until dough comes together.  ** The key to great dough is adding the least amount of liquid, while still creating a dough.  When the water is added and stirred, wait one minute and gently stir again.  Sometimes the flour needs a few seconds to drink in the liquid.  Press the dough together to see if it comes together.  If dough is still dry--add one additional Tablespoon of water if necessary.

Step 2: Using a rolling pin roll the dough 1/4 inch thickness on a floured work surface. I like to use floured parchment paper or floured wax paper.

Step 3: Cut 8 four-inch trees using a cookie cutter or stencil.

Using a rolling pin, thin each tree just slightly more (spreading them 1/2 inch more) with an additional roll of the rolling pin. Re-roll any scraps to make additional trees.

Step 4: In the middle of the dough tree, place 1 Tablespoon of the cherry pie filling.  Place a second tree cut-out to cover the filling.  Crimp edges of the dough together by pressing together. Using a fork, use the fork tines to finish and secure the edges by pressing dough edges, trim excess.

Place prepared hand-pies on a parchment lined baking sheet.

Step 5: Repeat, using all the dough to make more trees.  Using a knife, slit each hand pie gently to allow steam to escape while baking.

Bush with egg wash. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar or sanding sugar.  Place hand pies on baking sheet in freezer for 5-10 minutes before baking.

Step 6: Bake in a preheated oven on the middle rack for 20 minutes-or until golden brown.  Allow to cool completely before glazing.

Step 7: Make glaze-combining glaze ingredients until smooth. Using a fork, drizzle the glaze on the cooled hand-pies ( similar to a garland). Sprinkle the wet glaze with seasonal sprinkles. Serve and enjoy… or store in an air-tight container for up to 3 days. (For a thicker glaze-use less milk or lemon juice and create a thicker paste-like consistency)


In a small bowl add 1 cup confectioner’s sugar, 1/4 teaspoon vanilla and 1 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice and milk.  Mix well.  *If glaze is too thick, add an additional teaspoon of lemon juice or water to reach desired glaze consistency. Place in a piping bag to drizzle-snip a small hole.

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