These cheery Cherry Hand Pies with Cream Cheese Crust feature a rich and tangy, tender pie crust made with cream cheese. Fresh seasonal cherries fill the hand pies and then they are topped with a vibrant pink cherry glaze.
Apparently cherries are a polarizing subject. I had no idea. I kind of assumed everyone loves cherries, I mean they're iconic, right? Cherries are sweet and juicy, they taste of summer and sunshine. What's not to love? But, many people equate the actual fruit to the sickeningly artificial flavor of cough syrup. What a bummer for those folks. That's a travesty and I aim to combat that artificial association with these fresh and sweet Cherry Hand Pies with Cream Cheese Crust.
I don't want to live in an artificially flavored world where even the thought of cherries evokes memories of staying home from school in bed with a cough and binging Wheel of Fortune. Maraschino cherry memories are a little better. But while we all loved them in our Shirley Temples as kids, they taste nothing like actual cherries. Weighing all of that, I can see how one might snub cherries in adulthood. However, I assure you, these Cherry Hand Pies with Cream Cheese Crust taste nothing like Luden's.
The cherry filling is a simple mix of pitted and split fresh cherries. In this recipe I used a mix of slightly tart Sweet Dark Cherries and delicately sweet Rainier Cherries. You can use whatever you like or whatever cherries grow best near you. Then I only add a little sugar and some lemon zest and juice for brightness to round out the sweetness. A bit of tapioca flour helps thicken the filling. That's it. No overly sweet syrupy situations going on here.
Now let's discuss the crust because that's really what makes these Cherry Hand Pies with Cream Cheese Crust so special. It's the Cream Cheese Pie Dough. I adapted my classic All Butter Vodka Pie Dough by adding in cream cheese and pulling back on hydration a bit. The result is an angelically tender yet flaky crust with a richness and slight tang that compliments the sweet cherries delightfully.
Now, let’s break down what the cream cheese brings to the table:
- Taste: The cream cheese adds a richer, tangy undertone that brings depth to the crust and balances both sweet and savory fillings.
- Texture: The cream cheese gives the pie dough an almost velvety texture. It feels more luxurious and tender. The edges don’t have quite the same crisp breakage in the bite as my traditional pie dough. But, the flakiness is still there and the crust is unbelievably tender.
- Workability: I’d say this Cream Cheese Pie Dough is actually a bit easier to work with than my traditional pie dough. The cream cheese lends a pliability that makes it roll out smoother and more easily.
The interplay between the cream cheese and cherries in these hand pies is an elegant experience. Even if you are personally cherry averse due to the trauma of cold syrup, I highly recommend giving this combo a go. The creamy tang of the flaky crust wrapped around the fresh, bright cherries and the vibrant pink cherry glaze is basically a pocketful of happiness. Don't deny yourself this happiness.
These Cherry Hand Pies with Cream Cheese Crust are a pocketful of happiness
You deserve to be happy. You deserve to leave your negative imitation cherry flavored memories in the past. And, you most definitely deserve a handful of Cherry Hand Pies with Cream Cheese Crust!