Cherry Hand Pies

Cherry Hand Pies: Quick, Delicious, and Customizable Recipes

Mini air fryer cherry hand pies are small, handheld pastries filled with a tart cherry filling and encased in a golden, flaky crust. These pies, made in an air fryer rather than an oven, offer a quick method for creating a delicious dessert. These hand pies are perfect for individual servings at gatherings or as a personal treat. Each pie typically features a homemade or store-bought dough wrapped around a cherry filling, then cooked to perfection in the air fryer.

Why Use an Air Fryer?

Using an air fryer for making cherry hand pies presents several advantages. First, air fryers provide a faster cooking method than traditional ovens, achieving the same golden brown crust in less time. Air fryers also use less energy than conventional ovens, making them cost-effective and eco-friendly. Another benefit is the ease of use; air fryers require minimal preheating and are easy to operate, even for beginners. Finally, air fryers offer consistent results, ensuring each hand pie is evenly cooked and crispy.

Ingredients and Tools Needed

Key Ingredients for Cherry Hand Pies

You’ll need specific ingredients to create delicious mini air fryer cherry hand pies:

  • Frozen Cherries: Use 2 cups of tart cherries for the filling.
  • Granulated Sugar: Add 1/2 cup to sweeten the cherries.
  • Cornstarch: Use 2 tablespoons for thickening the filling.
  • Lemon Juice: Add 1 tablespoon for a hint of acidity.
  • Vanilla Extract: Enhance flavor with 1 teaspoon.
  • Puff Pastry Sheets: Use 2 sheets, thawed, to create the pie crust.
  • Egg: Beat 1 egg for the egg wash to give a golden, shiny finish.
  • Coarse Sugar: Sprinkle on top for added texture and sweetness.

Essential Tools for Air Frying

You need specific tools to prepare and cook the mini air fryer cherry hand pies:

  • Air Fryer: Opt for an air fryer with a wide basket to fit multiple pies.
  • Silicone Baking Mat: Use it for non-stick surface and easy cleanup.
  • Rolling Pin: Ensure even thickness when rolling out the pastry sheets.
  • Pastry Brush: Apply the egg wash evenly.
  • Knife or Pizza Cutter: Cut the pastry sheets into the desired shapes.
  • Mixing Bowl: For preparing the cherry filling.
  • Measuring Cups and Spoons: Ensure accurate measurement of ingredients.

With these ingredients and tools in hand, you’re ready to create your mini air fryer cherry hand pies.

Step-by-Step Recipe Guide

Preparing the Pie Crust

Roll out the puff pastry sheets on a lightly floured surface. Use a rolling pin to ensure an even thickness. Cut the sheets into rectangles, each about 3×5 inches, using a knife or pizza cutter. Place the prepared rectangles on a silicone baking mat to prevent sticking.

Making the Cherry Filling

In a mixing bowl, combine 2 cups of frozen cherries, 1/2 cup of granulated sugar, 1 tablespoon of cornstarch, 1 tablespoon of lemon juice, and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract. Stir until the cherries are well-coated and the mixture thickens. Let the filling sit for five minutes to allow the flavors to meld.

Assembling the Hand Pies

Place a heaping tablespoon of cherry filling onto the center of each rectangle. Fold the dough over the filling to form a pocket. Press the edges with a fork to seal. Brush the tops with a beaten egg to give the pies a golden color. Sprinkle coarse sugar on top for added sweetness and texture.

Air Frying Techniques

Preheat the air fryer to 375°F for five minutes. Arrange the hand pies in a single layer on the air fryer basket. Cook the pies for 8-10 minutes, flipping halfway through, until golden brown and crispy. Let the pies cool for a few minutes before serving to allow the filling to set.

Tips and Tricks for Perfect Hand Pies

How to Ensure Flaky Crust in an Air Fryer

Maintaining a flaky crust is crucial for delicious hand pies. Use frozen puff pastry sheets straight from the package. Keep the dough cold while working with it, as this helps maintain its structure. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface to prevent sticking, and avoid rolling it too thin, which can make the crust soggy. Use a silicone baking mat to maintain an even temperature distribution.

Brush the tops of the pies with an egg wash for a golden, crispy finish. Preheat the air fryer to ensure it reaches the necessary temperature before cooking. Place hand pies in a single layer, not overlapping, to allow hot air to circulate effectively.

Adjusting Fillings and Flavors

Customize the fillings of your cherry hand pies to suit your taste preferences. Mix in different fruit options like blueberries, raspberries, or apples, combining them with the cherries for a unique flavor. Add spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, or allspice to enhance the taste of the filling. Increase or decrease the sugar content if you’d like sweeter or more tart pies.

Incorporate vanilla extract, almond extract, or lemon zest for added depth of flavor. Adjust the filling’s thickness by altering the cornstarch amount based on your desired consistency. Ensure the filling is completely cooled before assembling the pies to prevent the crust from becoming soggy.

Alternatives and Variations

Dietary Modifications

Adjusting the ingredients in mini air fryer cherry hand pies caters to various dietary needs. Use gluten-free puff pastry to accommodate gluten sensitivity. Opt for a dairy-free puff pastry and an egg substitute like a flax egg (1 tablespoon ground flaxseed mixed with 3 tablespoons water) for vegan preferences. Replace the granulated sugar with a natural sweetener like coconut sugar or a low-calorie alternative like stevia to reduce sugar intake. For those managing their carbohydrate consumption, use almond flour puff pastry and a low-carb sweetener.

Other Filling Ideas

Experimenting with different fillings enhances the versatility of mini air fryer hand pies. Substitute cherries with fruits like apples, blueberries, or peaches for a seasonal twist. Use a mix of fruits, such as a strawberry-rhubarb combination, for unique flavors. Consider savory fillings for a different kind of treat. Stuff the pies with spinach and feta, ham and cheese, or a mushroom and onion blend. Add spices, such as cinnamon or nutmeg, to fruit fillings for depth, or incorporate fresh herbs like rosemary or basil in savory versions to elevate the taste.


Creating mini air fryer cherry hand pies is a delightful way to enjoy a quick and tasty treat. With the convenience of an air fryer, you can achieve a perfect flaky crust and explore endless filling possibilities to suit your taste. The flexibility to make dietary adjustments ensures that everyone can indulge in these delicious pastries. So, grab your ingredients and tools, and start experimenting with flavors to make your own personalized hand pies. Your taste buds will thank you!

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