Cherry Hand Pies with Almond Glaze... and the '80s

These hand pies "look so good (they) bring a tear to your eye," and are so yummy that they will "put a smile on your face ten miles wide." That was for all of you who lived through the '80s, which I myself did not. It's sad but true - I missed out on the glory days of hair bands (a term I only recently learned).

 This is Warrant. They sing "Cherry Pie."

This is Warrant. They sing "Cherry Pie."

Anyway, back to the pies! Hand pies are awesome because they are mini pies (everything is better in mini) and they seem harder to make than they actually are, so you get a little extra attention for them. Let's dive in!

Cherry Hand Pies with Almond Glaze
*Makes 11 4-inch hand pies

Ingredients:
Crust:
3 c Cup4Cup flour
2 tbsp granulated sugar
1 tsp kosher salt
1 c butter cubed and cold
1 large egg
1/2 c cold buttermilk

Filling:
1 lb frozen pitted cherries
1/3 c granulated sugar
1 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
2 1/2 tbsp cornstarch

Glaze:
1 c confectioner's sugar
2 tbsp whole milk
1/2 tsp almond extract

Instructions:
For the pie crust:

I use Cup4Cup's Grandma's Pie Crust recipe. I really like the recipe and if it ain't broke don't fix it! Now, I know that Cup4Cup flour is expensive, but I truly believe that it's the best out there. I've tried other equal parts replacement flour and this is my favorite for flavor and texture. 

1. Place all dry ingredients into a food processor and pulse to evenly distribute. (Or if you do not have a food processor, place dry ingredients into a large bowl.)
2. Add the cold, cubed butter to the flour mixture, pulsing. (Or use a pastry cutter or fork to cut butter into the dry ingredients.)
3. Pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal.
4. Place mixture into a large bowl and set aside.
5. Combine the egg and the buttermilk together in a small bowl.
6. Create a well in the flour mixture, gradually whisk in the egg mixture with a fork.
7. Mix the dough until it forms a ball.
8. Allow dough to rest in refrigerator for 30 minutes. (This is an important step for GF dough!)

For the filling:
1. Preheat the oven at 350˚F.
2. Roughly chop the cherries.
3. Place the cherries, granulated sugar, and lemon juice in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
4. Bring the mixture to a simmer. Allow to cook and reduce for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
5. Spoon 5 tablespoons of the juice into a bowl and stir in the cornstarch until fully dissolved.
6. Stir the mixture back into the saucepan and allow to simmer for 8-10 more minutes.
7. Allow the mixture to cool for 10 minutes. (It will become thicker as it cools.)

Assembly:
1. Roll the chilled dough out to 1/4-inch thickness. Use Cup4Cup to coat the rolling pin and rolling surface to prevent sticking.
2. Using a 4-inch round cookie cutter, cut out 22 rounds.
3. Evenly space 11 rounds on baking sheets lined with parchment paper.
4. Spoon 1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons of the cherry filling in the center of each round, making sure to leave a 1/2-inch ring of dough around the edge. There may be leftover filling, but do not try to over fill the pies!
5. Dab a small amount of water around the 1/2-inch ring of dough on the edges of the pies.
6. Place the remaining 11 rounds of dough on the bottoms and crimp the edges down with a fork.
7. With a sharp knife, cut an x in the center of each pie.
8. Place in the oven and bake for 18-20 minutes or until golden brown on top.

For the glaze:
1. In a bowl combine the confectioner's sugar, whole milk, and almond extract.
2. Once the pies have cooled, use a spoon to drizzle the glaze on top of the hand pies.
3. Allow the glaze to set.