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Sour Cherry Hand Pies with Almond Frangipane filling.

These Sour Cherry Hand Pies are made with flaky cream cheese dough, almond frangipane filling and a dollop of sour cherry preserves. Make your own preserves or use store bought pie filling.

a plate of cherry almond hand pies

This recipe combines three of my favorite things; pie crust, sour cherries and almond frangipane!

The kernal at the center of a cherry pit has a natural bitter almond flavor. Because of this, cherries and almonds have a built-in flavor affinity. The two flavors work perfectly together every time. If you love marzipan (I do, I do) then this treat should be right up your alley.

Tips for making Sour Cherry Almond Hand Pies:

  • If you want to work ahead you can make the frangipane several days in advance and store it in the fridge. You can even freeze it for a couple of weeks if you really want to get a jump on the recipe.  
  • The cream cheese dough can be made ahead and refrigerated for a couple of days, or frozen for a couple of weeks.
  • I used my homemade Sour Cherry Preserves in the filling. You can use homemade or store bought preserves, or even cherry pie filling.
  • Once the pies are assembled they should get a 15 minute rest in the freezer to help the dough keep it’s shape during baking and to minimize filling leakage. You can see from the photo what a difference a few minutes in the freezer makes.
  • You could leave the assembled pies in the freezer for a couple of hours or even overnight. No need to defrost them since they’re small. Pop them into the oven straight from the freezer.

two tray showing Cherry Almond Hand Pies with freezer time and without

Scroll through the the step-by-step photos to see how  to make Sour Cherry Hand Pies:

ingredients for sour cherry almond hand pies
Gather all the components of the recipe.
a pie of roll dough with a measuring tape.
Roll the dough to an 18″x18″ square and mark off 3″ segment in both directions.
dough cut into squares
Cut the dough into 36 squares and cut steam vents in half of the squares.
assembling cherry hand pies
Eggwash the squares, place a dollop of frangipane and a dollop of cherry preserves on half the squares. Place the tops on and pinch the pies to seal the edges.
sprinkling hand pies with sugar
Egg wash the pies and sprinkle with sugar. Freeze for 15 minutes before baking.
cherry almond hand pies
a hand holding a cherry almond hand pie

The pies are best eaten the day they’re baked, but will keep a couple of days at room temperature.

If you love this recipe as much as I do, please consider leaving a 5-star review.

cherry almond hand pies

Sour Cherry Hand Pies with Almond Frangipane

Yield: 18 hand pies
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Chill Time: 2 hours
Bake Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 45 minutes

Cherry Almond Hand Pies are made with flaky cream cheese dough, almond frangipane filling and a dollop of sour cherry preserves. Make you own preserves or use store bought pie filling.

Ingredients

  • 1 recipe Flaky Cream Cheese Dough
  • 1/2 cup (4 oz, 112g) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 stick (2 oz, 56g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup (3 oz, 84g) almond flour, or finely ground almonds
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tablespoons dark rum

Assembly

Instructions

Dough

  1. Make the dough at least 2-3 hours ahead of time so it has time to rest.

Frangipane Filling

  1. Cream the granulated sugar and butter together until light and fluffy. Add the egg and mix to combine. Add the almond flour, extracts and rum. Transfer to a small bowl and cover. Refrigerate while you prepare the tart shells.

Assembly

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line two half sheet pans with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
  2. Roll the dough to an 18" x 18" square, use a bench scraper or ruler to keep the edges square as you roll.
  3. Mark off 3" increments in both directions. Use a sharp knife or pizza cutter to cut the dough into 36 squares. Use a small cutter or fork to make steam vents in half the squares.
  4. Place the other 18 squares onto the sheet pans. Brush the squares on the pan with egg wash, making sure to go all the way to the edges. Pipe or scoop about 1.5 teaspoons of frangipane batter onto each square. Put about a teaspoon of cherry preserves onto the frangipane. Place a top square onto each of the pies.
  5. Gently pinch together the edges of each pie, making sure they are well sealed. Place the sheet pans into the freezer for 15 minutes to rest and chill the dough (see note). Brush each pie with egg wash and sprinkle with crystal sugar. Bake until puffed and golden brown, about 15 minutes.

Notes

You can use store-bought cherry pie filling or cherry preserves.

A 15 minute rest in the freezer helps the pies keep their shape while baking and minimizes how much filling leaks out (see photos).

You can also make the pies ahead and freeze until ready to bake. Take them directly from the freezer to the oven.

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram

cherry almond hand pies

Flaky Cream Cheese Dough

Yield: Enough for 2 crust pie
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

A great flaky pastry made with cream cheese and butter. This dough rolls beautifully

Ingredients

  • 2 3/4 cups (13.75 oz 385g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon (.5 oz, 14g) granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon table salt
  • 1/2 cup (4 oz, 112g) cream cheese, cut into 1" chunks
  • 1 stick (4 oz, 112g) unsalted butter, cold and cut into 1" chunks
  • 1/2 cup (4 oz, 120ml) cold water

Instructions

  1. Whisk together the flour, sugar and salt in a mixing bowl.
  2. Toss in the cream cheese. Using your fingers, mix the cream cheese into the flour until it resembles coarse corn meal.
  3. Toss the butter into the flour and use your fingers to work it in. Allow the flakes to break up into slightly smaller pieces. Work quickly so the butter doesn't get warm. Don't break the butter down completely. There should be some large flakes remaining.
  4. Pour the water onto the flour all at once and toss to combine. Gently work the dough just until it comes together. Form the dough into a rectangle or square, wrap and refrigerate for at least 2-3 hours, or make it the day before and let it rest overnight.
  5. The dough can be frozen for up to 3 months.

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Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram

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Lauri M.

Friday 11th of August 2017

I am wondering if you have made gluten-free recipes out of your usual recipes. and what did you change? We do a bake sale at our church in October and had requests for gluten-free items so I would like to try to make some this year. Thank you.

Eileen Gray

Friday 11th of August 2017

Hi Lauri, The only recipe I've reworked to use gluten-free flour is my Perfected Pound Cake recipe. The gluten-free version of the recipe is not on the blog but, is in my Pound Cake eBook. I'm no gluten-free expert, but the main issue is that gluten free flour doesn't have the protein that gives a baked good structure. The King Arthur Flour website has reliable recipes and they have a whole section of gluten free recipes.