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.
This recipe combines three of my favorite things; pie crust, sour cherries and almond frangipane!
As I discussed in my Cherry Pit Ice Cream post, 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.
Almond frangipane is a versatile filling. Frangipane can be rolled into croissant dough to make almond croissants. I use this same filling for my Apricot Tartlettes because almonds also go well with apricots. Frangipane is the traditional filling in a Pithivier. You can bake frangipane into a large tart shell and top with fresh fruit for a sophisticated, yet easy, dessert.
A few notes on this recipe; 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.
Click through the slider to see the step-by-step process for making Cherry Almond Hand Pies:
The pies are best eaten the day they’re baked, but will keep a couple of days at room temperature.
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