Cross section image of cherry hand pie with flaky crust and sugar crystals

Bourbon Crust Cherry Hand Pies

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Bourbon added to the crust creates a distinct carmel-y, slightly boozy flavor to these portable treats. Swap out the cherry filling for your favorite – peach, apple, pecan, chocolate …

Cliff Notes:
The pastry is a very simplified version of a quick puff pastry with bourbon replacing some of the water; the filling is made by cooking canned cherries with sugar until thick; sprinkle tops with coarse sugar for extra crunch.

Make It Your Own:
– Use different fruits to make the filling … strawberry, blueberry, blackberry, apple, peach ….

Simplify It:
– Use a good-quality store-bought jelly or pie filling instead of making your own

While paging through a 80-year-old, brittle-paged, splatter-covered copy of The New American Cookbook that was passed down to me from my Grandmother, I happened across suggested menus for various American holidays. To my surprise, the suggested dessert for Washington’s Birthday was an apple pie! Now, if we really want to celebrate the first president of this country, shouldn’t we be enjoying an honest-to-goodness cherry pie?

Well, that thought managed to plant a seed in my brain. But I typically don’t like cherry pies – they’re waaaay too tooth-achingly sweet and taste nothing like actual cherries. But still, the notion of a cherry pie just wouldn’t go away. When I mentioned it to my husband, his eyes lit up as he suggested I make cherry Pop-Tarts® instead. But, since we’re all adults in this household, I decided to adult-it-up by incorporating the delicious flavor of bourbon.

A few enjoyable tasty trial batches later, I wound up with this gem. Bourbon Crust Cherry Hand Pies. The bourbon in the dough adds a distinct carmel-y, slightly boozy (though all the alcohol will have cooked out) flavor to these portable treats. If you don’t care for bourbon, or you want to keep them child-friendly, feel free to substitute a half-recipe of my All-Butter Pie Crust.

For the filling, I strongly encourage you to make your own as outlined in the recipe below. If you use canned in water, or frozen cherries, there’s not much involved, other than the time for them to cook down, and the results are so, so, so much better than any pre-made filling or jam that you can buy!

Cherry Hand Pie

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