Sour cherries made into a filling flavored with cardamoms are tucked in a flaky pie crust to make these perfect individual heart shape sour cherry hand pies.
Though chocolate and Valentine's Day have almost become synonymous in present times, who know where this relationship started. Chocolate has aphrodisiac properties which might explain the connection. During the Valentine's days gone by, I have made many chocolate desserts (find them here and here). But I have to admit, Dr. A is not a big chocolate fan so I am always on a lookout to try something that steers clear of chocolate but still maintains that romantic and cheesy vibe. These sour cherry hand pies are such an attempt.Jump to Recipe
Few months ago, a farmer friend at local farmer's market gave me some sour cherries from her grandma's garden. She had harvested the cherries, took the pits out and froze them for me so I could use them whenever and wherever I wanted. How thoughtful! Those sour cherries looked at me with inquiring eyes every time I opened my freezer. I have had my fair share of sweet cherries - bing, rainier - pure candy. But I was not very aware of sour cherries until I moved to Kansas.
So while thinking of making some non-chocolate sweet treat for this Valentine's day, I was reminded of a sour cherry pie that I had at one of Dr. A's colleague's wedding reception. Trusting the memory of my taste buds, I set on this journey to make Sour Cherry Hand Pies. I decided on making hand pies because they are individual serving size (uhmm portion control), and who is with me on crust to filling ratio. Amen! I am more of a lot of crust with a little bit of filling girl.
To add a delicate spicy flavor to the sour cherry filling, I added some cardamom and was pleasantly surprised. It adds a subtle and warm, almost mildly eucalyptine flavor and is commonly used in most Indian desserts. Green cardamom is a stimulant and is said to have considered an aphrodisiac by Arabs. There - you see the connection..ha ha! Bottom line - it adds a great flavor so I would suggest going for it in this pie. I used store bought pie crust for these sour cherry hand pies though this homemade pie crust recipe is my favorite. I used heart shape cookie cutter to give this sour cherry hand pies recipe a more Valentine's dayish feel. You can make them in regular half moon shape or whatever shape makes your skirt fly up. Hah!
Here is a handy dandy printable
Cardamom Scented Sour Cherry Hand Pies
- 2 sheets prepared pie dough
- 1 cup sour cherries pitted
- ½ cup sugar see notes
- 2 green cardamoms cracked open and seeds removed
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ½ lime juiced
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 tablespoon corn starch
- Few tablespoons water
- 1 tablespoon heavy cream optional
- 1 tablespoon coarse sugar optional
- Take the pie dough out of the refrigerator
- Set a heavy bottomed sauce pan over medium high heat. Add pitted cherries, butter, sugar, lime juice, crushed cardamom, vanilla extract to the pan and bring to boil.
- Cook for around 8 minutes or until the cherries have softened. Use a fork to mash some of the cherries.
- Take about two tablespoon of cherry syrup out of the pan into a small bowl. Add corn starch into this syrup and make a slurry.
- Add the prepared slurry back to the saucepan and cook the cherry filling for two more minutes.
- Turn the heat off and let the filling cool in the refrigerator. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F
- While the filling is cooling, sprinkle some flour on your kitchen counter and unroll the pie dough. Cut out heart shapes from pie crust. If you use a medium sized heart shape cookie cutter, you should have 32 heart shaped pie crust pieces.
- Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper. Lay 16 heart shaped pieces on the lined cookie sheets.
- Take the filling out of the refrigerator and add about a teaspoon of filling in the middle of each pie crust piece.
- Take the remaining 16 heart shaped pie crust pieces and while working with one piece at a time, wet the edges with water and cover the piece with cherry filling in it.
- Seal the edges and use a fork to crimp them. Use a sharp knife to make 2-3 cuts in the hand pie (see pictures). Repeat for alll 16 hand pies.
- Mix some water with heacy cream (if using) and using a pastry brush, brush each hand pie with this cream and water "glaze". Sprinkle some coarse sugar on each hand pie.
- Stick the cookie sheets in your pre heated oven and bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown.
- Remove the cookie sheets from teh oven and let the sour cherry hand pies cool on a cooling rack for 10 minutes.
- Enjoy and Happy valentine's day to all
I hope these heart shaped hand pies make your Valentine's Day a little more sweet.
Love - Vaishali.