Easy Cherry Valentine’s Hand Pies

Happy Valentine’s Day! This is one of those holidays, much like New Year’s Eve, that I refuse to go out anywhere – no restaurants, no theater, nowhere outside of my own humble abode. Having said that, I still want to celebrate! That’s when these Easy Cherry Valentne’s Hand Pies become a lifesaver. Six ingredients and about 30 minutes will give you a pretty individual dessert with a flaky, buttery crust and a sweet, red cherry filling. It’s way easier than braving the crowds, plus it’s a lot cheaper, too.

Top view of an Easy Cherry Valentine's heart shaped hand pies dusted with powdered sugar sitting on metal baking pan.

All About Hand Pies

Hand pies are beautiful things. They can be either sweet or savory. They are either fried, baked, or ‘air-fried’. Finally, every culture has its own version of a hand pie – think Cornish Pasties or Latin empanadas.

Personally, I love almost anything miniature in size and individual – in other words, I don’t have to share it. So, hand pies check so many boxes for me. Also, my sister-in-law adores fruit hand pies as well, so when she visits, I like to make her feel special with a fresh batch of hand pies. This small gesture makes her feel nurtured and special and leaves me feeling like I made my family feel welcomed. So, how did hand pies come about anyway?

Centuries ago, in Cornwall, England, miners wanted to take an easily portable lunch that was simple to eat, stay warm for long periods, and stay full for hours. Resourceful wives created a folded pastry filled with a savory mix of meats and veggies.

Fast forward to the old South. Kitchen slaves would make pies filled with meats, vegetables, and gravy or sweet custards, or fruit fillings. They would then take the scraps of dough and fillings home to make smaller, individual ‘pies’ that were folded and handheld to feed their families. Depending on the other items prepared for the meal determined if the hand pies were baked or fried.

Fast food giants, like McDonald’s, took the hand pies and incorporated them into mainstream America with their apple turnover. If you’ve ever had one of those, you know how delicious a hand pie can be!

Ingredients Needed

  • Canned or jarred cherry pie filling – use the brand that you like best. I like a brand from Michigan that tastes like it’s homemade. When I can’t find that, Comstock, or Lucky Leaf make yummy fillings as well.
  • Almond extract – this will make people think it’s homemade. There isn’t enough to make the filling taste like it’s full of almonds; instead, it’s just a subtle hint of flavor that adds depth. If you don’t care for almond flavor, add vanilla instead.
  • Lemon – both the zest and juice will brighten the flavor of the filling.
  • Refrigerated pie crust – I used Pillsbury, but any brand you like will work. If you’re feeling ambitious, make your own pie crust.
  • Egg – this will be beaten with water, milk, or cream to make an egg wash.
  • Powdered sugar is used to dust the hand pie after it’s baked. You could also use sanding sugar for crunch or a glaze of powdered sugar and milk.
Close up of an Easy Cherry Valentine's heart shaped hand pies dusted with powdered sugar sitting on metal baking pan.

Steps To Make This Recipe

  1. Unroll the pie crusts and roll each out to flatten to am ⅛ -inch thickness.
  2. Cut out 4 large hearts and set aside.
  3. Unroll the second pie crust, flatten, and cut out four additional hearts.
  4. Use the small canape cutter to cut out a heart from the center of each.
  5. Mix the pie filling with the almond, lemon zest, and lemon juice.
  6. Place 2 tablespoons of filling on each of the four whole heart cutouts.
  7. Beat the egg with water, milk, or cream.
  8. Bruch the edges with the egg mixture.
  9. Top with the four remaining hearts with the cutouts.
  10. Use a fork to crimp the edges.
  11. Bake until the pastry is golden and the filling is bubbling.
  12. Dust with powdered sugar before serving.

Tips And Tricks

  • Allow the pie crust to come to room temperature. 15 minutes will work and soften the crust so that it’s easy to unroll and work with.
  • Use a pair of kitchen shears to cut up the cherries in the filling. This helps to get a full 2 tablespoons of filling into the hand pie. I like to try to cut each cherry into four pieces, but I don’t get obsessive about it.
  • Freezing the pie filling for 20-30 minutes will prevent the filling from bubbling over the top crust.
  • Don’t use too much filling. 2 tablespoons for a 4-inch cookie cutter should work. Too much filling, and you run the risk of the filling overflowing and/or seeping out the sides.
  • Brush the edges of the hearts with the egg mixture. This will help ‘glue’ the edges together and prevent the filling from oozing out the sides.

Can I Make The Hand Pies Ahead Of Time?

Yes! Cherry Hand Pies are best if eaten the same day they’re made. However, you can store leftovers at room temperature for one day. Afterward, store them, tightly covered, in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

How Do I Freeze The Cherry Hand Pies?

If you want to freeze the baked hand pies, place the pies in a single layer on a baking sheet and freeze until frozen solid – about 2-3 hours. Transfer the frozen, baked pies into individual freezer bags and keep them frozen for up to 2 months.

To freeze the hand pies before baking, assemble them and place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Freeze for 4-6 hours or until completely frozen. Wrap each unbaked, frozen pie in plastic wrap and store it in an airtight container in the freezer.

To bake: remove the pies from the freezer and place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake according to the directions, adding an additional 2-3 minutes to the bake time.

Close up of an Easy Cherry Valentine's heart shaped hand pies dusted with powdered sugar sitting on metal baking pan.

More Pie Recipes To Consider


Easy Cherry Valentine’s Hand Pies

Easy Cherry Valentne’s Hand Pies are a holiday lifesaver. Six ingredients and about 30 minutes will give you a pretty individual dessert with a flaky, buttery crust and a sweet, red cherry filling.

  • Author: Millie Brinkley
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: Southern



1 can (21-ounces) cherry pie filling

½ teaspoon almond extract

½ teaspoon finely grated lemon zest

1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

1 box (2 crusts per box) refrigerated pie crust (I like Pillsbury Ready Crust)

1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water, milk, or heavy cream

Powdered sugar for dusting


Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, stir the pie filling, almond extract, lemon zest, and juice until well combined.

Place one of the crusts between two pieces of waxed or parchment paper. Roll the dough slightly to flatten it and make it large enough to cut four heart shapes.

Use a large 4-inch heart cookie cutter to cut out four heart shapes. 

Cut a heart in the middle of two cookies with a small heart-shaped canape cutter. These will be your tops.

Repeat with the remaining pie crust.

Place 2 tablespoons of the pie filling in the center of the four large hearts.

With a pastry brush, brush the edges with the egg mixture. 

Top each with a heart with the center cut out.

Use a fork to crimp the edges of each pie to seal them.

Place the pies on the prepared baking sheet.

Bake in the preheated oven for 13-15 minutes or until the top is lightly golden brown.

Remove from the oven and cool on the baking sheet for 2-3 minutes.

Transfer the pies to a wire rack to cool completely.

Before serving, dust the tops lightly with powdered sugar.

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