Make a Fair favorite at home: Cherry Hand Pies

7:27 AM, Aug 23, 2012   |    comments
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FALCON HEIGHTS, Minn. - Being mobile is one of the best things about most of the food at the Great Minnesota Get-Together!

The food is either on-a-stick or can be eaten by hand.

Thursday morning, chef and culinary instructor Terry John Zila showed KARE 11 Today how to make a Fair favorite - Cherry Hand Pies - at home.

For more information about Terry John Zila and his upcoming classes, visit

You can also check out his blog at

Cherry Hand Pies
Makes 6

*Chef note: you will need a hand pie mold to make these. They're available at most kitchen stores. 

Shortening Crust recipe below. Preheat oven to 425F degrees.

1 can pitted tart cherries, drained (reserving 3 tablespoons of the liquid.)
1½ tablespoons quick-cooking tapioca
? teaspoon salt
? teaspoon almond extract
½ teaspoon lemon juice
½ cup sugar
¼ teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
? teaspoon nutmeg (optional)
2 drops of red food coloring (optional)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled and cut into pieces
1 egg white

Make filling:
1. Drain cherries, reserving 3 tablespoons of their liquid in a large mixing bowl.
2. Add tapioca, salt, extract, and lemon juice to the reserved cherry liquid, then add the drained cherries and the sugar.
3. Gently stir together and allow to stand for 15 minutes.
4. Roll out enough of the crust to form a 6 inch circle
5. Open the hand pie form so that it forms a 45 degree angle and ease the rolled pie crust into mold.
You need to keep the form at an angle so that when you close it, it won't tear the dough.
6. Add 2 tablespoons of the cherry filling into the crust and gently close the form shut to seal the dough. Do not overfill as they will not hold together during baking.
7. Ease open the mold. It the crust sticks a bit, gently insert a butter knife along the fluted edge and the mold should open .
8. Remove the pie from the mold and place on a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Brush crust with egg white.
9. Repeat with remaining crust and filling.

Bake for 15 to 20 minutes

Shortening Dough
2 ¼ cups unbleached all-purpose flour, sifted
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
¾ cup shortening
1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon lemon juice
¼ cup whole milk

1. Pulse the flour, salt and sugar in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade.
2. Pulse in shortening until the mixture resembles coarse cornmeal.
3. In a mixing cup, measure milk, add egg yolk and lemon juice and blend.
4. Pulse in the milk mixture into the flour/shortening mixture until a soft dough forms.
5. Turn onto a work surface and knead the mixture until smooth and uniform (about 30 seconds).

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