Seema COOKS: Cardamom-Scented Sour Cherry Hand Pies

If you have never had sour cherries, you are not alone. 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.

I am a-made-in-India, lover of family, life, food, friends, and American football, and a mommy to two water resources scientists and home cook extraordinaire.

In Kansas, 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. But I really didn’t know what to do with them. Then, I was reminded of a sour cherry pie that I had at a wedding reception. Trusting the memory of my taste buds, I set on this journey to make the sour cherry hand pies because they are individual serving size (promising portion control), and the right crust-to-filling ratio. I am more of a lot-of-crust-with-a-little-bit-of-filling girl. So, if you want to give sour cherries a try and want them in a convenient hand pie form, look no further. 


  • 2 sheets prepared pie dough
  • 1 cup sour cherries pitted
  • 1/2 cup sugar see notes
  • 2 green cardamoms cracked open and seeds removed
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 lime, juiced
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp corn starch
  • Few tbsp water
  • 1 tbsp heavy cream (optional)
  • 1 tbsp coarse sugar (optional)


  1. Take the pie dough out of the refrigerator
  2. Set a heavy bottom saucepan over medium high heat. Add pitted cherries, butter, sugar, lime juice, crushed cardamom, vanilla extract to the pan and bring to boil.
  3. Cook for around 8 minutes or until the cherries have softened. Use a fork to mash some of the cherries.
  4. Put about two tablespoon of cherry syrup from the pan into a small bowl. Add corn starch into this syrup and make a slurry.
  5. Add the prepared slurry back to the saucepan and cook the cherry filling for two more minutes.
  6. Turn the heat off and let the filling cool in the refrigerator. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F.
  7. 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.
  8. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper. Lay 16 heart-shaped pieces on the lined cookie sheets.
  9. Take the filling out of the refrigerator and put about a teaspoon of filling in the middle of each pie crust piece.
  10. With the remaining 16 heart-shaped pie crust pieces, working one piece at a time, wet the edges with water and cover the piece with cherry filling in it.
  11. 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 all 16 hand pies.
  12. Mix some water with heavy 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.
  13. Stick the cookie sheets in your preheated oven and bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown.
  14. Remove the cookie sheets from the oven and let the sour cherry hand pies cool on a cooling rack for 10 minutes.
  15. Enjoy!

Recipe Notes:
1/2 cup sugar is just enough to offset the tartness of sour cherries. If you want to make the filling sweeter, add more sugar.

For more details, visit Vaishali Sharda on Instagram @thekitchendocs, or visit her blog at

For a savory pie recipe try this creamy mushroom paneer pie. Or try some of these other sweet nothings.