Got 15 minutes? Great! Because that’s all the time you’ll need to prep these delicious and easy Fried Cherry Hand Pies! The recipe uses two great shortcuts to make fried hand pies that taste just like grandma made them back in the day.
When I was growing up, it was common for moms to keep a few homemade sweet treats like tea cakes or cookies on hand just in case company dropped by. A good hostess always wanted to offer guests a little bite of something with a glass of sweet tea. My, how times have changed.
My favorite of those sweet treats was fried hand pies. Sometimes they were peach, sometimes apple, and once in a while, cherry!
Hand pies are traditionally made with pie crust filled with pie filling, then folded, sealed, and fried in hot oil. Sometimes they’re dusted with confectioner’s sugar or have a simple sugar glaze. They’re called hand pies because they’re small and portable enough to be eaten out of hand.
This recipe simplifies the traditional process by using refrigerated, canned biscuits for the crust and purchased canned pie filling. It’s the perfect dessert for days when time is short and kids love to help crimp the edges of the little half-moon pies.
About the Ingredients
Canned Biscuits (Any brand you want. I typically choose Pillsbury’s Grands! Southern Homestyle.)
Cherry Pie Filling (If you have access to a Target store, their store brand – Market Pantry – is a really good choice.)
Oil (You’ll need a neutral-flavored oil with a high smoke point for frying. I suggest either canola or peanut oil.)
How to Make Fried Cherry Hand Pies
Let’s Go Step-by-Step
I always like to show you the photos and step-by-step instructions for my recipes to help you picture how to make them in your own kitchen. If you just want to print out a copy, you can skip to the bottom of the post where you’ll find the recipe card.
STEP 1. Sprinkle the flour onto a clean work surface.
STEP 2. Using a rolling pin, roll each biscuit out on the floured surface to about 4 inches in diameter.
STEP 3. Spoon 1 generous tablespoon of cherry pie filling into the center of each biscuit.
STEP 4. Fold the biscuit over and press the edges together. Use the tines of a fork to seal the edges of the dough. Set aside the prepared hand pies.
The pies will stay closed during frying better if you lightly dampen one edge of the dough before sealing. Just dip your finger into water and spread it around the inside edge, fold over, and seal.
STEP 5. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat the oil to 375 degrees F.
STEP 6. Using a spatula or spider, carefully place 2-3 pies in the skillet. Do not overcrowd the pan. Cook for 15-20 seconds or until a deep golden color.
STEP 7. Flip each pie and cook for an additional 15-20 seconds.
STEP 8. As the pies finish cooking, remove them to a wire rack (or a paper towel lined plate) to drain.
STEP 9. Lightly dust with powdered sugar, if desired.
- Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar immediately after removing from the hot oil.
- Drizzle with a powdered sugar glaze (1 1/2 cups sifted powdered sugar, 1/4 cup milk, and a few drops of vanilla.)
- Use any pie filling of your choice in place of cherry.
- You may have leftover pie filling. Enjoy it stirred into vanilla yogurt, on pancakes or waffles, or in your morning oatmeal.
- It’s important to have all the pies prepared before you start frying because they cook very quickly.
How to Store and Reheat
These pies are best served the day they are made. Leftovers may be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Reheat in a 325 degree oven for about 5 minutes but fair warning – they won’t be the same as freshly fried.
We really enjoy these little cherry hand pies warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on the side or topped with freshly whipped cream for a creamy complement to the tart and sweet cherry filling.
Yes, you can use an air fryer for making hand pies! Follow the same instructions to assemble and then preheat the air fryer to 350 degrees F. Line the basket with parchment paper in the bottom and place four pies in the basket, making sure they aren’t touching. Spritz with a little oil and air fry for 8-10 minutes (turning halfway through cooking) or until golden brown.
Turnovers and hand pies have several differences. Turnovers are normally triangular in shape, made with puff pastry, and are baked. Hand pies are typically half-moon shaped, made with pie crust dough, and are fried. Turnovers usually contain jam or preserves where hand pies are filled with pie filling.
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Easy Fried Cherry Hand Pies
- 32.6 ounces canned biscuits (2 cans Pillsbury's Grands! Southern Homestyle)
- 20 ounces cherry pie filling
- 1 cup canola oil (or other neutral oil)
- 4 tablespoons flour (more if needed for rolling out dough)
- Powdered sugar optional
- Sprinkle the flour onto a clean work surface.
- Using a rolling pin, roll each biscuit out on the floured surface to about 4 inches in diameter.
- Spoon 1 generous tablespoon of cherry pie filling into the center of each biscuit.
- Fold the biscuit over and press the edges together. Use the tines of a fork to seal the edges of the dough. Set aside the prepared hand pies.
- In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat the oil to 375 degrees F.
- Using a spatula or spider, carefully place 2-3 hand pies in the skillet. Do not overcrowd the pan. Cook for 15-20 seconds or until a deep golden color.
- Flip each pie and cook for an additional 15-20 seconds.
- As the hand pies finish cooking, remove them to a wire rack (or a paper towel lined plate) to drain.
- Lightly dust with powdered sugar, if desired.
Nutrition information is calculated by software based on the ingredients in each recipe. It is an estimate only and is provided for informational purposes. You should consult your health care provider or a registered dietitian if precise nutrition calculations are needed for health reasons.