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Easy Fried Cherry Hand Pies

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.

Finished fried hand pies on a wire rack.

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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. 

🛒 Ingredient Notes


Ingredients needed for making fried cherry hand pies.

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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.)

You’ll find detailed measurements for all ingredients in the printable version of the recipe at the bottom of this post.

🥄 How to Make Fried Cherry Hand Pies


STEP 1. Sprinkle the flour onto a clean work surface.

Rolling out a biscuit on a floured surface.
STEP 2.
Cherry pie filling added on top of biscuit dough.
STEP 3.
Sealing edges of the hand pie with a fork.
STEP 4.

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.

👉 PRO TIP: 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.

Hand pies frying on the first side.
STEP 6.
Hand pies flipped to fry on the second side.
STEP 7.
Finished hand pies draining on a rack.
STEP 8.

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.

Finished fried hand pies on a wire rack.
STEP 9.

STEP 9. Lightly dust with powdered sugar, if desired.

🔀 Recipe Variations


  • 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.

❗ Recipe Tips


  • 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.
Finished fried hand pies on a wooden board.

🍚 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.

🍽️ Serving Suggestions


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.

❓ Questions About Fried Cherry Pies


Can I make fried cherry hand pies in the air fryer?

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.

What is the difference between a hand pie and a turnover?

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.

Lana Stuart.

More Questions? I’m happy to help!

If you have more questions about the recipe, or if you’ve made it and would like to leave a comment, scroll down to leave your thoughts, questions, and/or rating!

Thanks so much for stopping by!

📖 Recipe

Finished fried hand pies on a wire rack.

Easy Fried Cherry Hand Pies

Easy Fried Cherry Hand Pies with just 15 minutes prep time. Use a couple of great shortcuts to make these taste just like grandma's used to!
5 from 4 votes
Print It Rate It Save
Course: Desserts
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 16 servings
Calories: 289kcal
Author: Lana Stuart

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  • 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.

Notes

Recipe Tip: 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.
To Air Fry: Follow the instructions to assemble the hand pies and then preheat the air fryer to 350 degrees F. Line the basket with parchment paper in the bottom and place four hand 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.
Storage and Reheating: 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.

Nutrition Information

Serving 1pie | Calories 289kcal | Carbohydrates 39g | Protein 4g | Fat 13g | Saturated Fat 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat 5g | Monounsaturated Fat 6g | Trans Fat 1g | Cholesterol 1mg | Sodium 551mg | Potassium 169mg | Fiber 1g | Sugar 2g | Vitamin A 74IU | Vitamin C 1mg | Calcium 32mg | Iron 2mg

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 healthcare provider or a registered dietitian if precise nutrition calculations are needed for health reasons.

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2 Comments

  1. Colleen Bohn says:

    5 stars
    Have made these hand pies many times and have also used different flavors of pie filling; from cherry, to apple, to blueberry, peach, etc. They are All delicious.
    Hubby likes his drizzled with icing. Chocolate icing is really delicious on the cherry pies.
    I do mix in just a capful of Almond Extract to my cherry filling; dump cherry pie filling in a bowl, stir in your Almond extract and stir before putting on your crust.

    1. I love the idea of adding a little almond flavoring and the chocolate icing! That sounds delicious.