cranberry hand pies

cranberry hand pies-2

I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving this year, filled with gratefulness and delicious food. We had a great time with friends and family, reflecting on the last year of our lives and all the incredible blessings we have been given. Not only did we add an amazing little human to our home, but I’ve come to realize that the Lord didn’t just give me a wonderful husband, he gave me an incredible father for my son. Seriously, you should see those two together. There is not a moment when they aren’t absolutely cracking each other up. On top of all of that, our family and close friends have been such a huge support to us in the last 8 months, guiding us through the biggest adventure of our lives. Our hearts are overflowing with gratefulness.

cranberry hand pies-3

We were lucky enough to enjoy three (three!) meals with the ones we love, which means we ate, a lot. Somehow, even with spreading what we made over three meals, we still have a bunch of left overs. Now, everyone knows that the best thing about Thanksgiving is actually the left overs. None of the individual components of the big meal are jaw dropping on their own, but when you put them all together in the days following, magic happens. While there is no substitution for turkey, cranberry sauce and cream cheese smooshed between two slices of pillowy soft bread, there is another way I like to drag out the most delicious holiday of the year, with more pie. The great thing here is, you could go savory, sweet, or do a savory-sweet combo. I envision throwing some roasted squash, goat cheese and turkey (maybe some caramelized onion, too!) into the middle of one of these mini pies and take this whole pie thing in a completely different direction.

If you’ve got an extra round of pie dough you didn’t use, that will provide you with an excellent short cut. Also, if you have any leftover homemade cranberry sauce, relish or chutney, I bet that would serve as a great filling, but be warned, it might be a tad runny because it will be missing the thickening agent.

cranberry hand pies
adapted from bon appetit, november 2012
makes 16 pies


For the dough

  • 3 2/3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) plus 3 tablespoon unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes, frozen

For the filling and assembly

  • 1 pound fresh (or frozen, thawed) cranberries (about 4 cups)
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
  • 2 tablespoon fresh orange juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon instant tapioca (not starch)
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
  • 1 large egg, beaten to blend
  • raw sugar


For the dough

  1. Pulse flour, sugar, salt and orange zest in a food processor to combine. Add butter; pulse until mixture resembles coarse cornmeal (no big pieces of butter should remain). With motor running, slowly drizzle 1/2 cup ice water through feed tube. Pulse until dough just begins to come together.
  2. Divide dough in half. Form each half into a ball; flatten into disks. Wrap each disk tightly in plastic. Chill for at least 2 hours. DO AHEAD Dough can be made 2 days ahead. Keep chilled. Let stand at room temperature for 15 minutes to soften slightly before rolling out.

For the filling and assembly

  1. Combine cranberries, sugar, orange zest and juice, and tapioca in a medium saucepan. Scrape in seeds from vanilla bean; add bean. Let stand for juices to accumulate, about 10 minutes, then cook over medium heat until mixture comes to a simmer and begins to thicken, 5-6 minutes. (Some cranberries will have burst.) Let cool completely. DO AHEAD Cranberry filling can be made 5 days ahead. Cover and chill.
  2. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside. Working with 1 disk at a time, roll out dough on a lightly floured surface until very thin, about 1/16-inch thick. Using cookie cutter, cut out 16 circles.
  3. Brush edges of 8 circles with beaten egg. Place 1 heaping tablespoon filling in center of each egg-washed circle. Top with remaining circles to form 8 pies. Using a fork, crimp 1/4-inch around edges to seal. If desired, use cookie cutter to clean edges. Repeat with remaining dough, egg, and filling.
  4. Divide pies between prepared sheets; chill for 45 minutes. (Pies can be made 2 hours ahead. Cover; keep chilled.)
  5. Preheat oven to 425°. Working with 1 baking sheet of pies at a time, score dough, forming a small X in the center of each pie. Brush tops of pies with beaten egg and sprinkle with raw sugar.
  6. Bake pies until crust is golden brown and filling bubbles out of Xs, 17-20 minutes. Let cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes; transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely. Repeat with remaining baking sheet of pies.

November 30, 2013. baking, fall, fruit.


  1. mydearbakes replied:

    Yum yum! I would so like to have a taste of that fantastic bake! =)

  2. silverscreenings replied:

    These look fabulous!! Yum! I think even I could do these. 🙂

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