Cranberry Hand Pies

Cranberry Hand Pies

recipe image

These tender-crusted little pies are filled with orange-scented cranberries.


Makes 16 servings



2/3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour


cup sugar


1/2 teaspoons kosher salt


1/2 cups (3 sticks) plus 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1/2″ cubes, frozen

Filling and assembly:


pound fresh (or frozen, thawed) cranberries (about 4 cups)


1/2 cups sugar


teaspoon finely grated orange zest


tablespoons fresh orange juice


/2 teaspoon instant tapioca (not starch)


/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise


large egg, beaten to blend

Raw sugar

Special Equipment

A 3″-diameter cookie cutter or biscuit cutter

For dough:

Step 1

Pulse flour, sugar, and salt 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.

Step 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 filling and assembly:

Step 3

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.

Step 4

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″ thick. Using cookie cutter, cut out 16 circles.

Step 5

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″ around edges to seal. If desired, use cookie cutter to clean edges. Repeat with remaining dough, egg, and filling.

Step 6

Divide pies between prepared sheets; chill for 45 minutes. DO AHEAD: Pies can be made 2 hours ahead. Cover; keep chilled.

Step 7

Preheat oven to 425°F. 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.

Step 8

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.

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