Cherry season is almost upon us, so let’s get ready with these easy cherry and brie puff pastry hand pies. All you need are puff pastry sheets, cherries, brie, and a little egg wash, and you can have a beautiful sweet and savory dessert ready to go in no time. If, like me, you find fruit pies kind of intimidating, this is a great way to get the best parts of pie (the flaky crust! the warm fruit! that sweet buttery flavor!) without any of the stress of actually making one. Let’s get to it!
Cherry season means time spent up north here in Michigan, where we have a giant cherry festival up in Traverse City. I almost don’t want to tell you about it because Traverse City is my happy place and I don’t want everyone rushing to it and driving up my future hypothetical dream home’s property value. Traverse City and the surrounding area is a beautiful gem, and every time I see an article in the New York Times or whatever about it my instinct is to say “ssshhh! you’ll ruin it!”. Which is a long way of saying that we really like going up there, even more so now with the kids, and if you’re ever anywhere near it you should check it out. And there’s a cherry festival!
We happened upon it by accident last year, driving back to my dad’s house from the Sleeping Bear Dunes. We were all dune-climbing exhausted, but as we drove through town the kids saw the festival (more specifically the carnival section), and we made one of those great spur-of-the-moment decisions to stop and go ride the dang ferris wheel. It was an imperfectly perfect day, and I’m probably always going to think of it as cherry season rolls around.
So as we approach July I want to make sure I give you all some great cherry recipes to go with your own summer memories. First up are these puff pastry hand pies, with a little brie thrown in for creaminess and contrast. The cherries are cooked with a little sugar and lemon juice until they’re extra sweet and juicy, then spooned on top of rectangles of puff pastry. Sprinkle on the brie, add another rectangle of puff pastry, crimp with a fork, and brush with an egg wash, and after a quick stint in the fridge to cool the pastry back down you are ready to get them in the oven.
The finished pies are crisp and flaky on the outside, creamy and sweet with just the right savory kick from the brie, and utterly addictive.
- 2 ¼ cup pitted and quartered cherries
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1 ½ tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 box (2 sheets) frozen puff pastry, thawed according to box instructions
- 1 egg
- 2 teaspoons milk
- 4 oz brie cheese, rind removed and cut into small cubes
- Combine the cherries, sugar, cornstarch, and lemon juice in a medium saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring almost constantly, until thickened, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a heatproof bowl and allow to cool to room temperature.
- Lay out one sheet of puff pastry. Cut into 6 rectangles. Beat the egg and milk together in a small bowl to make an egg wash, then brush the pastry rectangles.
- Divide the cherry filling over the rectangles, leaving space around all the edges. Place three cubes of brie on each square.
- Cut the second puff pastry sheet into 6 rectangles and place them over the first set, trying to line up the edges as best as possible. Crimp the edges with a fork and cut 2 diagonal slits into each top using a sharp knife. Brush with the egg wash.
- Place the hand pies in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes or overnight. When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 375°F.
- Bake the pies for 30-35 minutes, until the tops are golden brown.