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Cherry-Almond Hand Pies

Hands-on time 23 mins
Total time 2 hrs, 1 min
Yield

Serves 8 (serving size: 1 pie)

The crust here is a variation on a genius recipe from Cooking Light’s sister publication Southern Living—it uses almond paste in place of some of the butter. My adaptation uses far less butter and no refined flour, with great results. The vodka in the dough helps it stay moist and pliable as you work with it, but it evaporates as the pies bake; you’ll taste nothing boozy.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup almond paste, cut into small pieces
  • 1/4 cup chilled butter, cut into small pieces
  • 7 ounces whole-wheat pastry flour (about 1 3/4 cups)
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3 tablespoons ice-cold vodka
  • 3 tablespoons ice-cold water
  • 1 cup cherry juice or black cherry juice (not tart cherry juice)
  • 1 (5-ounce) package dried sweet cherries
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 tablespoons turbinado sugar or 1 tablespoon granulated sugar

Nutrition Information

  • calories 300
  • fat 8.8 g
  • satfat 4 g
  • monofat 3 g
  • polyfat 0.8 g
  • protein 5 g
  • carbohydrate 47 g
  • fiber 6 g
  • sugars 27 g
  • Est. Added Sugars 7 g
  • cholesterol 39 mg
  • iron 2 mg
  • sodium 237 mg
  • calcium 73 mg

How to Make It

  1. Place almond paste and butter in freezer for 5 minutes.
  2. Weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Place flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder in a food processor; pulse 2 times to combine. Add almond paste and butter; pulse 5 times or until mixture resembles coarse meal. Gradually add vodka and water through food chute while pulsing; pulse just until combined. Gather dough together; knead gently 1 to 2 times to bring dough together. Divide dough into 8 equal portions. Working with 1 dough portion at a time, press dough into a 2-inch circle; roll to a 5-inch circle between plastic wrap. Stack dough circles between plastic wrap or wax paper; chill 1 hour.
  3. While dough chills, combine juice and cherries in a small saucepan; bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat, and simmer, uncovered, 25 minutes or until most of liquid evaporates. Remove from heat; cool to room temperature.
  4. Preheat oven to 425°F.
  5. Working with 1 dough circle at a time, spoon 1 rounded tablespoon cherry mixture into center of each circle. Lightly brush edges of dough circles with beaten egg. Carefully fold dough over filling; press edges together with a fork to seal. Place pies on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Lightly brush egg over pies; sprinkle evenly with turbinado sugar. Cut 2 diagonal slits across top of each pie. Bake at 425°F for 18 minutes or until golden brown; cool on a wire rack.

Cook's Notes

Executive Editor at Cooking Light, Ann Pittman, explores whole grain's all-around awesomeness in her new book, Everyday Whole Grains: 175 Recipes from Amaranth to Wild Rice. This complete guide to healthy, hearty, and incredibly versatile whole grains includes something for everyone and offers innovative new techniques to ensure the most flavorful results. From simple, delicious sides to satisfying mains and sublime desserts, this James Beard Award-winning author educates, inspires and does not disappoint. Discover a whole new way of looking at whole grains, how they are prepared, and how they can be incorporated into a healthy diet at every meal.

Also appeared in: Oxmoor House, March, 2016, Everyday Whole Grains: 175 Recipes from Amaranth to Wild Rice;