This year for Thanksgiving, I want to try a few new dishes, just to spice things up, but without adding tons of time or stress. These easy cranberry hand pies take just 18 minutes to bake, and get this—you only need a couple tablespoons of cranberry sauce, which most folks will be making anyways, and for the crust, I used pre-made pie crust from Trader Joes. The result? Flakey, buttery, and tangy-sweet, and such a fun dessert to add to the menu!
While nothing beats homemade pie crust, I absolutely despise making it! I get super frustrated, over-mix, add too much water, and generally hate the entire process. So for me, pre-made pie crust is a gift. For these easy cranberry hand pies, I rolled out one pie crust until it was pretty thin, about half of the thickness of the original dough. Then I used the lid of a large mason jar to cut out circles. A little egg wash to seal the edges, and a sprinkle of turbinado sugar for a sparkly crunch and that’s it!
I’ll include my recipe for the cranberry sauce that I used in these easy cranberry hand pies, and as you likely already know, cranberry sauce is best after it has rested in the fridge for a day or so. My plan is to make my cranberry sauce on Wednesday, then bake the hand pies Thursday morning—maybe even to have for breakfast with a cup of coffee?!
Gobble gobble gobble!
Easy Cranberry Hand Pies
- Rolling pin, 3" round biscuit cutter or large lid
Cranberry Sauce- yields 1 cup
- 1 ½ cups cranberries
- ¾ cup water
- 2 tbsp coconut sugar
- ½ orange zest + juice
- ¼ lemon- juiced
- ¼ tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp cornstarch
- ½ tsp vanilla
- 1 pre-made pie crust or homemade
- 1 egg
- 1 tbsp turbinado sugar
- For this recipe, the cranberry sauce needs to be chilled, so I would recommend making it the night before you plan to bake the hand pies. To make the cranberry sauce, add all the ingredients, minus the vanilla, to a small saucepan and bring to a boil.
- Cook on medium high heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- After ten minutes, turn off the heat, stir in the vanilla, then transfer the cranberry sauce to a small bowl.
- Once the cranberry sauce has cooled, cover and refrigerate until cold.
- To make the hand pies, follow the directions for thawing your pre-made pie crust. I struggle with pie crust and even managed to thaw it wrong, so I won't be giving advice on that front.
- Once the pie crust is pliable and ready to bake, roll it between two sheets of parchment paper until it is roughly half the original thickness.
- Use a 3" round biscuit cutter or the top of a large mason jar--my lid was about 3½"--and cut as many circles as you can, keeping in mind, you need a top and a bottom for each pie. I was able to get 5 pies out of my crust, 10 circles total. Carefully transfer 5 circles of dough onto a parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Crack the egg and whisk well, then brush the outer ½" of each of the 5 circles with the egg wash.
- Scoop one heaping tablespoon of cranberry sauce into the middle of the five circles. DO NOT OVERFILL.
- Place a top circle of dough on each filled circle and gently press down with your fingertips to seal. Press the tines of a fork around the edges to create a pretty pattern, as well as to seal them completely.
- Brush the tops of each hand pie with the egg wash, followed by a sprinkle of turbinado sugar. Cut a small X on the top of each pie to release steam.
- Refrigerate the entire tray for 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
- Bake the hand pies for 18-20 minutes, until golden brown. If some cranberry sauce bubbles up through the steam cuts, no worries!
- Allow the pies to cool for 5 minutes before enjoying.