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Cranberry Hand Pies: the buttery, flaky treat for all occasions

Total time: 40 Min
Difficulty: Low
Serves: 9 people
By Cookist
frozen cranberry
2 cups
packed brown sugar
1/2 cup
Unsalted butter
2 tbsp
vanilla extract, divided
1 1/2 tsp
Puff pastry
1 sheet
Heavy Cream
1/2 cup
Large egg
Granulated sugar
1/4 cup
almond slivers
1/4 cup
powdered sugar, for decorating

Cranberry hand pies are a delicious sweet treat synonymous with fall. With its sweet-tart flavor, it's a perfect dessert to serve at holiday dinner such as Thanksgiving and Christmas. This cranberry hand pies have a crisp, flaky crust and a ruby red, creamy filling that everyone's sure to enjoy. The luxurious crème brulée filling goes beautifully with the tangy taste of the cranberries.

This is also a great make-ahead recipe. Cranberry pastries are light yet not too sweet you can also serve warm as a lovely breakfast treat – ideal for a cozy autumn brunch too.

How to Make Cranberry Hand Pies

Making cranberry hand pies is easier than you may think. In a saucepan over medium heat, add the cranberries, brown sugar, and butter. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Next, reduce the heat and simmer the mixture for about 5 to 7 minutes or until thick. Add 1 tsp of vanilla extract and stir to combine. Pour the cranberry mixture into a bowl, cover, and let it cool in the refrigerator.

On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the pastry sheet to 12×12 inches, then cut it into 9 4-inch squares. Now it's time to assemble. Spoon the cranberry mixture onto the center of each square, slightly wet the pastry edges with water in order to fold the hand pies. Make sure to pinch the edges to seal it well. Repeat.

Arrange these pastries on a greased baking tray, placing them seam side down. Make a slit on pastry tops, then bake at 400°F for about 15 minutes or until golden brown. Meanwhile, whisk egg, cream, sugar and ½ teaspoon of vanilla in a small bowl, then use this mixture to brush the hand pies top. Garnish with almonds, then bake again for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven, let the cranberry hand pies cool, then dust them with powdered sugar.


While you can use fresh berries, frozen is the best way to go in this recipe.

You can also use homemade cranberry sauce for the filling.

Love vanilla? Use vanilla bean instead of vanilla extract – it has a much more intense flavor.

You can start making cranberry pastry ahead of time. Prepare a batch of the cranberry filling up to 2 days in advance.

Cranberry is perfect for autumn, but you could tweak this recipe by using your favorite frozen fruits. Blueberries, blackberries, and other frozen mixed fruits would work fantastically well in this recipe.

How to store Cranberry Pastry

You can store cranberry hand pies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days.


Heat a saucepan over medium heat. Add the cranberries, brown sugar, and butter, stirring constantly. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and all the mixture to simmer for about 5 to 7 minutes until it becomes thick. Add 1 tsp of vanilla extract and stir to combine. Pour the cranberry mixture into a bowl, cover, and place in the fridge to cool.

Preheat your oven to 400°F. Lightly grease a baking tray with cooking spray, vegetable oil, or butter. Flour your work surface. Roll out the pastry sheet to 12×12 inches.

Cut the pastry into 9 4-inch squares using a sharp knife.

Spoon the cranberry mixture onto the center of each square. Lightly brush the pastry edges with water.

Fold the pastry, then pinch the edges to form a seal. Repeat on each square.

Place the pastries seam side down on the baking tray. Carefully make a slit in the top of each one to allow steam to escape when baking. Bake the cranberry hand pies for 15 minutes or until golden brown.

While the pastries are in the oven, whisk the egg, cream, sugar, and ½ tsp of vanilla together.

Remove the pastries from the oven, and pour the cream mix over each. Garnish with almonds. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown.

Dust with powdered sugar, if desired, and serve warm or at room temperature. Enjoy!

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