Cranberry & Blueberry Hand Pies

Cranberry & Blueberry Hand Pies

Cake or pie? I believe most people fall into one camp or the other. Me – I’m a well documented cake person. Just take a look at my dessert recipes: tons of cupcakes, cookies, cake pops, etc…and not even a section for pie. My husband, on the other hand, is a decided pie fan. The holidays are traditionally a time for pie, so every year I think, “I need to try making a pie.” And something conveniently distracts me, like Cinnamon Roll Cupcakes or Irresistible Cranberry Orange Cookies.

This year, something clicked. I love cranberries and always make homemade cranberry sauce for Thanksgiving (it is so easy and better than canned – add it to your menu this year!). I was dreaming of ways to make it differently and realized I’d never heard of a cranberry pie. But why not? Homemade cranberry sauce is similar to pie filling consistency. I did a little research and found Nantucket Cranberry Pie/Cake, but I really wanted a berry pie that used cranberries.

Fast forward to discovering this Cranberry and Wild Blueberry Pie from Bon Appetit – yes, please! Making pie crust still intimidates me, so I picked up my favorite frozen dough from Trader Joe’s. I love it because it has all normal ingredients I can pronounce and would use myself. And while there are lots of reasons to make hand pies (they’re adorable, portable, and everyone get their own dessert to name a few), I have to be honest and admit I made them partially because I’m also intimidated by making an entire pie.

Cranberry Blueberry Hand Pies

Side note: I think I may have found my new year’s resolution. I really need to try making a pie from scratch all by myself!

Anyway, this filling totally hit the spot! It is a perfect balance of tart and sweet. The cranberries add a tangy zing and prevent the whole thing from being super sweet, while the blueberries bring a wonderful flavor and sweetness to balance out the tart crans. Although I made them hand pies partially out of fear, I don’t regret it one bit. They’re fun to eat and pretty darn cute!

Russ was the final vote. Not only did he polish one of these off after a large brunch, he even wanted to eat the extra filling out of the bowl (not something he normally does). That’s 2 thumbs up from the pie lover, which is good enough for me. I recommend trying out these cranberry & blueberry hand pies as a fun twist on the traditional Thanksgiving or Christmas pie…or anytime you want a fun dessert this winter! 😉

Here are step by step instructions on how to make hand pies: 

Cut hand pie dough into 3 inch circles

Step 1: Use a 3″ glass to cut dough into circles


Add filling to hand pie

Step 2: Spoon a heaping tablespoon of filling onto the middle of each circle

Cover hand pie and crimp edges

Step 3: Pinch the edges together with your fingers, then crimp with a fork

Coat top of hand pie with egg wash

Step 4: Brush with an egg wash

Cranberry Blueberry Hand Pies

Step 5: Cut small slits on the top, then sprinkle with sanding sugar. Now they’re ready for the oven!

Cranberry Blueberry Hand Pies

Step 6: Bake until golden brown. Then try to wait until they’re cool to eat one (it’s a challenge!).

Cranberry Blueberry Hand Pies

Seriously, try to resist! 😉


Cranberry Blueberry Hand Pies

Yield: 12-14 hand pies


  • Filling
  • 8 ounces (1 3/4 cups) frozen blueberries – get wild blueberries if you can find them (do not thaw)
  • 6 ounces (1 1/2 cups) fresh or frozen cranberries (do not thaw if frozen)
  • 1/2 + 1/8 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1/2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon grated lemon peel
  • Crust
  • 1 package of Trader Joe’s frozen pie dough (thawed) or your favorite pie dough recipe (enough to make two 10″ pies)
  • Garnish
  • 1 egg + 1 tablespoon of water for egg wash
  • Sanding sugar (optional)


  1. Place all filling ingredients in a medium saucepan and stir to combine. Cook over low-medium heat, stirring occasionally, until it thickens and reaches a boil. Boil for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
  2. Remove from heat and set aside (pour into bowl, cover and refrigerate if not using immediately).
  3. Roll out thawed dough to 1/8″ thick and use a 3″ glass to cut out circles. Combine scraps of dough, roll out, cut circles, and repeat until all dough is used.
  4. Place dough circles onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or silicone baking mat. Spoon a heaping tablespoon of filling into the middle of each one. Spreading the filling out, leaving a small empty space around the edge of the dough.
  5. Lightly whisk together the egg and water in a small bowl. Lightly brush the egg wash around the edge of each circle. Place another circle of dough on top and pinch the edges together. Use a fork to crimp the edges.
  6. Brush egg wash across the top of each sealed hand pie. Use a small, sharp knife to cut 2-3 lines in the middle of the top.
  7. Optional: sprinkle with sanding sugar.
  8. Bake at 400°F for 15-18 minutes, until golden brown.


You can make the filling up to 3 days ahead of time.
Adapted from Bon Appetit.

4 Comments on Cranberry & Blueberry Hand Pies

  1. Natalie
    November 26, 2014 at 7:40 am (8 years ago)

    Happy Thanksgiving!! These sound amazing and I am planning on making these tonight so that they’re ready for tomorrow. Can they be re-heated at all?

    • Stephanie Saunders
      November 27, 2014 at 10:12 pm (8 years ago)

      Natalie, sorry I didn’t get back to you sooner! They could be re-heated in a low temp oven or briefly in the microwave, although we enjoyed them at room temp for Thanksgiving. Hope you enjoyed them 🙂

  2. Dani
    November 26, 2014 at 9:54 pm (8 years ago)

    So amazing! I got the email alert of this post while nannying and immediately interrupted our game to show the eight-year-old the picture. We spent quite some time seriously discussing whether we could skip out on picking her brother up from school and drive straight up to your house to demand hand pies. I eventually had to veto the idea sadly 🙁


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