pi day cherry bourbon hand pies with orange peel


Every year on Pi Day math geeks and foodies have something in common, pi(e). Since food is what makes holidays, like Pi Day, special, I figured I would join the masses and make some pie.

Hand pies are the perfect party pie because they do not require a fork or plate. The golden egg washed crust creates a pocket for sweetened fruits or savory meats. Anything hand-held that can be eaten on-the-go is alright by me.


These Cherry Bourbon Hand Pies with Orange Peel are the bomb. They are sweet with even more added sugar on the crust. There are subtle bourbon notes of vanilla, oak, and caramel that dance on your tongue while a bright burst of orange sashays along.

Instead of zesting an orange, I chose to thinly peel the skin in order to get a bolder flavor. The orange peels and cherries simmered in a small pot until the house smelled like a warm hug.


I recently bought a Baking Steel,  which I plan on using for baked goods and pizza. The owner of the company often posts pictures of his well crafted blistered/charred pizzas that he creates in his own oven. The trick is the way the steel cooks the dough.

After reading up on my new Baking Steel, I learned that compared to ceramic, steel’s thermal conductivity is 18 times greater. My pizza stone cracked in the oven a while ago because it could not withstand the heat of the broiler. This baking steel will finally do the trick.

Today I cooked the hand pies on the baking steel at 350 degrees and they came out beautiful. While I prepped the pies, the steel preheated in the oven. After I was done assembling them, I transferred the pies from an upside down baking pan (pictured above) straight into the oven onto the sizzling hot baking steel.


I found this amazing flaky pie crust recipe over Christmas break last year. I have used it in every pie recipe since. The dough is easily prepared in the food processor and then rests in the fridge while you prep the other ingredients. As long as you do not touch it too much, the dough will remain tender and flaky instead of tough. I avoid touching it by using plastic wrap to manipulate it, working gently.

For the hand pies, I floured the counter and rolled the dough out. A biscuit cutter came in handy when punching out perfect circles.

Step 11
Step 12

It is important to remember that less is more with these little babies. In order to save them from bursting, only about a tablespoon of cherry pie filling is needed. Wet the outer edge of the circle with water before sealing, think of it like a ravioli. Then press your fork around the edges to make sure they are sealed with a kiss.