I have a confession to make.  I love Pop Tarts.  Cherry Pop Tarts to be exact.  Or Brown Sugar Pop Tarts (but only with frosting.)  Never mind that the nutrition label lists a number of truly terrifying-sounding ingredients (Dare I stop to contemplate: What is sodium acid pyropospate exactly?  Or sodium stearyol lactylate? And why do you need so many different types of food dye in such a small pastry?)  I’ll overlook all that… they are a guilty pleasure – and I can’t watch a Gilmore Girls episode without being reminded of just how much I crave them.  And I watch a lot of Gilmore Girls episodes.


So what does this have to do with hand pies? (You might be asking at this point.)  I don’t eat very many Pop Tarts these days… I understand they’re not a particularly healthy breakfast option.  But pastries filled with real fruit intrigue me.  Hand pies strike me as a sort of high-end version of Pop Tarts, which makes me very happy.  And I found blackberries on sale at the market yesterday… which made me even happier.  A vision of blackberry hand pies started dancing in my head… (last night when I couldn’t sleep because I drank too much highly caffeinated Mexican Iced Coffee in service to my blog, that is.)


Originally, I thought I would whip up a pie crust to encase my blackberry and brown sugar filling.  But then I came across a  Cherry Hand Pie recipe in the most recent issue of Food and Wine.  Hmm, puff pastry… much easier… and quite dreamy looking.  I decided a bit of goat cheese might add a bit of tang to the creation… and I was right.  Hot out of the oven, these hand pies were quite magnificent, I must say.  I’ll admit to you I ate three of them in quick succession (in the name of blogging research, of course).  Shh, don’t tell anyone.

A few hours later, I had lunch with a friend and her teenage daughter our favorite local diner, where I presented them with a box filled the remaining pastries.  They were inhaling them right out of the box while waiting for lunch to be served (thankfully this is the sort of place where no one frowns upon bringing your own baked goods to lunch.)  High praise indeed.

So enjoy these lovely hand pies… I’ll be bringing them to Fiesta Friday this week.  I do think I will need to try my hand homemade Cherry Pop Tarts sometime this summer, however, don’t you agree?

I look forward to continuing the fun at Bourbon and Brown Sugar all summer long!


Blackberry Goat Cheese Hand Pies

Adapted from a 2006 Gourmet magazine recipe, and the above Food and Wine recipe…


  • 2 cups blackberries (3/4 pound)
  • 1 large Golden Delicious apple, peeled and coarsely grated
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese
  • 1 package puff pastry
  • 1 egg, beaten (for egg wash)


Cook blackberries, apple, cornstarch, lemon, brown sugar and cinnamon in a 2-quart heavy saucepan over moderate heat, stirring frequently, until mixture just boils and is thickened, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a shallow bowl to cool.

Take each piece of puff pastry, and slice it into 9 squares, roughly 3 inches by 3 1/2 inches.  Mound about a tablespoon of filling onto each square.  Sprinkle a bit of goat cheese on top.

Fold, seal, and crimp the edges of the pastry.  Brush with beaten egg, cut a slit in the tops and bake on a parchment-lined baking sheet at 375 for 20 minutes, or until the tops are golden brown.

Makes 18 hand pies.



Tagged with →  


51 Responses to "Blackberry-Goat Cheese Hand Pies"
  1. toozesty says:

    These look ah-mazing (and way better than pop tarts)! Not to mention they would be great for summer cook outs instead of pie. Congrats on your first giveaway 🙂

  2. Yum! Those sound delicious and look gorgeous! And using puff pastry does sound quite a bit easier than making pie crust. I will have to try it!

  3. cheri says:

    This looks wonderful, love this combination!

  4. I’m leaving a comment not because I want to win the book, but because I think your blackberry goat cheese hand pies sound and look so delectable. Wouldn’t mind grabbing a few of these. Wouldn’t mind winning the book, either. 🙂

  5. Sheri Fox says:

    Oh yum. I love the addition of goat cheese in a warm crunchy dessert. Who’d a thunk it? We eat the ‘healthy’ version of pop tarts but these look way better. If you find a moment to create a cherry-pomegranate version I hope you’ll share! 😉

  6. Mr Fitz says:

    great pie to bring to the fiesta… home made pop tarts… yummmmm

  7. Jhuls says:

    These handpies will be gone in seconds – they look so gorgeous and incredibly yummy! Thank you for bringing these to FF18! 🙂

  8. sabine says:

    Now it´s hard to comment on that beautiful flavor combination and mention your beautiful white and turquoise plate without giving the impression to only want the book 😉 no, seriously: I am a huge fan of hand pies and the mix of sweet & savory is just my kind of food!

  9. These look so good – I’m not surprised that your friend was inhaling them from the box… I’m inhaling them from the screen!!
    Emma 🙂

  10. sarahgiebens says:

    They look so delicious! Love your photographs! Happy FF! 🙂

  11. acasadisimi says:

    these look delicious! Hi! i’m Simi an italian food blogger! i follow your blog! it’s very nice!
    Happy Fiesta Friday!
    greetings from Italy!

  12. Alex says:

    I love that you made your own “pop tarts” – so much better this way!! Your pictures are making me crave one of these immediately!

  13. Mara says:

    Absolutely gorgeous, MB. We don’t have any blackberries in this neck of the woods, but thinking about trying out some of our wild cherries in the mix. Will let you know how it goes!

  14. Wow, those hand-pies look beautiful! Gorgeous 🙂

  15. arlene says:

    I so love hand-pies and these look so good. I never thought of them as similar to pop tarts …but you are right they are, this makes me happy too! 🙂

  16. FireBonnet says:

    These sound and look absolutely yummy. I don’t love poptarts, but I do love home made fruit pies! And these look perfect (and easy!). Thank you… Happy Fiesta Friday!

  17. chefjulianna says:

    Oh my goodness! I was just smacking my lips as I was reading and ogling your pics! These look wonderful and I can only imagine the wonderful addition of goat cheese! Wow! And I have to admit that I think you are pretty cool to be giving away a wonderful cookbook! I hear it is an amazing book! Enjoy Fiesta Friday! 😀

  18. Debby Dyer says:

    You had me at goat cheese! I’m so happy I stumbled on this site. I love the idea of using puff pastry vs pastry – so much easier. Definitely going to make these! Thank you!

  19. Wendi says:

    I’m off to the store for supplies. Sounds to yummy to wait any longer!

  20. These pies look so amazing! Is the goat cheese really strong in this dessert? I’m always a little hesitant to try strong tasting cheese.

  21. How adorable do these hand pies look? I love the combination of blackberry and goat’s cheese and your photos look fabulous too. I remember pop tarts from when I lived in Canada – mostly, I remember burning my mouth in my greediness to eat them! Thanks for sharing these with us and a very happy FF to you!

  22. Any type of fruit pie is wonderful in my opinion. And goat cheese is so great with fruit. Must try soon!!

  23. Teresa says:

    These look delicious can’t wait to give it a try! Just found your lovely blog.

  24. CakePants says:

    Oh wow, these look fantastic!! I love pop-tarts too (at least, the more traditional fruit flavors…mint chip ice cream pop tarts? nooo thank you!), but these look exponentially better (and better for you)! Yum 🙂

  25. Debbie L says:

    My mouth is watering looking at these.

  26. saucygander says:

    Pop tarts… Definitely a guilty pleasure, but so much fun! Your hand pies look magnificent, love the photos with pie filling oozing out, and the addition of goat cheese is just up my alley! 😀

  27. Sharon says:

    These look fabulous.

  28. Love the recipe, and the photos. They look delicious! I think puff pastry is perfect for these. Thanks for bringing them to Fiesta Friday! 🙂

  29. elizabeth gordon says:

    A craving for cheese brought me here…. I’m so very glad it did!

  30. Lila Brennan says:

    These look so good, and the addition of goat cheese to offset the sweet tang of the the blackberries is a credit to you!

  31. Hi Manion,

    Ohhh. I just missed the giveaway. But, I had to tell you that you’ve inspired me with your hand pie recipe. I was just looking at my grandmother’s recipe for hand pies where instead of using puff pastry and baking them, she used lard for the dough and lard for frying (yikes)! Anyway, your pictures are beautiful and inspiring. Really love the goat cheese + blackberry combo! Looking forward to trying this!

  32. Fiona says:

    Just back from the other side of the world! Sad to miss the giveaway but delighted to look at the gorgeous photos and read the recipe. These little pies would make a perfect “jet-lag” treat……….

  33. TracyJ says:

    Made these tonight.I was dying for a fruit pie.Yum and not so sweet.

    • So glad you enjoyed it Tracy! I’m making a few more pies this weekend for Father’s Day from the Four-and-Twenty Blackbirds Pie Cookbook… Perhaps I’ll have a few more recipes to share next week!

  34. marycheshier says:

    Reblogged this on Travels with Mary and commented:
    Double Wow!

  35. marycheshier says:

    Double Wow!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *