Sunday, July 14, 2013
Mini Dark Sweet Cherry Pies
Question: Is there anything in this edible world better than pie? Let's think about it shall we? It's warm, comforting, flaky and crispy with a delicious center. Not to mention if you make a fruit pie it's pretty much healthy right? I think so...
If you've ever had marachino cherry pie a.k.a food coloring pie, you might as well call yourself a cherry pie virgin. There is NO comparison between fake cherry pie and the delicious naturally sweet dark cherries. I usually buy my cherries frozen, just because when they thaw it provides just the right amount of water from which to make that thick fruity filling without being too runny. You can pick up these cherries in any frozen section of a grocery store, I usually go for this brand there is no added sugar or preservatives, just sweet n' tasty cherries. I always add the tiniest bit of lemon juice just to cut the sweetness in the pies, don't worry, you can't taste the lemon. You may also want to add 1/4 teaspoon almond extract for some added flavor...not that they need it...
These homemade pies might take a little extra time to assemble, but TRUST ME they are worth the effort! You'll never touch a store bought pie again.
Mini Cherry Pies
makes about 12 pies
For the crust...
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, cold, cut into small cubes
1/4 cup ice water, plus more if needed
1 egg, beaten (for egg wash)
1.Preheat oven to 360 degrees F.
2.In the bowl of a food processor, combine flour and salt; pulse to combine. Add butter, and pulse until mixture resembles coarse crumbs with some larger pieces remaining, about 10 seconds.
3.With machine running, add ice water through feed tube in a slow, steady stream, just until dough holds together without being wet or sticky. Do not process more than 30 seconds. Test by squeezing a small amount of dough together; if it is still too crumbly, add a bit more water, 1 tablespoon at a time.
4.Turn out dough onto a clean work surface. Divide in half, and place each half on a piece of plastic wrap. Shape into flattened disks. Wrap in plastic, and refrigerate at least 1 hour or overnight. The dough can be frozen for up to 1 month; thaw overnight in the refrigerator before using.
5.Using a large circle cookie cutter (I used a bowl) cut out circle and press into muffin tins. Scoop a spoonful of cooled cherry filling then top with a smaller circle of pie crust. Egg wash the tops and bake for 30 min. or until golden brown on top.
For cherry filling...
15oz. of dark, sweet cherries, frozen
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp lemon juice
1 TBS cherry grenadine
1 TBS cornstarch mixed with a tsp of water
1.In a medium sauce pan heat cherries on med-low heat. When cherries begin to thaw add sugar, lemon juice, and grenadine. Mix.
2.When cherries begin to bubble add the cornstarch mixture and let thicken for about a minute.
3.Remove from heat and cool before adding to pie shells