We have this awesome local fruit farm that we go and pick various things at every year. Right now is prime cherry picking and I needed a new cherry recipe. My kids and I always make summer bucket lists of things we want to do or places we want to go. My oldest had added making a cherry pie to her bucket list and just like that, a recipe was born. We picked cherries yesterday, and today we baked.
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2 cups fresh cherries, pitted
1/2 cup white sugar, plus 1 tablespoon for topping
1 Lemon, zest and juice
1 9” refrigerated pie crust
2 tablespoons corn starch
This “zester” as I call it, is awesome! A micro-plane on one side, then an attached back that catches and measures the zest on the other.
After your cherries are cleaned and pitted add them to a medium sauce pan, cover and place over medium heat on the stove. Cook the cherries for 10 minutes stirring occasionally, until all their lovely juices pop out. While your cherries cook bring your pie dough to room temperature and preheat your oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl mix 1/2 cup white sugar and 2 tablespoons of cornstarch. When cherries are ready, pour in sugar mixture and cook an additional 2 minutes until your pie filling thickens. Set filling aside to cool. To your filling add half of the lemon zest and juice of half the lemon, then stir. Now it’s times for the dough. Take a round glass cup, flip it upside down and press into the pie dough to cut circles out of your pie crust. I did a cup with a 3” diameter. I got 10 circles from mine with extra to make a faux lattice top. When you have your ten 3” circles it’s now time to stretch them out a bit. I like to gently pinch mine from the inside out as to not rip the dough. It’ll be about an additional inch wider. I took a picture of this below just in case, to give you a better idea of what I mean. This is a key step because with them being “Mini” pies you need enough space for filling and the dough will puff up a little. Next press your pie dough circles into your muffin tin cups. I greased my pan before, however, you don’t have to. When your pie cups are ready your filling should be cool. Scoop 2 tablespoons of your cherry pie filling into each of the 10 muffins cups. Top with additional pie dough, if desired. Take your remaining lemon zest and 1 tablespoon of sugar and mix together. Beat your egg with a tiny amount of water to create an egg wash. Brush the egg wash on the top and perimeter of your pie dough and sprinkle on zest sugar mixture. Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes. Let them cool slightly and enjoy.
Truth moment. Never had I made a pie before this. I’ve gotten the pre-made shells and filling and “made” a pie, sure. However I’ve never actually made the filling from scratch and it was actually pretty easy. I love giving my kids a little farm to table insight picking the fruit ourselves then making the food. The pride they feel being so involved is infectious! My tip for this one is if you don’t have a cherry pitter (like me!) use a good plastic straw. It would seem when pitting the cherries you would like to go in from the stem side, when actually the pit comes out a lot easier if you push from the bottom of the cherry through where the stem comes out. That being said, pitting cherries still takes a good bit of time and is messy! However after one taste of these sweet mini pies it’s all worth it!