Today is a big day in Sweet Pea’s Kitchen. It marks my three year blog anniversary! Three years ago I started sharing some of my favorite recipes on this blog. At that time I had no idea that this blog (at first only seen by a few close friends and family) would turn into what it has. From that little apartment in downtown Indianapolis, to our move to Central Illinois and the birth of our Little Sweet Pea, it has certainly been a fun filled three years. If you have followed me on my adventures in the kitchen since the beginning, then you have seen 820 different recipes. In case you missed any of them, you can always access all of the recipes from the Recipe Index. To celebrate three years of recipes, I bring you one of my favorites: Mini Cherry Pies.
A homemade fruit pie with a flaky crust is the ultimate summer dessert. But what could possibly make a good pie even better? Making them mini-sized! Because all mini desserts are cute if you ask me! These mini pies are the perfect dessert to bring to a cookout. Since they’re baked in a muffin pan, everything is contained in its own flaky, tender crust, making it less messy than a traditional fruit pie.
You can use store bought crust and pie fillings if you are in a huge rush, but following this recipe and making everything from scratch really is the way to go. So what are you waiting for? Ditch that fork and bring these tasty mini pies to your next summer get together!
Yield: 12 mini pies
For the Pie Dough:
2 1/2 cups (12 1/2 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
1 teaspoon table salt
2 tablespoons sugar
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
1/2 cup cold vegetable shortening, cut into 4 pieces
1/4 cup vodka, cold
1/4 cup cold water
1 large egg, lightly beaten with 1 teaspoon water
For the Cherry Filling:
1 red plum, halved and pitted
3 cups (about 1 pound) pitted sweet cherries or 3 cups pitted frozen cherries, halved
1/4 cup sugar
pinch table salt
1/2 tablespoon juice from 1 lemon
1 teaspoons bourbon
1 tablespoons instant tapioca, ground
dash ground cinnamon
For The Pie Dough: In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade, process 1 1/2 cups flour, salt, and sugar until combined, about two 1-second pulses. Add butter and shortening and process until dough just starts to collect in uneven clumps, about 15 seconds; dough will resemble cottage cheese curds and there should be no uncoated flour. Scrape bowl with rubber spatula and redistribute dough evenly around processor blade. Add remaining cup flour and pulse until mixture is evenly distributed around bowl and mass of dough has been broken up, 4 to 6 pulses. Transfer mixture into medium bowl.
Sprinkle vodka and water over mixture. Using a folding motion, use a rubber spatula to mix, pressing down on dough until dough is slightly tacky and sticks together. Divide dough into 2 even balls and flatten each into 4-inch disk. Wrap each in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 45 minutes or up to 2 days.
Remove 1 disk of dough from refrigerator and roll out on floured work surface to 12-inch circle, about 1/8 inch thick. Using a 4-inch round biscuit cutter, cut 12 circles out of the rolled dough. Transfer the circles to a parchment-lined baking sheet and place in the refrigerator to chill for about 30 minutes. Repeat the rolling, cutting and chilling process with the remaining half of dough.
In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade, process the plum and 1/2 cup halved cherries in food processor until smooth, about 1 minute, scraping down sides of bowl as necessary. Strain puree through fine-mesh strainer into large bowl, pressing on solids to extract liquid; discard solids. Stir remaining halved cherries, sugar, salt, lemon juice, bourbon, tapioca, and cinnamon into puree; let stand for 15 minutes.
Remove the chilled dough from the refrigerator, and let stand at room temperature until just pliable, about 2 to 3 minutes.
Fit 1 dough round into bottom of each muffin cup. Pat down bottom with excess coming up sides. Divide cherry filling among the muffin cups. With the remaining dough rounds, use a pizza cutter to cut thin strips of dough to create a lattice pattern on top of each pies. Place the muffin tin in the refrigerator to chill for 30 minutes before baking.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Remove the chilled mini pies from the refrigerator and lightly brush with the egg wash. Bake until golden brown and filling is bubbling, about 25-30 minutes. Transfer muffin pan to wire rack; cool to room temperature. Carefully remove pies and serve.
One Year Ago: Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream
Two Years Ago: Lemon Berry Tarts
Three Years Ago: Chicken with Balsamic Bell Peppers